Re:Re:Re: Supermodern Fashion and Fashion Design in the 21st century

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Authors
Starker, Anessa
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Degree
Master of Design
Grantor
Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2022
Supervisors
Barton, Margo
Lange, Stella
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
supermodernity
modernity
non-places
hyper-real
sustainability
fast fashion
Citation
Starker, A. (2022). Re:Re:Re: Supermodern Fashion and Fashion Design in the 21st century. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design). Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.6306
Abstract
This work aims to investigate how the condition of supermodernity affects the design, consumption, and conceptualising of fashion. Particularly this research investigates the design practice that makes fashion unsustainable. The work concludes that the issue in fashion is not that it is unsustainable but rather that it is supermodern. Tracing the ideas of supermodernity in its origins in modernity shows how particular defaults of dress and beliefs have developed over time. Supermodernity is the over-arching idea inside which consumerism, junkspace, and hyperreality interact to create the design landscape we see today. Supermodernity demands particular design methods that value the new and the spectacle. In fashion, this design method looks like universal dress, a default style of dressing that represents a kind of supermodern uniform. It consists of jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and backpacks. It is the uniform most prevalent in non-places, transient spaces like malls and airports that are the ultimate manifestation of supermodernity. This default style of dress is repeated, over and over again to the point of banality. No brand is more supermodern than SHEIN, a fast fashion retailer based in China; analysing their business model and design practice gives great insight into how the theory of supermodernity gets applied in real-world scenarios. Ultimately this work concluded that supermodern fashion is making simply for the sake of newness which is inherently unsustainable. This work used Damien Newman’s scribble method in combination with sketching and critical making, using artifacts and research to analyse various interpretations of supermodernity.
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CC BY-NC-ND Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International
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