Applying Philosophy of Art in a Global World
Edited By Zoltan Somhegyi and Max Ryynänen
11 From Worth to Algorithms: The Role and Dimensions of Authorship in the Field(s) of Fashion Design (Natalia Särmäkari)
AbstractWhat is a fashion designer’s authorship and what role does it play in a fashion designer’s work? This paper examines the concept of authorship in fashion design from a historical, aesthetic and sociological perspective, reflecting on the central ideas by postmodern philosophers and on Bourdieu’s field theory. The modern notion of authorship and the phenomenon of “artification” are regarded as key elements in the emergence and professionalisation of the field of fashion design, as well as its value structure. As rapid changes are taking place in professional practices due to advancements in technology and design culture, this paper asks and suggests how the nature of a fashion designer’s authorship could be understood in our contemporary postindustrial society.
Keywords: authorship, fashion designer, field theory, author function, artification, deauthorisation, postindustrial technology
In my experience as a qualified fashion designer, there is a contradiction between the education and culture of fashion design and the everyday reality of the work. Originality and individuality are seen as the path to success and designers are trained to be eccentric, self-sufficient individuals who “personify” fashion1 in the commercial fashion system. Yet the creative output of fashion design is highly dependent on a number of factors, such as requirements from the management, input from the production team as a whole,2 the brand, trends, sales, and technological and physical dimensions, ←149 | 150→as well as the experience of and as a human body. During recent decades, digitalisation has...
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