Fashion, fetishism and health: Arts researchers to perform on global platform

Fashion and arts experts from Nottingham Trent University will explore fashion across the themes of fetishism, history and health at a world-leading conference in Florence, Italy, this week.

Fashion and arts experts from Nottingham Trent University will explore fashion across the themes of fetishism, history and health at a world-leading conference in Florence, Italy, this week.

Academics from the School of Art & Design, and the School of Arts and Humanities, will deliver original performances at the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) annual conference – with one performance taking place at the Basilica of Santa Croce.

The collective of Yvonne Trew, a principal lecturer in Fashion Marketing Management and Communication at the School of Art & Design, Daniel Felstead, a lecturer in Fashion Marketing Management and Communication, and Dr Kevin Hunt, a lecturer in Visual Communications, will be joined by Stuart Allen, programme producer at Nottingham-based dance organisation Dance4, to perform The Difference is Itself an Object.

The performance – which will also include six postgraduate students from Nottingham Trent University's School of Art & Design and six from the Polimoda International Institute of Design and Marketing – will entwine historic fashion editorial and advertising imagery with a dance sequence to explore the opaque and repressed libidinal forces that intensify people's interest in fashion. In doing so the installation asks what role fashion plays in wider contemporary capitalism.

In a separate area of arts research, Alison Oddey, a reader in Arts and Health at the School of Art & Design, will perform A Gift for Eleonora, a costume, creative contemporary text and musical composition to portray the life and times of Eleonora di Toledo, a Spanish noblewoman who was the first Duchess of Florence in Renaissance Italy.

Alison will give four performances in the Cappella dei Pazzi of the Basilica of Santa Croce which will explore Eleonora's world of the 16th-century Medici court and that of the contemporary Florentines, including their notions of fashion, education, health and wellbeing. This performance will then go on a European tour next year.

Meanwhile Gary Needham, a senior lecturer in English, Culture and Media at the School of Arts and Humanities, will deliver a performance lecture based on recently published research in the journal Fashion Theory, The Fetish Moment, to examine the relationship between fashion and sadomasochism, with particular reference to the figure of the gimp.

In collaboration with Yvonne Trew, Gary will explore in a critical and playful way how fashion flirts with fetishism and plays with the edges that separate reality and fantasy.

A video by Ania Sadkowska, a PhD student at the School of Art & Design, which explores how some older men endure physical discomfort in the name of fashion, will be broadcast in the Odeon Cinehall after it won a top prize at the conference.

Marjolijn Brussaard, dean of the School of Art & Design, said: "The IFFTI conference is a major event on the global academic calendar for fashion and it's very exciting that our academics have been invited to perform their research at this prestigious event.

"It's a clear demonstration that the expertise we have at this University is truly world-leading and we're very proud that the knowledge we develop here will be communicated on such a respected platform."

Fashion, fetishism and health: Arts researchers to perform on global platform

Published on 11 May 2015
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Art & Design; School of Arts and Humanities

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418