August 27, 2010

Symposium | The Urban Catwalk: Fashion and Street Culture

Check out this upcoming symposium happening at Yale Universty!:

The Urban Catwalk: Fashion and Street Culture
APRIL 23 2011 | Yale University | New Haven, Connecticut
300 word abstracts and bios due by: October 15th, 2010
Please email all questions and abstracts to Madison Moore,

What is street style, and what is the relationship between style, “the street,” and popular culture? How have the Internet, digital cameras and other technologies impacted how we understand the way we dress? How old is street style, and why do so many people care about the way other people dress? In what ways does street style engage with broader issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality?

The Urban Catwalk: Fashion and Street Culture, a one-day symposium at Yale University, aims to investigate and openly discuss the relationships between street style and identity. We are interested in papers that approach street style from a contemporary lens, but also encourage papers with more of an historical perspective.

Every character in a work of fiction tells a story, and more often than not, the clothes they wear are as crucial to their personalities and interests as to their internal development in the plot. Whether high end or mass market, fashion is a daily performance of identities and subjectivities. Street fashion tells a personal narrative about one’s dreams, fantasies, fears and struggles. From Marie Antoinette to Lady Gaga, and from Napoleon Bonaparte to Prince, fashion is used as an instrument of rebellion and commentary on social norms.

The goal of The Urban Catwalk is to show not only how vital fashion is to our daily lives, but to also demonstrate how it impacts the way we understand the cities and neighborhoods we live in. Skinny jeans and Cuban heels are all the rage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but it’s Khakis and dress shirts on the Upper East Side. In this way, The Urban Catwalk will contextualize and historicize street fashions within the broader realm of popular culture and the urban experience.

Over the course of a single day, The Urban Catwalk will partner 20 minute academic presentations from a range of disciplines. We are committed to a conference that blends the intellectual with an ear to the ground. In this way, we will hold a panel discussion with editors from a number of major fashion publications about how they understand the intellectual work street style does. We close the conference with a special street style fashion show at Artspace Gallery in Downtown New Haven, where real-people models will showcase their street style.

We solicit rigorous, 20-minute presentations treating various aspects of street fashion.

Topics may include:

- Street style and Contemporary art
- Dandies
- The flaneur
- Style blogs and the Internet
- Urban versus suburban style
- Hipsters and neo-bohemia
- Goth, punk, and skate culture
- Street style and hip hop culture
- Fashion magazines and the street
- Male androgyny; men in high heels
- Street style in media
- How to figure out a style persona; rules and boundaries
- Lady Gaga, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Andre J., and other pop icons
- Japanese street fashion
- Street style in literature
- LGBTQ identity and street style
- Models
- Street style in the 19th century
- Fashion designers
- Ready-to-wear
- Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and trend spotters
- Vogueing, ball culture
- Sex and the City and street style

For more information, visit