Fashion? Hackers!

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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The philosophy of hacking has been inspired me ever since I read the autobiographical novel La’mant by Marguerite Duras in my childhood, which may seem to have no connections whatsoever with hacking in a technical sense. However, her way of writing and the story she portraits in her book was unusually beautiful and outrageous. I recognised the story as a hack of love. In this thesis, a comparison of the fashion phenomenon before and after the internet will be discussed for a better understanding of fashion discourse within the information age. On the one hand, fashion itself holds no subversive power, the commodification and incorporation of a subculture usually begin with the fashion style that represented the subculture got adopted by popular culture, subsequently, the whole content of the subculture is isolated from its original meaning. On the other hand, the internet has created a rip in fashion history by breaking the traditional local fashion autonomy and forcing it to adapt to a global platform, where more opportunities are generated, along with risks of losing the original cultural meaning and brand longevity. The practical goal of the thesis is to study the hacker subculture, therefore extract its style, philosophy, and methodology to inspire an innovative way of thinking and doing fashion design. I designed a fashion collection based on the hacker wardrobe items to express my admiration towards the hacker subculture. Code and math have been used on generating the prints, as well as designing the clothing construction. The pattern-making and tailoring process is partially computer-aided, reinforced a streamlined production process. Meanwhile, the spirit of hacking serves as the underlying philosophy of the design and production process. Ideologically, the thesis raised a question mark on the fashion industry which placed in a technological industrialised society context. The question mark may be the answer towards a new way of considering fashion either as a passion or as a career. More broadly, the hacking spirit may inspire a new way of life.
Hirvonen, Pirjo
Thesis advisor
Laitinen, Tuomas
Liimatainen, Matti
hackers, fashion, internet, society, incorporation, commodification, wardrobe, redesign
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