Fashion as Cultural Translation

Fashion as Cultural Translation

Signs, Images, Narratives

Patrizia Calefato


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The book highlights how the signs of fashion showcase stories, hybridations, forms of feeling, from the classics of fashion in cinema, to fashion as cultural tradition in the global world, to digital media. Based on a strong socio-semiotic method (Barthes, The Language of Fashion is the main reference), the book crosses some of the main aspects of the contemporary culture of the clothed body: from time and space, to gender, to fashion as cultural translation, to the narratives included in the media convergence of our age. According to Jurji Lotman, fashion introduces the dynamic principle into seemingly inert spheres of the everyday. Fashion’s unexpected function of overturning received meaning is conveyed through its collocation within the dynamic storehouse of what Lotman calls the “sphere of the unpredictable.” In this horizon, the concept of fashion as a worldly system of sense (Benjamin) generates different “worlds” through its signs. 


Patrizia Calefato:

Patrizia Calefato is Professor at the Università degli studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, Italy, where she teaches sociology of culture and communication.