Aisthema, International Journal – Call for papers 2021 – In search of (lost?) Style: for a Philosophy of Fashion

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Date(s): 04. May – 31. March



Editor: prof. Giovanni Matteucci



Fashion is among the most representative phenomena of civilizations; it involves multiple human activities becoming almost a “second nature” for the community. The history of fashion, and the role of fashion in history, is not limited only to the study of clothes and costumes, but includes several reflections on design and innovation, on taste and on the Zeitgeist. It has both people and objects as subjects of study, and in this way it crosses the interest of different disciplines. A careful reading of style in fashion could help a wider understanding of ourselves and the way we act. Nonetheless, this theme has been almost neglected by philosophers: considered among the most “superficial” human phenomena, fashion has often not been considered as an object worthy of study by such a “profound” discipline as philosophy. But, if philosophy can really contribute to our self-understanding, and if fashion (and the idea of style that it evokes and translates) is truly influential, then it should be seriously considered as an object of philosophical investigation.

We must continue to ask ourselves whether traditional definitions of style are still relevant in the contemporary global context and how style can (and should?) change in the face of social changes. This can push us to redefine the concepts, introducing new interpretations of the style.

Have we actually changed our perception of style and therefore redefined what it represents? Nowadays, what do we mean by the term style? When we discuss the history of style against the backdrop of contemporary issues, a familiar debate with philosophy extends to apparently unfamiliar contexts. In this new and dynamic contrast, significant interactions are outlined to expand the paradigms of the debate around the concept of style.

In this issue of Aisthema, dedicated to the aestheticization of social life, we would like to publish both reinterpretations of the thought of characteristic authors – Simmel, Barthes, Bourdieu (…) – and theoretical reflections, aimed at showing how fashion and style operate as a sort of game, involving all members of modern society and allowing a balance between the opposing forces of individualization and socialization.

Thus we welcome proposals addressing (but not limited to) the following aspects: 

Imagining style in (post-post-) modernity
Phenomenology of fashion and style
What does it mean to have style?
Style, fashion and social distinction
Kitsch and fashion
Style and wealth in post-industrial society
Fashion: style as art?
The social function of style and fashion
Style as an ideal of life
Fashion (and style) as manipulation of the image and identity
Visual styles: for a philosophy of the image of fashion

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