ABSTRACT

This book has tried to introduce and explain fashion and clothing as communication. It has taken the relatively uncontroversial notion that the things people wear are significant or meaningful, and it has attempted to explain what sort of meanings fashion and clothing may have, how those meanings are produced or generated, and how fashion and clothing communicate those meanings. It was argued that meanings, like fashions, were not static or fixed. It was argued that even the use of the term ‘fashion’ was not static or fixed, that it was a product of the context in which it appeared and that an item could function as fashion at one moment and as clothing, or anti-fashion, at another. Non-verbal signs such as items of fashion and clothing, like linguistic signs, then, take their meanings from the context, or syntagm, in which they appear. New items of fashion and clothing change the context, the syntagm, in which they appear and thus alter the meanings of all other items in the syntagm, in the same way as the addition of a word to a sentence, for example, alters the meaning of that sentence. These ideas were developed in chapter seven to explain the idea of undecidability.