Looking back for a future of fashion? Exploring traditional skills, local production and the heritage of craft in fashion

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate of whether the valorization of craft in fashion has more to do with an understanding of the role of craft for symbolic artifacts in capitalist economies or craft’s potential as an activity which secures a direct human presence amidst material things beyond the ‘romantic fictions of traditional or authentic’.
Methodology: The research will chiefly consider Manish Arora’s approach to craft in fashion through the lenses of designers, brand manager, the designed object and fashion editors before using findings to reflect upon Li Edelkoort’s manifesto call for fashion’s return to (European) textile crafts.
Findings: The Indian case study and the unpacking of Edelkoort’s manifesto makes a strong case for the good health and prospects of a fashion industry that embraces the opportunities for collaborations with craft wherever these might be while highlighting consequences that may arise for the development of the crafts thus involved.
Originality: Unique access to Manish Arora’s operations in Noida allowed for a multifaceted view on how a fashion brand might utilise craft. In the process of analysing observations, contributions were made to our understanding of the ways in which fashion might engage with craft, and the consequences this might lead to.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016

Keywords

  • Heritage of craft
  • craft-design engagements
  • traditional skills development

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