I dropped by the book launch/clothing swap event yesterday at Rialto Hall in Montreal where Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton talked about their new book “Women in Clothes”. Here are some of the ideas the collaborative team of authors exchanged with the audience, the ideas that I think might be of interest to information specialists:
- Women sending a message with the way they dress;
- Clothes serving as visual language;
- The difficulty people have decoding the intended messages of women in clothes;
- Cultural differences, class, and gender shaping this peculiar system of visual communications;
- The frustrations of women complemented on their clothes instead of on how they look in their clothes (that I understood as taking the medium for the message);
- The parallels between styles of clothes (“dressing like Chelsea”) and diets (“eating like Chelsea”) (that I saw as attempts to match mental patterns or memes to the physical structures of the brain or body).
This “web-thinking” of mine might be a bit too much of an overstretch, but I found it a fun exercise to do… One thing’s for sure, “Women in Clothes” is a fashion book with substance.