Fashion and Philosophical Deconstruction: A Fashion in-Deconstruction

Flavia Loscialpo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This essay is a development of the paper presented at the 1st Global Conference: Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues, Mansfield College, Oxford (2009). It focuses on the concept of ‘deconstruction’ and its implications in contemporary fashion. The research leading to the final essay consists in a critical evaluation of the uses of the expression ‘deconstruction fashion’ in fashion studies and press, and benefits from informal discussions with Judith Clark (Professor of Museology and Fashion, London College of Fashion) and Barbara Vinken (Professor of French Literature, Ludwig Maximilian University, Muenchen, Germany). Following the reflection inaugurated by Jacques Derrida, the study investigates the implications that ‘deconstruction’ holds in contemporary culture and, in particular, for fashion.

    Thirty years have passed since the first manifestations of a deconstructive practice of fashion appeared on the international scene, inducing critics and journalists to talk of ‘deconstructivist’ fashion. My research demonstrated that ‘deconstruction’, rather than suggesting a look, indicates a way of proceeding: a way of reading and practicing the design. In this sense, the paper is in dialogue with the very few studies that explore deconstruction in fashion (Gill, 1998; and partly Quinn, 2003) and proposes an alternative interpretation of this design philosophy, based on Derrida’s writing. In recent years more studies have appeared on this theme, mainly conference papers and PhD dissertations). The article is acknowledged within these investigations, and has generally contributed to extend the dialogue around the topic. Besides the publication of the article in the e-book Fashion Forward, an initial draft of the paper has appeared on different platforms such as and

    My presentation at the 1st Global Conference: Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues led to a collaboration, as consultant, with the Barbican Art Gallery on the theme of ‘deconstruction’ for the exhibition Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion (2010-2011).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFashion Forward
    EditorsA de Witt-Paul, M Crouch
    PublisherThe Interdisciplinary Press
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84888-001
    ISBN (Print)978-1-84888-001-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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