Digital Media: Life-Changing Online

Inside the Wardrobe: Fashioning a Fashionable Life

  • Felice McDowell Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
Keywords: Digital fashion media; wardrobe; autobiographical acts; cultural inter ­ mediary; fashion autobiography

Abstract

This article looks to the manifestation of the personal wardrobe in digital fashion media. It focuses upon the example of British Vogue’s YouTube series ‘Inside the Wardrobe’ and episodes that feature, firstly Vogue Fashion Editor Sarah Harris and Vogue Contributing Editor and Freelance Stylist Bay Garnett, and, secondly, acclaimed fashion blogger Susie Lau aka Susie Bubble of StyleBubble.com. In doing so it addresses ways in which fashion is an ‘autobiographical act’ and explores how such acts participate in the production and consumption of life narratives, and in particular the narrative of a ‘fashionable life’. The article argues that fashion, in this sense, is a narrative tool employed in the fashioning of oneself and that this is strategically utilised, both consciously and subconsciously, in the field of fashion. Thus, when employed as strategic narrative tools the autobiographical acts that can fashion a self constitute the particular autobiographical form, or autobiography, that is the ‘fashionable life’. In doing so this article demonstrates the contribution that the study of fashion makes to a wider understanding and knowledge of self­identity, life narrative, autobiographical acts and autobiography in digital mediums and media.

Author Biography

Felice McDowell, Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

Felice McDowell is an Associate Lecturer in Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martins and in Cultural and Historical Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. Her current research interests are in methodologies of fashion history, archival research, critical theory, life writing, and the visual and textual representation of fashion 'work'. She has been published in the journals Fashion Theory, Photography & Culture, Clothing Cultures, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies and About Performance. She is co­editor of Fashioning Professionals: Identity and Representation at Work in the Creative Industries (Bloomsbury, 2018). Email: f.mcdowell@fashion.arts.ac.uk.

Published
2019-05-18
Section
Digital Media: Life-Changing Online