The seventh instalment of the Fashioning Theory Seminar was held on Wednesday November 21st, and featured Professor Simona Segre Reinach and Dr. Wessie Ling. The duo came to Parsons Paris to present their latest book, Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape, as well as to analyze the global fashion scene while discussing their theoretical approaches to this.
Professor Simona Segre Reinach is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Fashion Studies at Bologna University. Her research interests revolve around the sociology of global fashion, fashion theory, communication, China studies, and fashion curation. She has published several other books and has curated various exhibitions. Dr. Wessie Ling is a cultural historian and visual artist, as well a Reader in Fashion Studies at Northumbria University. Her research interests include cultural production in fashion, fashion theories, global fashion history, and East Asian fashion. Besides having worked on an assortment of books, she uses visual art practices to analyze the cultural properties of fashion.
The night began with the presentation of a global luxury map, as well as an analysis of China’s unique path in it. The authors later explained that the aim behind the creation of their book was to use China as a case study to evaluate how the global fashion industry works. Moreover, their intention was to prove that Chinese fashion does exist, and not only as a key player in production processes, but also as part of the transglobal fashion landscape. The authors then proceeded to explain the methodological tools used in their research, which included the examination of common beliefs such as those surrounding material and symbolic production, as well as the analysis of issues concerning time and space. The talk progressed with the presentation of an interesting case study built around a Chinese cultural icon: a low-cost bag labeled by Dr. Ling as ‘the laundry bag’. This was used in order to further analyze the impact that Chinese fashion has in the global fashion landscape. The authors culminated the night by pointing out that the process of contemporary fashion making is a process of contradictions.
For those interested in learning more about the book, Professor Simona Segre Reinach will be joining Dr. Hazel Clark in the New York campus in early December to further discuss it.
Written by Sandra Mathey, MA Fashion Studies
Photos by Victoria Nergaard, MA Fashion Studies