BIAS, the Journal of Fashion Studies is a student-run publication originating from Parsons School of Design, The New School. BIAS uniquely fills a void in fashion studies scholarship and practice by supporting and showcasing the work of rising fashion scholars, artists, and designers. It is a platform for everyone to engage in fashion practice and theory.
Fashion is often synonymous with the beginning of something; new trends are integral to the production and dissemination of fashion, but to propel the new forward, does the old have to die? When we chose the topic of Fashion and Death for the seventh issue of BIAS, we had no indication of where we would be in the first few months of 2020. At the time of writing, the BIAS team is working remotely while universities move to digital classrooms, social events embedded in the everyday experience are indefinitely postponed and countless industries attempt to prepare for the unknown effects of a global pandemic. We are left to ask; how will this change the fashion industry? Will the established, outdated fashion calendar finally buckle under decreased fabric supply and limited production capacity? Will independent and small-scale designers lead us through uncertain times to more sustainable outcomes? Or will isolation measures further sediment the dominance of multi-national conglomerates?
Death is inherent to fashion; a consistent re-fashioning of the self leaves behind outdated identities while an everpresent obsession with youthfulness neglects the aged while privileging the new. In this issue our contributors examine the physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual implications of death, the inevitable rebirth and its multiple manifestations. Fashion Studies is by nature an interdisciplinary field, it exists at the intersections and margins, it encompasses academia and theory, fashion practioners, designers, artists, creative writers and consumers. In this time of imminent change, we aim to provide a brief moment of interchange and collaboration when community seems to be the only constant.