Book-sprinting: fashion labor

The second book sprint by the Fashion Praxis Lab is onto its second day and we are engaging in fashion and labor. These are the six questions we are posing:

1. Who makes fashion? 
2. What labor is involved in attending to or using fashion?
3. What type of labor in fashion interests you? 
4. How is the labor of fashion made visible or invisible?
5. How do you see labor change or move? 
6. How does the labor of fashion feel as it is lived?
Feel free to respond in comments, or if in NYC, come and find us at The New School for a face to face conversation. We are in room B259 of 65 W11th Street until this Friday.

The Fashion Condition – soon in your hands

After a long process of discussions, writings, editings and rewritings on google-doc we finally got something together: The Fashion Condition. Now the final touches are done and it is in the coming days sent off to the printer: our first manifestation as the fashion praxis collective!


Here is a sneak-peek. Stay tuned.

Day 5, or, When “The Book Sprint” became “The Fashion Condition.”

Scan 12Day five was the final day of what felt like a real beginning. The group spent the morning feverishly reading, writing and adding to our shared, constantly evolving “Pirate Pad.” “Pirate Pad” served as the site from which our collective scholarship sprung. Scan 30During the second half of the day, decisions regarding the layout and presentation of our text were made. The group reached consensus on book title, chapter names, and the order in which the books various ingredients would appear. Scan 3We considered academic scholarship, interviews, reflections, illustrated works and negotiated where they would be situated in relation to each other. Finally, members of the Book Sprint reflected on the 5-day workshop: our process, challenges, roadblocks, and solutions for future collective actions.Scan 9 (1)

I believe we left the space feeling challenged, inspired and eagerly anticipating the next step. With Hannah Arendt in our hearts, and minds filled with more questions than when we arrived, each member of the Book Sprint returned to their everyday praxis, continuing to work and reflect on the book that was born at The New School.

Book Sprint: Day 4

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On day four, participants mediated thinking groups based on shared interests. A discussion on “work” explored its meaning and evaluation. The conversation on “Fashion education” challenged the role of the institution in education and in making/praxis. Throughout all five days, there was much talk about thinking versus making, theory versus practice, and how to transform the “versus” of these formulations into a synthesizing force, such as a “while” or an “and.”


“If you want to innovate, you need to create the right setting for it. The only thing that makes innovation is chance, and what creates chance is chaos.”

Book Sprint: Day 3

IMG_8777Day Three consisted of breaking out into pairings and interviewing one another. The “six questions” that evolved from the Book Sprint were formulated not only for the purposes of interviewing persons abroad, but also for better understanding the context, research interests, praxis and methodology of each person in attendance.

Our six questions, evolving out of much debate and consideration, are:

  1. Why is fashion powerful today?
  2. Who makes fashion?
  3. Where does fashion exist?
  4. What makes fashion political?
  5. When did you personally experience the power of fashion?
  6. What can fashion do?

We created ink drawings and collages on this day, illustrating some of the questions, challenges and points of entry that characterized the workshop.

Scan 11Scan 28IMG_8761Scan 15

Book Sprint: Day 2, or, “The Hannah Talks”

hannah arendthannah arendtThe feat of the day was in generating interview questions. The group debated how we might create a series of questions that were specific to the theme of Fashion and Politics, but that also allowed a point of entry for people of all disciplines. We hoped to keep the questions open but specific, accessible and concise. We also wanted to create a space in which interviewees might also share pieces of their own personal narrative(s), without feeling pressured or manipulated by the questions posed.

Transparency and a sincere desire to respect the multiplicity of ideologies and vantage points were at the heart of our aims.  Emerging from day two was a clear desire to create a dialogue that did not shy away from the hard questions, but that propelled our inquiries even further, opening the dialogue up to any persons not in attendance.IMG_8771

Book Sprint: Day 1


Day 1: The Question of Questioning

During day one of the Book Sprint, we attempted to formulate a vocabulary of terms through which to discuss “Fashion and Politics.” We had a free-write session for about 20 minutes, and each wrote down words/phrases on sticky notes that we affixed to the blackboard. From there, we attempted to link different concepts under the categories of either “fashion” or of “politics.” In many cases, the purportedly separate camps bled into one another, and we found ourselves debating which concepts could be considered issues of “fashion” and which were those of “politics.” This only further illustrated the inextricable nature of the two, and the fact that fashion is, inherently, political. The why, who, what, when and how still remained.

But, alas, it was only day one.

The next activity was our take on the “exquisite corpse” exercise, in which we were assigned one of the words from our new ‘vocabulary,’ and produced drawings around them. We then passed each of these drawings around, adding to the content of the last illustrator. The result was quite interesting, and revealed the layered difference of individual methodologies and research interests.




Fashion/Politics BookSprint

A Book Sprint?

A Book Sprint brings together a group of people in order to produce a book in 3-5 days. There may be no pre-production and the group goes from zero to published book throughout the workshop. The book should have high quality content and be made available immediately at the end of the sprint via print-on-demand services and e-book formats (more details about the format at The intense collaborative aspect of the work makes it different from traditional academic writing, as well as the open format for dissemination (often on-line and open access). Continue reading “Fashion/Politics BookSprint”