Fashion-making and co-creation in the transglobal landscape: Sino-Italian fashion as method

Ling, Wessie and Segre Reinach, Simona (2019) Fashion-making and co-creation in the transglobal landscape: Sino-Italian fashion as method. Modern Italy, 24 (4). pp. 401-415. ISSN 1353-2944


The ‘making’ of fashion cannot merely refer to garment production and manufacturing. It is the prerequisite for a nation to actively participate in the global stage. To establish a ‘recognisable’ fashion image, a country must go far beyond the competition of a specialised garment and textile industry. Being recognised as the ‘author countries’ for fashion creation is part of a process in which the (re)negotiation of national hierarchies and roles are constantly at play. For a country or a city, expressing an instantly recognisable aesthetic has become an important corollary to communicate political and economic strength. More than in the past centuries, fashion has been tasked with not only reflecting and representing social or individual needs, but also constructing ex novo territories in which old stereotypes and imaginer are creatively set free. This is because, unlike most production and commercial activities, fashion expresses an elaborate culture whose composition of symbols, ideologies and lifestyles (Crane 2004) can be drawn on. On the other hand, the accelerated production relocation in past decades has irrevocably changed the geography of fashion, as well as the rhetoric of the origin of national creativity. In particular, it leads one to wonder what happens when two or more players are engaged in the making of fashion. Specifically, what happens when Italy and China collaborate in transglobal fashion-making? How does one account for the national creativity that has sprung from the Sino-Italian co-creation? Drawing on the accounts of Italian fashion and Chinese fashion, this article discusses the intricacy of Sino-Italian collaboration and the entails of such a fashion co-creation, through which, a reflection on transglobal fashion-making is made with the proposition of a framework for its examination.

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