As the fashion scene becomes progressively digitalised, new dynamics emerge between consumers, content, and fashion professionals. Reflecting on forms of online interaction, this article explores contemporary audience engagement in the context of mainstream androgynous fashion. First, I consider the effects of the digitalisation of fashion communication in terms of the particular role played by sentiments and emotions. Due to the brevity, immediacy and informality of online communication, I argue, affect emerges as an increasingly crucial component of the fashion discourse. I then turn to an assessment of both the dangerous implications and the positive potential of such phenomenon. On the one hand, I explore cases where members of the public interact directly with fashion intermediaries on social media and highlight how direct engagement leads audiences to internalise the scrutiny of professionals and make emotional investments in their implicit promises. On the other, I examine Tumblr blogs as an example of forms of indirect audience engagement with fashion. In this context, acquiring a distance from fashion mediation, consumers are able to engage in practices of creativity and semantic alterations of the dominant aesthetics.
|Journal||Australian Feminist Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|