Fashion Renegades

Fashion Renegades

The wonderful blog We Make Money Not Art has an interesting interview with Otto von Busch - an artist, activist, fashion theorist, designer, a PhD-candidate in critical fashion design at Göteborg University...

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 27 march 2007

The wonderful blog We Make Money Not Art has an interesting interview with Otto von Busch – an artist, activist, fashion theorist, designer, a PhD-candidate in critical fashion design at Göteborg University. One of his projects called self_passage examines the impact of social and subversive fashion design. Here’s an extract:

How does one become a fashion renegade?

I call the marginal actors in the fashion field “fashion renegades” since they often use unconventional strategies in the subversive or “subconstructive” techniques in relation to fashion. They use techniques similar to hacking from my point of view. Modifying and breaking into systems to alter them, injecting micropolitical will into the channels and flows of the system. But they do not oppose the inherent power or code processing of that system. This is what makes hackers similar to heretics; they oppose the hierarchical role of the interpreter, administrator, or author, but not the power itself – code or faith. The heretic is not an atheist, but someone hacking the institutional and hierarchical interpretation of the faith. Like the hacker, modder, or tinkerer the heretic is keeping the power on, not renouncing or opposing the core or energy of a system. Using faith for liberation and empowerment.

This approach can also be taken in fashion. Not boycotting fashion or scorn it as “the emperors new clothes”, but instead celebrating the magic and desire flowing through that system, reconnecting it to empower instead of regarding it as an enslaving culture. So being a fashion renegade is more about an approach than a specific training or skill.

Interview with Otto von Busch


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