Bricolage Fashion

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This essay is going to look at the term Bricolage and how it links to postmodernism and the term Retro. ‘Non-moderns use bricolage to fashion new tools from available objects...Consumers fashion new identities from the resources available to them’ (Ratneshwar, 2000:132). Fashion designers find their inspiration from the past and combine styles to create new designs that are seen as different and inventive. However, many people argue that so many designers use materials, looks and styles from the past that they are re using fashion in a continuous cycle and are no longer being original and creative. I will be looking at fashion designer Gareth Pugh to explain more about the term bricolage and the use of the past in contemporary fashion designs. Postmodernism affects fashion, film, pop music and any form of contemporary art. It is a huge topic however I will be looking at its impact on style: ‘Postmodernists suggest that history is going nowhere and thus that we have lost all secure moral and intellectual values. Postmodernism borrows from an eclectic grab-bag of names, traditions and cultural styles in arriving at a version of appropriate contemporary comportment’ (Agger, 1990:166). Postmodernism has a vast impact on style and trends as fashion consumers today buy from the resources available to them, making people dress or style themselves into something seen as contemporary, yet really something that is being reused from history. ‘Retro, like bricolage, employ references to the past; they involve looking to the materials and styles used in the past’ (Barnard, 1996:180). The terms bricolage and retro are linked. Bricolage is purposely using pieces of fashion, art and everyday life mixed together giving something a different meaning, whereas retro is fashion re occurring from the overall past.

Gareth Pugh and Bricolage
Gareth Pugh is a British fashion designer who first established his solo career in 2006 at London fashion week. His creations are...
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