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  • 1.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    David Bowie Is2014In: Journal of Curatorial Studies, ISSN 2045-5836, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 139-143Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Exhibition Review: Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, The Museum of the City of New York, March 22‒July 28, 20132016In: Fashion Practice: the journal of design, creative process & the fashion industry, ISSN 1756-9370, E-ISSN 1756-9389, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 335-338Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Faking It: Originals, Copies and Counterfeits, The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology New York, December 2, 2014 ‒ April 25, 20152016In: Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, ISSN 1362-704X, E-ISSN 1751-7419, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 369-375Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Fashion or dress? Pedagogical issues in fashion theory2014In: Cuadernos del Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Comunicación, ISSN 1668-0227, Vol. 14, no 48, p. 113-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I plan to reflect on the pedagogical challenges I’ve faced in my first semester of teaching fashion studies material at Parsons, speaking specifically to the challenges I’ve overcome in leading my junior seminar, Supermodel: Beauty, Fashion, and Performance, and in devising a new undergraduate fashion theory elective. In doing so, I will provide an overview of Fashion Studies as a newly-emerging academic field and outline the reflections that other scholars have published thus far.

    While the aforementioned will serve as a broad foundation for my paper, my primary focus will be on my own experience. In contributing my perspective as a teacher of undergraduate MFA students at Parsons to this conversation, I will pose the following questions: What challenges do my students face in working within a discipline and in a manner that is so different from their own practice? What is the most effective way to introduce students to fashion theory and criticism? What issues are students most drawn to? And finally, how might classes such as mine influence students in reflecting on their own practice as designers? The purpose of this article will thusly be to foster a dialogue between Fashion Studies scholars as well as with other academics who work and research in interdisciplinary fields.

  • 5.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Fashion Plus: Pose and the Plus-Size Body in Vogue, 1986-19882017In: Fashion theory, ISSN 1362-704X, E-ISSN 1751-7419, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 175-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Between 1986 and 1988, American Vogue ran a series of advertorials entitled Fashion Plus. Documenting the mid-1980s explosion of designer-led plus-size fashion, the series offers a rare glimpse into an overlooked moment in the history of large-size dress; however, it also stands as a singular foray into plus-size fashion for Vogue-a periodical that marginalizes representations of non-normative bodies. While its mere inclusion within the pages of Vogue is historically significant, this article will shift its focus by examining the crucial role pose played in the advertorial's postmodern refashioning of the fat female body. While interrogating the concept of fashioning as a process that occurs at the intersection of text, image, body and garment, this article also considers how an embodied vernacular of fashion posing transformed the fat female body, making it fit for the pages of Vogue. Indeed, by striking identifiably modelesque poses, the models of Fashion Plus upset deeply entrenched norms of imaging the fat female body, while widening Vogue's notoriously narrow definition of beauty. Framing the plus-size body as a product of postmodern notions of identity construction, this article also reflects upon the relationship between dress, discourse and the fleshy body in the construction of identity.

  • 6.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Performing Vintage: The Cultivation and Dissemination of Vintage Sensibilities at the Brooklyn Flea2014In: Canadian Review of American Studies, ISSN 0007-7720, E-ISSN 1710-114X, Vol. 44, no 2, p. 214-239Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vintageas a fashion term is difficult to pin down. While some scholars argue that vintage only applies to fashion items that are at least twenty years old, others argue that it is also an easily manufactured and commodifiable sensibility. This article offers a revised definition of vintage as performance and bridges the fields of fashion studies, cultural studies, and ethnography. Using the Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn, New York, as my primary research site, I use interviews and in-depth ethnographic observation to provide a new framework through which we can come to understand the Brooklyn vintage phenomenon and observe an example of aesthetic renewal in a vibrant consumption landscape. I suggest that, through this case study and through the lens of performance, we can come to understand vintage as produced in interactions between cultural actors (principally the consumers and purveyors of vintage objects) and disseminated by street-style photographers, who spread images of the flea online to the virtual viewing public.

  • 7.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
    Stoutwear and the Discourses of Disorder: Constructing the Fat, Female Body in American Fashion in the Age of Standardization, 1915-19302018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation examines how fashion media discourses created the conditions through which the fat, female body was both known and constructed within the context of the early large-size garment industry in the United States, or what between the years 1915 and 1930 was known as “stoutwear.” 

    Drawing on a wide array of media sources, including women’s and fashion magazines, trade journals, catalogs and style guides, and employing Michel Foucault’s archaeological method, the dissertation examines the productive nature of fashion discourse in the construction and constitution of the fleshy body, or how the discourses of stoutwear brought order to the disorderly, fat, female body. While previous studies of the relationship between dress and the body have theorized how the body is fashioned, this dissertation builds upon these works through its focus on how discourse manifests fashion practices and thereby gives shape to the cultural body. 

