Sunday, October 07, 2007

A cloth-covered button

A cloth-covered button is a new publication of which I approve heartily. Founded by Jessica Friedmann and Gillian Terzis, both of whom are from student media backgrounds, it welcomes analytical and curious writing on fashion, eschews modelled photo spreads, and rejects the advertising- and advertorial-driven approach of most fashion publications.

I have an article in the launch issue that is an expanded version of this post. I would have liked to contribute something completely new, but lately I've found my work commitments have impeded the amount of time I have free to think about things with the clarity that I'd like to apply to this blog. But I wanted to contribute to a cloth-covered button because, as I outline in that post, I believe strongly in the importance of intelligent and considered writing on dress. I don't agree with all the arguments mounted in the various stories, either - and I believe that's a good thing, because I welcome the proliferation of opinion, and of debate where opinions differ (as opposed, I stress, to ad hominem attacks like: "you have no taste...").

Another thing that pleases me about a cloth-covered button is that it features writing by both men and women. In the past, it's made me uncomfortable to realise how female-dominated the world of academic "fashion studies" can be, which in turn makes me worry about ghettoisation (people confirming each other's arguments rather than challenging or reinterpreting them), and the marginalisation of dress as a "soft" intellectual topic in an academy that tends to valorise abstract theory.

Anyway, I feel it's important for anyone who's interested in seeing the proliferation of intelligent writing about clothes and fashion to put their money where their mouths are by purchasing a cloth-covered button. It is a beautiful object as well as being smart, and would make a good gift. It's currently available at Mag Nation in Melbourne, or directly from the editors.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Mel! It's lovely to see a burst of activity on this smart and very entertaining blog; doubly lovely that some of that activity is directed towards praising our humble selves. I'm blushing!

I'm glad to hear that you disagreed with some of the articles - the last thing we wanted was for our contributors to actually agree with each other. Our house style is 'combative'. Also, 'intensely silly and rather gin-drenched'.

Everyone else: you heard the smart lady. Go buy our magazine! Mel's piece is significantly expanded and it is very, very good - you won't regret it.