Critical theory on fashion — Vogue Switzerland


In her diaries, Virginia Woolf wrote that “people have any number of states of consciousness: & I should like to investigate the party consciousness, the frock consciousness, etc.” Fashion month always provides a new opportunity to consider this frock consciousness — those states of being prompted by the clothes we wear, the interaction between our private selves and the public world that clothes mediate, and the interrelation between what we wear and how we feel.

Getting dressed enmeshes us in a complex network of associations and social codes, communicating something about us to the world and influencing the way we interact with it. We asked several of the most thoughtful dressers we know — Rebecca Ariel Porte, core faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research where she teaches the philosophy of fashion (passerbyclub partners receive a 20% discount on BISR classes); Anna Z. Gray, owner of Club Vintage; Monica L. Miller, Barnard Professor and author of Slaves to Fashion; and Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, Editor-in-Chief of Vestoj — about the books they turn to for help in thinking through these questions. Their recommendations range from classics of critical theory to works of “embodied critical theory” on fashion.


Jose Reber

Jose Reber is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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