Fashion and Costume Designers as Cultural Translators: Adap7ng Dress Across the Media

Країна: Ірладнія

Місто: Cork,

Тези до: 10.12.2018

Дати: 18.07.19 — 19.07.19

Е-мейл Оргкомітету:

Організатори: University College Cork,


Adaptations have been defined as ‘acknowledged transpositions of a
recognizable other work’ involving ‘creative and interpretative act(s) of
appropriation/salvaging’. While these considerations originally pertained
mainly the adaptation of literary works into visual and digital media, or in
other words, the passage from telling (words) into showing (images) and
interacting (gaming), recently adaptation has been reconsidered to include a
much wider variety of works and media. Borrowing from the life sciences,
metaphors for adaptation across the media recast it as instances of cultural
units that evolve and mutate, with the prior work enjoying as it were an
afterlife in its new incarnation. Linda Hutcheon has proposed three qualities
as necessary for high survival value in these cultural works, namely longevity,
fecundity and copying fidelity, although copying also means changing with
each repetition since every copy takes place in a new context. On the other
hand, among the many metaphors employed to understand the act of
translating—a form of adaptation in its own right—is that of tailoring:
translating as clothing put on the body of the ‘original’ content, to make the
naked (meaning) presentable to a specific society, dressed in appropriate
garb for a new situation.
Taking our cue from these conceptions of adaptation and translation we call
for papers that consider the custom and fashion designers that have engaged
with literary, visual or digital works for the creation of their outfits as cultural
adaptors/translators, and their work as an act of translation/adaptation.
Costume and fashion designers play a crucial role in the longevity, fecundity
and copying-into-context of the cultural values expressed in the garments
they have brought from novels, poems, songs, paintings or films into their
fashion creations, often across cultures. Equally, they have played a role
dressing the foreign for presentation, sometimes in acts of assimilation
(domestication), others exoticising (foreignisation), but frequently unleashing
creativity into garments that are then available for consumers’ self
construction and expression, taking the ‘after life’ of a work into the realm of
the performative.
From Alexander McQueen’s sustained engagement with films ranging from
‘One Flew Over a Cukoo’s Nest' to ‘The Birds’ Or Givenchy and Jean Paul
Gaultier’s ‘Appearances can be Deceiving: the Frida Kahlo wardrobe’
exhibition, based on their interpretations of the famous painter’s personal
wardrobe with emphasis on the topics of disability, ethnicity and the posthuman,
costume and fashion designers can be understood as translating
from the semiotic codes of the adapted works into the tangible materiality of
textiles, enabling creativity as the languages of culture, art and fashion are

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