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Back to 2014_05_16_ICS_Los que rechazan la moda pretenden ser diferentes, un aspecto que comparten con los adictos a la moda

"Fashion rejecters pretend to be different, an aspect they share with fashion addicts."

Laura Bovone, collaborator of project 'Emotional culture and identity' of ICS, analyzes in her new book the potential of fashion to communicate identity.

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16/05/14 12:50 Carlota Cortés

Laura Bovone, collaborator of the project 'Emotional culture and identity(CEMID) of Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) -sponsored by Zurich Insurance-, has published the book Rappresentarsi nel mondo. Comunicazione, identità, moda. This publication analyzes the communicative potential of fashion and how the way we dress is a "second skin" with which we show ourselves in public. Laura Bovone is Professor of Sociology of Communication at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.

Why are you interested in the conflict between fashion and identity?

I am attracted to the way people communicate their inner self, how this communication is possible in our society and how it in turn reinforces the existence of society. Fashion is an important instrument of identity communication.

Fashion identifies us with a social group . Why do some groups turn it into a lifestyle?

There have always been groups of people who reject the mainstream and present themselves as agents of an anti-fashion trend. This does not mean that they are not interested in fashion and mainly in the way they dress. In the end, what they are aiming for is to be different, an aspect they share with fashion addicts.

In the same year there are several trends. Do these changes affect the identity staff?

I understand fashion production as a big closet where everyone can choose clothes according to their values, emotions, plans, etc. It is clear that fashion is an important instrument to transmit our identity but it is not the only way to express ourselves. There are other ways to do it, for example, smiling while talking or cutting our hair in a certain way.

Can the way people dress be seen as a mask that hides their true identity?

It is very difficult to communicate identity because we feel it inside and we decide whether we want to externalize it or not. We can do it with our exterior: body, voice, gestures, clothes, objects, social practices... On the other hand, we would like to capture the identity of others, but for this we only have their appearance. As Sociology is an empirical discipline , it deals with represented identity.