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MINDLINES® Ontological Fashioning


The mindful effects on the self mediated through fashion illustration is what I argue to define in theory as ontological fashioning. Within this term, the activity of drawing the croquis is a reflection and refraction of the self which inevitably acts within the social construct of identity forming practices adjacent to self fashioning. To appear is to exist, to appear in fashion is to exist fashionably, to see appearances informs how we appear ourselves. The croquis (French for ‘quick sketch’) is the catalyst for all fashion designers; it is the rudimentary sketch. The croquis is a fusion between the mannequin and the human emphasizing attitude and narrative silhouette.

The fundamentals of fashion design education begin with instruction on how to draw the croquis. Despite attention in the media from models, designers and the public's scrutiny against one figure size within fashion advertisements and campaigns, the industry's lack of inclusivity stretches as far as educational tools as well. While a traditional croquis in fine arts is 8-heads in height measuring the proportion of the figure vertically, the fashion croquis is 9-heads to appear exaggerated representing a tall slender model. The body in fashion education pertains to only one standardized physique; tall in height and outlandishly slender in form. The market for manuals and tools to instruct how to draw the body is limited in inclusionary narratives. Shockingly, the literature surrounding the croquis in Fashion Studies is underexplored. As a practicing fashion illustrator and educator this finding stem’s from a personal observation over years of instructing the ‘traditional’ fashion figure. I find that every individual who picks up a pencil to draw the human figure tends to mirror themselves. Contrary to the fashion illustration template instructed, the figure drawn appears to resemble a direct reflection of the individual's physique. My aim is to address how fashion illustration is a representational medium of the self and how the educational industry fails to portray diversity in fashion illustration. Seeking to critically engage, my research takes a sociological perspective behind the phenomenology of drawing as an embodied action within fashion illustration, interconnected to mindfulness practice.

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MINDLINES® Ontological Fashioning Thesis  & Sociological Case Study 

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