University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

  • Ben Fletcher (Producer)
  • Ismail ORAKÇıOĞLU
  • Mehlika ORAKÇıOĞLU,
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Original languageSpanish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


This exhibition is about the power of clothing. The clothes people wear obviously affect the impression others have of the wearer. These effects can be very subtle and influence a very wide range of impressions that the observer may be unaware of. Our previous research has shown that minor manipulations of clothing detail influence ratings of intelligence, flexibility, trustworthiness, confidence, success, salary and organizational abilities. What is less well known or understood is the effect of clothes on the wearer – called ‘enclothed cognition’. Design decisions can influence the mind and behavior of the wearer, as our psychological research has shown.
Clothing has always been a signifier of power and we believe that Ottoman Sultans in the past were aware of the hidden power of enclothed cognition. This exhibition reveals how the Sultans of the past knew of – and used – the hidden power of clothing that our contemporary fashion psychology research has examined.
The exhibition shows some of our recent research in which we have reconsidered the design of some very important Ottoman garments made in the 16th Century from the collection of the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. We suggest that our analysis of three important articles of Ottoman court clothing illustrate how hidden psychological factors may be of important cultural relevance in determining explicit and implicit textile designs. The analyses suggests that a psychosocial interpretation may help further our understanding of textile and apparel design more generally, especially within an historical context.

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