Updated: Mar 3, 2020
An excerpt from my MA thesis is now a book chapter in "Fashion Tyranny and Revelation" (2016 by Inter-Disciplinary Press). The chapter is "Wearing Your Map On Your Sleeves: Practices of Identification in the Creation and Consumption of Philippine Map T-Shirts" is based on a presentation of my research findings on fashion, nationality and identification at a fashion conference in Oxford University. This is dedicated to everyone who has ever worn a Philippine Map polo shirt.
Image 1. Book cover.
Because fashion is mostly associated with the stereotypes of women as frivolous and fickle, the male-dominated world of the academe unfortunately does not view fashion as an area worthy of serious inquiry - anthropology is one of the few disciplines that recognise the importance of the materiality of fashion in shaping sociality. Fashion -with a small 'f'- is interesting precisely because it is taken for granted as a mundane part of life; t-shirts and other types of clothing have the quiet power to shape our interrelationships in ways that are sometimes beyond the capability of humans. The range of chapters in the book show that fashion is as much about aesthetics as it is about gender, kinship, state politics, and the law, among other things.
Image 2. Table of contents.
Ever since I focused my research and disaster and design, I would think about fashion as the field that led me to design research in the first place My application of design to disaster happened swiftly with the invitation of WeDpro, a women's rights NGO, to participate in humanitarian shelter assistance in communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda. I'm quite pleased and relieved that something tangible has come out of my postgraduate work in fashion - finally it doesn't feel like I've left this thread hanging. Incidentally, I could still squeeze out a few more chapters from the thesis. Someday!