Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recent publications: Address and The Conversation

I am absolutely thrilled to share the news of some of my recent publications with you. I wrote an essay for the second issue of Address, the delicious independent journal for fashion criticism, all about the embodied relationship we have with the clothing we wear. I take on the old chestnut that we 'express ourselves' through clothing, arguing instead that the conversation that occurs between us and our clothes, between self and fabric is more nuanced, more felt and ultimately, more interesting that the flat reduction that it's an 'expression'. You can find out more about the issue here and order it online if there are no stockists nearby (I don't think we have any stockists in Australia, more's the shame.)

I have also recently joined the intimidatingly clever coterie of columnists (o hai alliteration) at Australian 'news and views' site The Conversation. My column is called 'Material Visions'- it's part of the newly launched Arts & Culture section, and in it I'll be writing about all things fashion-related. My last column was about wedding dresses and bikini bodies, and if there's ever anything you'd like me to explore, I'd love to hear from you! Alternatively, general feedback/ lavish praise are also always welcome. (Seriously, tho.)

Many things are true at the same time.

I love doing this work/ this work is incredibly difficult and I'm weary of it.

I can't wait to see my finished thesis, to hold it in my hands/ I can't imagine it ever being done to my own satisfaction.

There are brilliant moments glinting here and there/ it's not rigorous or poetic enough.

I should put more auto-ethnography in/ there's already too much of me in there.

I think the work is actually kind of okay. I think it's getting there.

It's weird that all of this thinking and writing is condensing down into finite pages. Strange that I am still inspired by this project, even while I feel like the process of doing this degree has cost me a pound of flesh. It's like a secret between me and the thesis, because to others this degree is a drawn-out process that never seems to progress, always with surprise 'are you still doing it? How many years has it been now?'

But, my thesis and I, we know that it's a slow dance, a feast, a labour of discipline and commitment and doubt and elation. It's coming back to it, and back to it, and back to it with patience and interest. The work simultaneously exhausts and energises me. And it casts me back on myself again and again, testing my commitment, my skill and, most of all, my grit. But I'm still here and it's still shaping up under my careful hands and soon to be done.

I've just got to keep writing. I've just got to keep trusting my instincts and keep writing.