“You have to be there to feel it”

Celina Lee

Date: February 19, 2013

Source: The NY Times


Cathy Horyn, a fashion critic, gives a brief review of what was presented at Proenza Schouler, Ralph Lauren, Reed Krakoff’s, Marchesa and Calvin Klein. As usual, she talks about the mood of the collection, use of fabrics, treatments, silhouettes and styles. But there was one moment in the article where she said, “Today what the visual consumer of fashion loses— and that’s the majority of people, including die-hard fashionistas — is the tactile experience,” which made me pause for a while and think about it in relation to the lecture today.


Anne focused on the relationship between culture and technology, and how its interdisciplinary practices in technological innovation is used as an efficient tool to communicate with the mass; and AIDS memorial quilt was one of the examples. Through digital tablets (“technological innovation”) people were able to experience (“public interactive”) the overwhelming collection of quilts by one touch on the screen (“public inimacy”).  The tablets allowed people around the globe to view the quilts without necessarily visiting the actual site.


However, as much as the quilt is digitaly available to the mass, it loses its authenticity which can only be experienced through physical interaction between the object. As Horyn pointed out, ther is a loss in the “tactile experience.” In other words, we are becoming more reliant on the flat-screen and less attentive on details.  It seems the seperation is unlikely negotiable as we enter deeper into the digital age.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/fashion/ralph-lauren-marchesa-proenza-schouler-calvin-klein-fashion-review.html?ref=style&_r=0

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One Response to “You have to be there to feel it”

  1. Barbara says:

    Celina, the issue of tactility is something we should discuss in recitation. It’s not that tactility is lost–it is altered, changed into another form as we swipe, tilt, tap, and interact with the screen instead of with the materiality of something like fabric and its texture. The issue of authenticity that you raise is also something we should talk about.

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