Street style, smelling and hanging out: Experimental methods of fashion research

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Feminist research of fashion, which is committed to understanding women’s experience with style in all its multiplicity and richness, is open to a variety of new interdisciplinary perspectives. Mirroring the open-ended nature of the contemporary world and the vivacious and fast-paced quality of the fashion scene, creative, experimental and innovative methods of sociocultural research represent a crucial attempt in capturing the diversity, variety and exceptionality of feminine fashion. This article discusses a methodologically innovative case study conducted for my research. It reflects on the feminist approach used in the creative experimental exploration of women’s experiences with fashion in everyday life, and on the contextual value of combining uncommon methods of inquiry such as street-style photography, hanging out, sketching and the collection of olfactory perceptions. Discussing how this experimental methodology goes beyond both traditional interviews and ethnography, the article draws attention to a series of questions that arise from its development and application: how does the emergence of innovative methods of fashion research respond to contemporary changes in the fashion industry? How are these methods influenced by the current fashion scene? How are they able to account for it? What are the implications of their relationship in terms of feminist research practice?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329 - 346
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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