Dearest readers, I’ve not forgotten about you! When my personal schedule becomes chaotic, I don’t have much time to write. Recently, I started teaching 2 new courses: fashion forecasting and textiles. As you can imagine, I’ve been quite busy. But I have written some new material for Worn Through that I’d love to share.
If you’ve visited my blog before, you know how much I love fashion as a language. (New to my site? Please take a moment to see How to Speak Fashion, Part I & How to Speak Fashion, Part II. Part III is in the making!) Before I had considered pursuing fashion, I dreamed of becoming an Italian professor. Aside from the language sounding so beautiful, I was fascinated by learning vocabulary. I was particularly taken with how Italian words and concepts varied so greatly from English. One language may have a precise word for a phrase or group of words that exists in another. (For example, qualunquismo is a word to describe someone who is apathetic about politics.) Semantics, the study of meaning and interpretation of meaning, adds another layer of interest. The meaning of words are solidified in the brain by experiences and memories. This is what can make communication tricky; word meaning can vary slightly from person to person.
Curiously enough, once I started teaching fashion, semantics reappeared. I was introduced to the work of Roland Barthes (1915-1980) during my first year teaching. Barthes was a French philosopher that pioneered the study of semiotics, semantics, and also how these linguistic disciplines are replicated in fashion. The Fashion System is Barthes attempt to “read” clothing and determine its system of meaning.
When I taught in LA, I used semantics to stimulate creativity in my students. Want to know how? Please read my posts over at Worn Through:
I bet you’re dying to know about the dresses above. You’ll find out in my posts.