My coursework at DIS has been an invitation to consider what is meant by the idea of fashion sending a message and how that relates to what I see all around me in my new city. Copenhagen has been a very interesting place to do this — there is a very distinctive street style that you see reflected in what people wear here. Things like little adornments, accessories, or alterations to the common styles reflect how people want to express themselves. Back in the USA, you’ll see people wearing radically different clothing. Here in Copenhagen, it is the subtle differences that matter most.
The course is structured so that after a solid dose of cultural theory to give us a framework for analyzing fashion, we could go out into the city and think critically about its clothing, design, and culture. Our Field Studies took us out on the street wear we saw everything from punk/goth style stores to luxury department stores carrying Saint-Laurent, Valentino, and other high end brands. The most interesting ones lie somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, where Danish design culture can be seen most clearly. They want things to be clean and high quality, but without sacrificing the humanity found in a colorful pattern or a more comfortable cut. They strike a balance between cozy and elegant, between playful and refined.
Overall, my favorite part of the my class is the people in it. At a size of 10 students and one professor, we’ve quickly become a tight-knit bunch. I consider myself very lucky that even with such a small size, we have a lot of diversity of areas of study represented in the class. We a group artists, designers, engineers, philosophers and others coming together and contributing different things to form a common understanding. Each one of the discussions has given me something to think about as I walk around and experience new things every day.
As I am entering the final week of the course, I am very much looking forward to rounding out my understanding of theory, and applying it to some of the many places I plan on exploring in this lovely city.