Acoustic Wardrobe: On the role of sound in fashion presentation (ABSTRACT) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ by Alexandra Burkhanova
This study is intended to expand the reader’s perception of fashion performance beyond the conventional visual level, and re-focus it upon the acoustic experience. Therefore, fashion shows will be approached as a genre of staged narrative performance, which aim to transmit the original conception of the fashion designer to the audience. All components of a show, such as fashion collection garments, podium design, lightening and soundtrack, collaborate in order to create a comprehensive aural environment for the viewers, and hence none of these elements should be underestimated or ignored. While acoustic comprehension employs both instinctive physiological and imagination-led mechanisms of individuals’ perception, fashion show soundtracks will be analysed in two dimensions: (i) according to their musical properties (like cadence or tune) and the mental reactions they cause; and (ii) as poetic signifiers, which are able to allude to both personal memories and global sociocultural constructs. As an example of the felicitous cooperation of these musical and figurative means in a fashion show soundtrack, the reader will be introduced to the heroine of the collection – a certain female personality (the ideal woman type), which was created by the designer and represented within the fashion show. Thus, while the female viewers personify themselves with the catwalk heroine, music provides information on her life style and attitude – the soundtrack gives vitality to lifeless visual shapes on podium, in the same way as the human body brings to life motionless clothes when they are worn.
The results obtained in the course of the following theoretical debate were further applied in a series of acoustic installations, developing the concept of Acoustic Â Wardrobe.