Call for Papers:

ZoneModa Journal 7

Fashion and Celebrity Culture: Body Spectacle and the Enlarged Sphere of Show Business

Guest Editors: Pamela Church Gibson and Sara Pesce

For more than a century, the fashion industry and fashion marketing  have actively participated in the enormous  and  progressive  expansion  of show business’  sphere   of  action,   expression,   behavior, and  texts  ( an  expansion  further  stretched  -  in  the new  millennium   -   by  you  tube,   social  networks, video  games,  and  the  domestication  of entertainment) .    The last two decades have been marked by the dissemination, availability, and spreading of information about fashion products, fashion sites and events, and, most of all, of fashion personalities    (designers, models,    art    directors, publicists).  This availability of fashion imagination and consumption has intermingled with other practices and pleasures of show business, from filmmaking to red carpets. Conflating with movie watching,  awarding,  publicity,  and  gossip,  the viewers’  expanded  attention    to fashion  items  has had  a great  impact  on  the  general  notion  of what public personalities  are and  what  they look like.  It has contributed to inflate the interest in celebrities and to enlarge the number of celebrities. It has exploded the ambition and desire of the hitherto unknown    to increase their own public self- exposure, enlarging     spectators’ experience of leisure and   spectacle and   the   spaces of entertainment.


At the   same   time,   celebrities can   be generated outside the world of the show business and instead turn a crime, a scientific discovery, a political statement   into entertainment and   spectacle.   The artist-as-celebrity,  going back to Oscar Wilde if not earlier,  has  been  joined  by  the  artist  as    fashion celebrity, a phenomenon that arguably started with Andy  Warhol,  while    the  past  twenty  years  have seen the  emergence  of the sporting  ‘fashion celebrity’;  musicians  from  every genre  can  be part of the new fashion spectacle, if they are suitably photogenic. The general attractiveness of a myriad kind of celebrities, hybrid, hardly definable, open to dispute, has inflated and rendered more visible the sphere   of entertainment.   S similarly,   fashion   was born   when   couture   inhabited   restricted,   private, and aristocratic conclaves: now expertise about clothing, style and   image creation has entered the sphere of spectacle and entertainment. Fashion creates images and codes through which celebrities are conceived and   exposed,   reproduced.   Fashion forges the celebrity text.  In  the  new  millennium “Our  lives,  our intellect,  our religion,  our creativity, our sexuality are all the  vocabulary  of fashion  and are  open  for  renegotiation  and  representation.  Yet we view fashion  as suspect,  insubstantial,  the stuff of dreams  not reality” ( Changing Fashion:  A Critical Introduction  to  Trend  Analysis  and  Meaning’ Annette  Lynch,  Mitchell Strauss,  p.  1 ) .  This could also be said of contemporary celebrity, which shares



With fashion an ambivalent status, halfway between materiality   and   insubstantiality,   where   narration plays a pivotal role.


The   general   public’ s   enj oyment,   contempt,   and denigration of celebrities is based on personal narratives:   stories  about  celebrities’  private  lives, about  their  bodies  and  apparatuses:  aesthetic surgery,  clothes,  technologies…  This  j ournal  issue devoted  to  celebrity  and  fashion   investigates  the modes  of  verbal  and   visual  narrations   revolving around  attractive  personalities.  How  does  this narrative  factor,  which  supports  the  celebrity system, operate within and  influence the world of fashion,  and  how  have  the  stories  about  fashion ( films,    biographies,    but    also   publicity,    gossip, events, spaces, architecture)  influenced  the world of show business?


To  tackle  the  intriguing  relationship  between fashion  and  celebrity culture,  we  suggest  the following topics:


Influence, masses, populism: democratization of fashion, democratization of celebrity: Conflicts and ambivalences between notions of ordinariness vs. exceptionality.  Discourse about audiences as agents in the making of meanings concerning celebrities. Fashion seen as a vehicle of the mass appropriation of the   means   of construction   of  the   celebrity’s image.


S uccess,  achievement,  publicity:  Fashion  publicity, fashion  branding   and  the  culture  of  the  branded self. Public versus private life, aristocratic exclusiveness versus egalitarism.


sponsorship  and  Internet  celebrities:  Wide  access to  celebrity information through  the  social media: how  does  this  generate  new  kinds  of sponsorship on part of fashion brands? How do Internet personalities negotiate between their performance of authenticity and their fashion endorsement?


Historical  roots  and  new  celebrities:  How  is  2 0th century  prototypes,  i.e.  The rock-star or the classical Hollywood star, influencing the culture of celebrity? Do  new  forms   of  celebrity  ( micro-celebrity,   anti- celebrity, subcultural-celebrity…) correspond to new styles  and  new  circulation  of  fashion  trends?  Old and   new   atypical   star   bodies:   their   impact   on fashion bodily stylizations. Fashion professionals turning into celebrities.


Character versus Film Persona. Film and television characters’ fashion styles interact with actors/actresses’ public personas. Are there celebrity icons who have become style icons due to their fictional characterizations   more than   their public?




Taste, disgust, anti-celebrity:  Celebrities as models of good or bad taste. Bad taste condemnation influencing the aesthetic canon. Anti-canon and celebrities’ social connotation (celebrity chav, rich kids…).    Anti-celebrity   as a result of anti-fashion styles.   How does a celebrity’s repudiation   of a luxury style affect critical consumption?   S tile icons turning into celebrities: how does taste capital” is transformed into “celebrity capital”?


Cumbersome  celebrities  and  fashion  fails: Celebrities might become detrimental  to fashion brands:   scandals   can   induce   both   rej ection  and employment    of  a   testimonial.   How   do   fashion brands   react   to   celebrities’  lapses  of  style  and fashion  fails? Do these fall downs  contribute  to the construction of a celebrity?




Abstracts of no more than 1 000 words + 5 bibliographical references (word-, doc format) , written either in Italian or English, are be sent to: zonemodaj ournal@unibo. it

Abstract acceptance does not guarantee publication of the article, which will be submitted to a double-blind peer-review process. The length of the article should be comprised between 6000 / 7000 words.


Important Dates:

- abstract submission deadline: 15th June  201 7

- notification of acceptance/rej ection: 30th June 201 7 (notice of acceptance might include comments and requests of explanations)

- full-length paper submission deadline: 20th September 201 7

- comments of the reviewers will be conveyed together with the reviewers’ decision (approval with no changes, approval with major/minor changes, rej ection) by 16th October 201 7

- authors shall send the improved article to the editorial staff  by 6th November 201 7.


ZMJ7 is scheduled to be published at the end of 201 7.


CFP – ZoneModa Journal 7 – Fashion and Celebrity Culture – Guest Editors Pamela Church Gibson and Sara Pesce

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