    The first chapter provides an overview of this premise, reviews the small body of extant literature on plus-size fashion and defines key terms used in the dissertation. As an extension of the introduction, the second chapter outlines key methodological and theoretical concerns, including the practice of studying a history of fashion “without fashion,” discourse analysis, visual analysis, technologies of the body, fashion media discourse and dress as a situated bodily practice. The ensuing analytical chapters are organized so that they proceed from “macro” practices (i.e. the construction and constitution of the industry, stoutwear design and advertising strategies) to the “micro” (i.e. embodied dress practices) so as to evidence how the discourses of stoutwear touched every level of fashion practice. Chapter three provides a broad historical foundation for the study by examining the origins of the stoutwear industry and identifying the key actors and firms who were instrumental in consecrating the idea of a stoutwear industry separate from, but adjacent to, the burgeoning ready-to-wear industry. Thereafter, chapter four explores the design discourses of stoutwear and how these intersected with the aesthetics of modernism and the nascent technology of standardized sizing. Chapter five examines the practice of selling stoutwear, and specifically how stoutwear was advertised within the women’s and fashion press and how it was sold within department stores. Key issues in this chapter include the representational conventions of depicting fat women in the fashion media and the segregation of stoutwear into separate departments. Chapter six considers what it meant to look stout and how the stigma of stoutness was constructed within mainstream fashion media and ancillary to the slender ideal. Finally, chapter seven looks closely at style guides as a site of self-fashioning discourses. 

    The dissertation concludes that stoutwear discourses were underpinned by a “slenderness imperative,” or a disciplinary regime that manifested a “stout ideal,” or a stout body that visibly aspired toward slenderness. In its entirety, this interdisciplinary dissertation illuminates a history that has been almost entirely neglected within conventional histories of fashion at large, and within American fashion specifically, while also contributing to the theoretical literature on the relationship between fashion, dress and the body.

  • 8.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Utopia: Revisited: "Utopian bodies - fashion looks to the future" (Utopian Bodies - Fashion Looks Forward). Exhibition Center Liljevalchs, Stockholm, Sweden. September 25, 2015 - February 7, 20162016In: Fashion Theory: Dress, Body And Culture, Vol. 40, no 1Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    You Are What You Wear: How Plus-Size Fashion Figures in Fat Identity Formation2014In: Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, ISSN 1362-704X, E-ISSN 1751-7419, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 45-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the overlooked market of plus-size fashion and explores the ways in which the fashion industry neglects and marginalizes fat consumers. Faced with limited options in garments colloquially known as “plus-size” or “outsize” that are typically relegated to dark corners of clothing stores and are excluded from the pages of high fashion periodicals, the plus-size consumer lacks options in fashioning her self-identity. Under these circumstances, the role the fashion industry has played in further entrenching fat stigma in the collective consciousness and in abetting the processes of fat identity formation amongst plus-size consumers merits closer examination. Drawing upon the collected sartorial biographies of three self-identifying plus-size women, this article considers the ways in which fat identities are formed through the intimate practices of self-fashioning and via social channels such as shopping and fashion blogging, thereby bridging the fields of fat studies and fashion studies. It also takes into account issues of performativity and dress as a situated bodily practice. Through these case studies, the role the fashion industry plays in the processes of fat identity formation is brought to the fore, as are the complicated, creative, and sometimes subversive means through which fat women engage with plus-size fashion.

  • 10.
    Peters, Lauren Downing
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Fashion Studies.
    Kurennaya, Anya
    Effortless consumption: The 'Anthropologie' of a brand-focused online shopping community2014In: Global Fashion Brands: Style, Luxury and History / [ed] Joseph H. Hancock, Gjoko Muratovski, Veronica Manlow, Anne Pierson-Smith, Intellect Ltd., 2014, p. 135-152Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the dynamics of the brand-focused online community blog Effortless Anthropologie, devoted to the popular retailer Anthropologie, with particular emphasis on how brand values are created, espoused and disputed by its members in a dynamic and interactive online forum. Using relevant literature on the concept of brand community, the net is expanded to capture the activities of a community that exists primarily online. We use examples of posts and commenting activity to demonstrate that it is the existence of the blog that facilitates and maintains such a strong sense of community. This, along with the fact that the blog exists independently from the retailer that it values – that is, it is not a company blog – forces us to reconsider our concept of how brand communities are formed and maintained in the virtual realm. From this analysis, we can learn how brand communities are facilitated by blogs and how they take on a unique dimension online. Consumers use blogs like Effortless Anthropologie to find a community of like-minded users and be a part of a community existing outside of the retail sphere. Retailers and marketers might engage with or be aware of the sense of trust, bonding and loyalty that such an online community engenders.

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