2022 Abstracts Stage 2

The Rise of Apocalyptic Styling Following the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Effects.

My project is set in the domain of existential fashion, particularly the rise of apocalyptic styling following the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects, both positive and negative. I have drawn philosophical concepts from the works of Jacques Derrida, including his ‘Of Grammatology’. Alongside this, I have referred to Ulrick Beck’s ‘Risk Society’, Risikogesellschaft (1986), in relation to people becoming increasingly preoccupied with a sense of impending doom that has been brought about by the pandemic: portrayed through recent fashion choices and explorations. To support my discussion further, I have incorporated the works of Marilynn H. Johnson in her Adorning Bodies (2022), in which she explores the philosophical implications of bodily adornment. Johnson notes that existential feelings and thoughts inspiring people’s fashion decisions, are not uncommon. As we have seen previously, different trends and popularity of statement pieces of clothing, rise following grand world events, such as in the 1960s in response to the Vietnam war and adjacent Civil Rights movement. The rise of apocalyptic fashion serves as proof of the determination and adaptability of human beings, along with our willingness to persevere through difficult situations, and it is this that I have delved into in this project.

2011 Abstracts Stage 2

Capitalism, Fashion & Freedom: an Exploration into the Freedom of Choice in Modern Britain

– In this project I will be exploring the idea of liberty within a capitalist society… is the ‘free’ society we think we live in really that ‘free’?
– In terms of fashion: ideas of seasonal fashion change and the choice available in fashion outlets currently as well as the influence of the media, including social media.

Looking at the effect of the economical system of capitalism on society in modern Britain, I have chosen to look at philosophical ideas of Marx and Hegel to compare and contrast their views on it.

In light of the exploration into philosophical theory, I will further the study by using and applying the concepts to analyse the issue of capitalism, freedom and fashion. Using the arguments of Marx and Hegel applied to the idea of the freedom of fashion in society at the present time I will conclude by asking whether capitalism is working to the advantage or disadvantage of our liberty.E690

2009 Abstracts Stage 3

Leaders or Victims, a Fickle World of Fashion

Karl Marx: Here, fashion is nothing but ideological apparatus utilised by the capitalist system in order to manipulate the working class. I have linked these ideas with the collapse of the designer brand ‘Thomas Burberry’ whereby the infamous pattern was adopted by the lower class ‘chav’ and a decline in stature equated with a decline in sales. Deleuze and Guattari: I have drawn on the notion of ‘minor politics’ and art as a ‘becoming’. In a more positive sense, the punk sensation of designer Vivienne Westwood has, as an art form, generated a revolutionary community culture. There exists an issue that fashion is a trivial subject. I intend to challenge this misconception and show how this phenomenon can directly affect our society. I have further deconstructed the ideas of these thinkers and introduced the work of Hans-georg Gadamer, as offering an alternative approach and a distinction between fashion and taste.

2009 Abstracts Stage 2

The “Punk” Trend by Vivienne Westwood and the Philosophy of Bataille

My key point is to look into the fashion trends of Vivienne Westwood, I shall concentrate on the era of ‘Punk’ where Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren played a vital role. I shall compare this with the Philosophy of Georges Bataille who had an obsession with obscene things such as Human Sacrifice. Concentrating mainly on his Base Materialism and his writing’s Eroticism and Story of the Eye. Punk……. • Punk first emerged in the mid 1970s in London as an anarchic and aggressive movement. About 200 young people defined themselves as an anti-fashion urban youth street culture. Vivienne Westwood is often cited as punk’s creator, but the complex genesis of punk is also found in England’s depressed economic and socio-political conditions of the mid-1970s. Punk was as much a youthful reaction against older generations, considered oppressive and outdated, as a product of the newly recognized and influential youth culture. Creative and entrepreneurial people, such as Westwood, often contribute to an aesthetic that brings a sub cultural style to the forefront of fashion. Bataille…. This image of a torture victim from Taiwan fascinated Georges Bataille. He thought that “the expression on the man’s face is the ecstasy of sexual pleasure”. Georges Bataille believed, as Hegel did, that ‘history is dead’ that we need to come up with new and exciting ways to take society forward to a new way of living because as it is now it is boring. He believed that the key to this was through art, shocking people into change.

2008 Abstracts Stage 2

An Investigation of Philosophical Concepts within Fashion Trends in Music

For my project, I decided to investigate the role of fashion trends within music. I wanted to discover how the two are connected, and the influence they have upon each other. I wanted to understand how they both change, and the reasons why they change. I focused upon the Punk movement from the 1970s to the present day, which allowed for an easy transition from my stage one project, and still remains an area of importance within my life. Philosophically, I based my investigation on the works of Guy Debord and the Situationists, Surrealism and the works of Deleuze and Guattari. I also included sociological and psychological theories. I studied the role of the mass‐media in great detail, and found that theories presented by neo‐Marxist thinkers allowed me a greater understanding of my subject. I found that the mass media is responsible for the creation of Marxist “Ideology” and Debord’s “Spectacle”. These two create a false world view which allows people to be manipulated by others. I discovered that the media and business plays an important role within alternative rock music and the trends it creates. The media will offer positive or negative press regardless of stylistic content, and big companies will control what music, and its derivatives, are allowed into the public domain. This of course is a display of Debord’s Spectacle, and how alternative rock music has become its victim.

2006 Abstracts Stage 2

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Changing Views on Animal Rights through Time

Territory. I firstly looked into the fashion industry and how the use of fake fur was apparent within this industry. However, this lead me on to the enquiry of animal rights within today’s society and how this view has progressed or changed throughout time. Therefore my search extended to the implications of animal rights and how these rights are philosophically perceived through time, up until the present day. Aim My aim for this project is to understand how we, through time, have got to the age where real fur is being used within the fashion industry and how this choice has been affected by past philosophical thinkers and their influence on society. I will be looking at the relationship between humans and animals. I aim to introduce ethical thoughts and philosophical ideas and implement these into a comprehensible understanding of the change in attitude towards animal rights. Philosophers and sources. I am going to use Peter Singers All animals are equal, Mills’ Utilitarianism and Animal rights and Human Obligation by Tom Regan and Peter Singer. These will be my main texts. I will also use History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

The Comparison of Individual Fashion Ideals from the Eighteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Fashion has changed dramatically between the Eighteenth and Twentieth centuries, however it is not simply the changes that the inventors of fashion have made to the clothes, but all the social and political aspects that have occurred between these times. The changes have altered how we see ourselves, our self-identity, and how we see others. Modernity “ thinks of society as in a state of constant flux, innovation and development as changes in knowledge and technology alter the identities and experiences of individuals and communities” Lyotard, Kant and Freud are the main philosophers explored, looking closely at the ideas of modernity and postmodernity, with particular interest in the sublime: “With The sublime, the response is more complex. One is simultaneously attracted and repelled by the object, enthralled by it and also horrified.” Sources: Questionnaires, Internet, Book – ‘Jean-Francois Lyotard’ By Simon Malapas