I talk about “Mode oder Müll. Memeficationen über Balenciaga in sozialen Netzwerken” at the DGEKW Conference on October 4.
Many memes caricature Balenciaga’s “ugly chic” as trash. They show circulations of fashions and the “everydayization” of the label’s aesthetics as popular culture.
In POP Culture & Criticism (issue 12, 1/2023), I write not only about fashionable earplugs and headphones, but also about how “Get Ready with Me” #grwm videos spread songs and styles as trends from one day to the next in social networks. Spotify seems to want to take back control of the music market in social media and tried to play a central role in this spectacle, releasing the “Get Ready with Music” feature in September 2022, “that creates an entire, personalized playlist based on your outfit.” I have analyzed the algorithmic logics and programmed-in assumptions of this feature and show why it has flopped in the market so far. Spotify’s AI still needs to go back to the “School of Rock” when it comes to connecting styles and sounds.
On March 17, I gave a lecture at the International Fashion Conference “Earth, Water, Air, and Fire: the four Elements of Fashion” organized by the Università Iuav di Venezia. In the talk, I gave some insights into my current research project. My presentation focused primarily on some of Balenciaga’s fashion shows, in which the staging of natural phenomena played a central role. My research is based on a qualitative empirical approach of analyzing media-mediated, networked fashion based on a textual and visual examination of articles, photographs, commentaries, and memes.
The essay, published in French in the magazine Corps, focuses on the modern and transnational lifestyle as well as the work of female writers and photographers of the Weimar Republic such as Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Ruth Landshoff-Yorck, Erika Mann, Marianne Breslauer, and Ré Soupault. These women appeared in both Berlin and Paris bohemian circles during the interwar period and were internationally connected. At the same time, they worked for German lifestyle magazines and, with their short hairstyles, men’s shirts, and suits, embodied a tomboy look that they also documented in their texts and pictures. It was not only in the context of their regular travels that they led a border-crossing lifestyle. As drivers, these women also crossed supposed barriers between masculinity and femininity, man and technology, and not least between art and life. For in many cases they wove autobiographical experiences into their works. The aim of this article is to illustrate how these female artists designed the type of tomboy as a threshold figure that was associated with freedom and dynamism on the one hand, but also with threat on the other.
This article is focuses on the styles of the Alt-Right movement, in particular the Proud Boys, an organization founded in 2016 with chapters in America and Europe that, among other fascist groups, has been proved to be involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. It is shown how the group’s style is disseminated as Nazi pop with guerrilla-like strategies combined with the concept of the hipster. In doing so, it becomes clear that the affective mediation of a supposedly subversive hipness proves to be one of many reasons why these men managed to become a relevant group in the American political landscape within a few years. Contrary to the assumption that the Alt-Right just “appropriates” various fashions, the thesis is put forward that the Proud Boys only appropriate what, from their point of view, does not appear to be fashion, but rather is connectable to right-wing populist ideologies as anti-fashion.
TU-Dortmund (Master Cultural Analysis and Cultural Mediation Project Seminar): Production of digital video clips with students for science-communication in social networks and in museums in cooperation with the LWL-Industriemuseum TextilWerk Bocholt.
As a small team, we developed concepts for video shows in which we presented current research of the cultural anthropology of textiles and fashion studies to a broader audience. Excerpts from my work can be found, for example, in this video: Fashion and Death
or here: Hipsters.
Our self-produced clips were released in spring/summer 2022, some were also shown in presentations and exhibitions. All videos and more information about the project can be found on our website: www.modeblicke.de
On 2.6.22, I’m giving a lecture on tomboys and pop girls of the early 20th century, at “Mädchen*Fantasien”-conference, University of Zürich.
In the radio show “ÜberPop” I talk with Birgit Reuther about gender, material culture, fashion and bodies in pop culture. The basis is my essay “Klangkörper Frau. Sound das unbekannte Wesen.”
We discuss the historical and contemporary significance of playing an instrument, creating sound and occupying space. The show is available as a podcast here.