What is Fashion Praxis?

In her book The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt argues that Western philosophy all too often focuses on the contemplative life (vita contemplativa), a life in thought and theory, while neglecting the living aspect of experience that makes up the active life (vita activa) of all humans. Arendt calls “praxis” the highest and most important level of the active life, the socio-political condition dealing with human plurality, and “the founding and preserving of human bodies.”

According to Arendt, our capacity to analyze ideas, wrestle with them, and engage in active praxis is what makes us uniquely human. Praxis, then, is a mode of human togetherness, which implies collaboration and part. Arendt shows how participatory democracy, with its mechanisms of inclusion and engagement, stands in direct contrast to the elitist and bureaucratized forms of politics that have come to define our modern epoch.

We view fashion in parallel to Arendt’s praxis, understanding fashion as a mode of human togetherness. Our aim is to develop a body of tools, narratives and practices, which emphasize our shared participatory realities and, which stand in direct contrast to the elitist forms and exclusive notions of Fashion appropriated by the capitalisms that characterize the current conditions of our society.

We begin our research from lived experience, what we call “living fashion.” We share an interest to re-imagine systems for production, exchange, and education that will help us reconnect to our human potential in establishing a public realm. At its base, we believe this public realm supports values and notions of success based on cooperation, longevity and joy.

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