What is it about?

This article explores how fashion researchers can work with what fashion 'does'; how it influences our bodies and consequently our feelings and emotions. We explain in short the concept of affect and describe how using both the theory of affect and affective method can enrich fashion research.

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Why is it important?

In fashion research, the focus has mostly been on what fashion is and what it means. Affective research looks at what fashion does, to our bodies, our feelings and emotions. Affective research works directly with the matter of fashion. This approach fits into a relational, (new) materialist view on fashion and fashion research.


Writing this article was a challenge; the theory on affect is often dense and complex. The object was to clarify the concept of affect, and to show what can be done with it in practical fashion research. As this was uncharted territory the cooperation with my cowriter Anneke Smelik was essential. I am of the opinion that we managed to produce an article that balances theory with practice in a convincing way, hopefully inspiring other fashion researchers to work with affect.

Maaike Andrea Van Tienhoven
Radboud University Nijmegen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The affect of fashion: An exploration of affective method, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, December 2021, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/csfb_00026_1.
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