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Whatever: Critical Fashion
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design. Swedish Institute.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

In his book, Whatever, Michel Houellebeque wrote: “I observe right away that people generally go around in bands, or in little groups --- Next I notice that all these people seem satisfied with themselves and the world; it's astonishing, even a little frightening. They quietly saunter around, this one displaying a quizzical smile, that one a moronic look. Some of the youngsters are dressed in leather jackets with slogans borrowed from the more primitive kind of hard rock; you can read phrases on their backs like Kill them all!or Fuck and destroy!; but all commune in the certainty of passing an agreeable afternoon devoted primarily to consumerism, and thus to contributing to the consolidation of their being.”i

The quote illustrates the condition of our current time where culture and meaning has been negated by the process of consumption. From the quote we can clearly see ambivalence towards identity. Houellebecq's book has captured perfectly the pervasive emptiness of human life.

Fashion has always been a mirror of the society, and what does it says about our society today when fashion has turned so banal that it is almost impossible to tell one from another. What does it say about our society when people's identity changes as the season changes with exponential acelleration.

The idea of this project is to create a critical commentary on how the fashion world and the world in general has changed. During the last decades, fashion changes so fast, seasons come and go and the old Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter collections are not enough anymore. Now we have Resort and Pre-Fall as an addition to the original instalment. Customers expect new goods at least every month if not every week. Trends changes so fast to the point if you observed a fashionista she will look schizophrenic because of how often she changes her persona. Fashion has ceased to become creative or critical. The pressure on commercialism has led the industry into a machine with no substance geared to churn up more products with little regards to creativity, sustainability and the environment. The direction this change is going is frankly alarming, yet, with all the rigid system and the pressure on commercialism there is only so much that one can do. Referring to Michel Houellebeqc and his book Whateverii, with this project I'm trying to bring more awareness to the

state of our time.

iMichel Houellebeqc, Paul Hammond (translator), Whatever, Serpent's Tail, London,1998

iiMichel Houellebeqc, Paul Hammond (translator), Whatever, Serpent's Tail, London,1998

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 52 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations
Keyword [en]
Fashion, Critical, Design, Whatever
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45639OAI: diva2:844626
Subject / course
Educational program
Design, Master Programme, 120 credits
2015-06-04, Konsthall, Västra Esplanaden 10, Växjö, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-09-22 Created: 2015-08-07 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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