Fashion as Refuge and the Refusal of Fashion

Edward Salazar
Latin American and Latino Studies
UC Santa Cruz

Jeppe Ugelvig
History of Art and Visual Cultures
UC Santa Cruz

The UC Fashion Working Group is organized by graduate students from four UC campuses with a shared interest in Critical Fashion Studies, an interdisciplinary academic field largely absent across UC syllabi. Responding to the UCHRI theme of Refuge and its Refusals, the working group focuses on the politics of fashion with the intention to develop a critical overview of fashion’s numerous and often conflicting political frameworks. The group convenes regularly, taking the form of virtual and in-person discussions responding to relevant literature and creative practices. The goal is to create a “glossary of terms” useful in thinking about fashion politics across practices and disciplines. Beyond a collaborative contribution to Foundry, our output manifests as a custom built, open-access online tool that allows the group to disseminate their own writing as well as commission leaders in the field. This tool, for which we are seeking international partners, is a critical resource for the UC community and beyond, relevant for students, educators, activists, museums, artists, and fashion professionals. Our hope is that the tool will ultimately cement UC as a leader in Critical Fashion Studies and nourishes possibilities for future humanistic creative practices and knowledge production.

Image credit: Ignacio Gatica, Stones Above Diamonds, 2021.