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Fashion studies at a turning point.

Ruggerone, Lucia


Lucia Ruggerone


Roberto Filippello

Ilya Parkins


The recent literature on fashion studies features frequent attempts by a variety of scholars to extend fashion studies beyond the representational paradigm that has dominated the field for many years. The claim is that seeing garments as mere tools to express real or ideal Egos leaves out the affective aspects of being dressed emerging from the materiality of both our bodies and the clothes we wear. In this chapter I outline one possible approach, which, in my view, constitutes a promising direction to develop an affective politics of dress. More specifically I propose to further develop a dialogue between fashion studies and body studies as a way to uncover the affective aspects of being dressed. This process involves revisiting ocularcentric notions of subjectivity, based on the idea of the self-contained body as the centre of individual identity, to instead emphasise the body's constant affective relations with the surrounding world as the trigger of its potential becoming. Finally, I show how dress and fashion can facilitate this shift, acting as lines of flight out of the Ego-territory towards unpredictable outcomes. This chapter develops ideas and concepts previously discussed in Ruggerone (2017) and Ruggerone and Stauss (2022). Although it aims at extending the arguments previously presented, some materials are drawn from those sources, properly referenced. However, the context in which the materials are used here is novel. I wish to thank my co-author, Renate Stauss, for granting me permission to retrace some of the ideas we developed together when writing the 2022 article.


RUGGERONE, L. 2023. Fashion studies at a turning point. In Filippello, R. and Parkins, I. (eds.) Fashion and feeling: the affective politics of dress. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan [online], chapter 13, pages 229-248. Available from:

Acceptance Date May 17, 2023
Online Publication Date May 17, 2023
Publication Date Dec 31, 2023
Deposit Date May 22, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2025
Publisher Springer
Pages 229-248
Series Title Palgrave studies in fashion and the body
Book Title Fashion and feeling: the affective politics of dress
Chapter Number 13
ISBN 9783031190995
Keywords Fashion studies; Fashion theory; Fashion and self
Public URL


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