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The political culture of non-western fashion identities1

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The topic of non-western (or ethnic, exotic, world or fusion) fashion has been gaining traction as a legitimate field of scholarship in recent years. This rich vein of research and practice requires more attention to developing new approaches to analytic frameworks in which to evaluate the state of fashion in non-western contexts and to discuss more seamlessly the convergence and dialectical appropriation of non-western inspirations in western fashion and western inspirations in forging and negotiating non-western fashion identities. One indication of the inadequacies of current analytic frameworks used to understand non-western fashion is the use of oppositions and polarities such as colonial/postcolonial, exotic/indigenous and local/global. This article argues that non-western fashion can only be adequately unpacked and understood if the embedded politics of the cultures in which non-western emanates are recognized, drawing on the history of fashions in China and references to Chinoiserie in Eurocentric fashion.
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Keywords: Chinoiserie; Eurocentric fashion; cultural appropriation; cultural authenticity; exoticism; national identity; non-western fashion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000089150953 Queensland University of Technology

Publication date: January 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal specifically dedicated to the area of fashion scholarship and its interfacings with popular culture. It was established to provide an interdisciplinary environment for fashion academics and practitioners to publish innovative scholarship in all aspects of fashion and popular culture relating to design, textiles, production, promotion, consumption and appearance-related products and services. Articles related to history, manufacturing, aesthetics, sourcing, marketing, branding, merchandising, retailing, technology, psychological/sociological aspects of dress, style, body image, and cultural identities, as well as purchasing, shopping, and the ways and means consumers construct identity as associated to Fashion, Style & Popular Culture are welcomed. The journal offers a broad range of written and visual scholarship and includes works done through various methods of research. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and translational applied research in the areas of fashion, style and popular culture. This journal hopes to stimulate new discussions in the fashion disciplines and to push the envelope of scholarship by welcoming new and established scholars to submit their works.

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