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Fashion Figures: Reflecting on intertexuality in fashion spreads

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Parsons Paris, The Gallery 45 rue Saint-Roch, 75001 Paris, France

A lecture by Paul Jobling, University of Brighton
as part of the Fashioning Theory Research Seminar series
at The New School Parsons Paris 

Without discourse there is no total Fashion, no essential Fashion (Roland Barthes, The Fashion System)
“This paper reflects on almost twenty years of research and writing about the mediation of fashion and dress in word and image in fashion periodicals and publicity, starting with Fashion Spreads (1999) and culminating with Advertising Menswear (2014). As such, I want to take the opportunity to address the intertextual or rhetorical dialectic between what Roland Barthes terms written clothing and image-clothing and, with regard to key examples drawn from Arena magazine after 1988, how in turn they circumscribe the representation of fashionable bodies and identities through the discursive contexts evinced by Barthes in The Fashion System: the poetics of clothing, the worldly signified and the reason/right of fashion.”
- Paul Jobling  

Respondent: Laurent de Sutter, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


The next talk in the series, La culture vs culture: Reflections on Bourdieu's field theory in Fashion Studies, will be by Agnes Rocamora, London College of Fashion (The University of the Arts London)  on February 7th, 2018, 6.30pm at The Gallery, Parsons Paris. 

About the research seminar series
Fashioning Theory is a research seminar organized by The New School Parsons Paris and it investigates established and innovative theoretical approaches to fashion in order to initiate a discussion about the state of fashion theory, its canon and possible new trajectories. 

The seminar consists of a series of lectures by affirmed international scholars who have played a seminal role in the establishment of the field of fashion studies and who will reflect on the contribution of specific theorists, specific systems of thoughts and approaches to theory in the study of the production, representation and consumption of fashion. The goal is also to reaffirm the role of theory as tool to understand fashion but also to show how the study of fashion has the potential to play, in the future, a key role in the transformation of researching methods among Humanities and Social Sciences. 

This research seminar particularly focuses on issues of ‘translating theory’ as a way to explore practices of theorizing fashion, to map the migration of concepts within – and outside – fashion studies. 

Furthermore, the seminar will also pay large attention to the idea of ‘transatlantic connection’ in order to investigate the interconnection between French theorists and their interpretation in the Anglo-Saxon landscape of fashion studies. Such an attention aims to reinforce and follow the tradition, commitment and identity of The New School and its role in the development of transatlantic academic exchange and research, especially in the light of the establishment of the first Master level degree in Fashion Studies in France.

The seminar is organised by Marco Pecorari, Assistant Professor and Director of the MA in Fashion Studies, The New School Parsons Paris, and Emanuele Coccia, Associate Professor, Center for History and Theory of Arts, EHESS.

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Media and Technology


Parsons School of Design, Parsons Paris




Free and open to all



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