ABSTRACT

Research involving fashion theory, or the consumption and use of fashion products, requires a study into material culture as the communication of symbolic values. Within the study of fashion, material culture is defined as a meaning-making process developed through the exchange of symbolic values embedded within fashion objects (Crane & Bovone, 2006). While the perception of fashion, as a social phenomenon, has been positioned by users and researchers in relation to modernity, its social relevance is beginning to see a shift from an over-emphasis on interactions towards adaptability and longevity within diverse social groups (Buckley & Clark, 2012). This chapter addresses the interdisciplinary roots of fashion studies and introduces a research framework proposing the meaning-making process as a step towards achieving relevance and longevity. Following a sociological approach to fashion research, the role of fashion objects in everyday life is discussed as communicating design intent and extending into the construction of new meanings.