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Photo Project: Virtually Sane by Manab Das

In the context of contemporary fashion, which has seen various hybridizations between art and fashion, style and design, mainstream and avant-garde, fast-fashion and slow-fashion, where’s the borderline between ‘official’ fashion and its opposite? Can we still trace a clear distinction between what’s ‘Anti-Fashion’, and what’s just plain ‘fashion’?

As we deal with an ambiguous, tricky concept, it is important to underline from the beginning what I mean by Anti-Fashion. In fashion theory, the concept of Anti-Fashion is usually linked to the avant-garde, especially that of the 1990s (an era that is widely believed to have given birth to Anti-Fashion). Fashion theorists debate it in various ways – from Simmel’s ‘differentiation vs. conformism’ to Elizabeth Wilson’s ‘oppositional dress’ or Claire Wilcox’s ‘radical fashion’. Actually, Anti-Fashion is a general term which attempts to cover particular phenomena in the field of fashion, namely uses of fashion that are previously unheard of, or which do not easily fit into an established category or mode of fashion

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