The analysis of the relationship between fashion and institutions could represent a new approach in the theoretical analysis of fashion. This article is an attempt to show how, from an analysis of Simmel, Lotman, Volli and Legendre and a semiotic-juridical perspective, the topic of fashion can be linked to an anthropological-juridical perspective and a juridical conception of fashion as a normative institution. Juridical knowledge appears to be essential for the anthropological understanding of the phenomenon of fashion and too many studies have forgotten the contribution of the juridical sciences to the theoretical configuration of the question. From a complex historical-juridical analysis of the notion of Corpus Iuris (Kantorowicz) emerges the value of the medieval notion of corpus mysticum as a fictional body, referring to a political context that is both liturgical and ritual. The reference to this idea thus passes from the Corpus Iuris Civilis of medieval canonical law to the modern aesthetic signification (fictional and iconic) of the notion of the political body, referring to the modern state, which is still to be found on the well-known frontispiece of Hobbes’ book the Leviathan and then to the fictional and stylised bodies of the models in a fashion show. Following the theories of Legendre, the conclusion of this article suggests to reintroduce the secularised juridical and theological lexis for the aesthetic relationship between the natural body and the fictitious body, seen as a mystical and political body, considered present in the practices of dressing and twentieth-century fashion. Fashion is one of the forms through which, in mobilising desire, the human being constructs that “second body”, fictitious, represented, parallel to the real body, which is constitutive of the subjective and collective identity of a society. This body is fashioned under the ritualised and institutionalised form of the garment that hides the body, concealing its animality, which gives access to a collective fictitious reality, of which, we could add, all the products of the semiosphere, including the juridical institutions, are formed.

Fashion as an Institutional system

Paolo Heritier
2016

Abstract

The analysis of the relationship between fashion and institutions could represent a new approach in the theoretical analysis of fashion. This article is an attempt to show how, from an analysis of Simmel, Lotman, Volli and Legendre and a semiotic-juridical perspective, the topic of fashion can be linked to an anthropological-juridical perspective and a juridical conception of fashion as a normative institution. Juridical knowledge appears to be essential for the anthropological understanding of the phenomenon of fashion and too many studies have forgotten the contribution of the juridical sciences to the theoretical configuration of the question. From a complex historical-juridical analysis of the notion of Corpus Iuris (Kantorowicz) emerges the value of the medieval notion of corpus mysticum as a fictional body, referring to a political context that is both liturgical and ritual. The reference to this idea thus passes from the Corpus Iuris Civilis of medieval canonical law to the modern aesthetic signification (fictional and iconic) of the notion of the political body, referring to the modern state, which is still to be found on the well-known frontispiece of Hobbes’ book the Leviathan and then to the fictional and stylised bodies of the models in a fashion show. Following the theories of Legendre, the conclusion of this article suggests to reintroduce the secularised juridical and theological lexis for the aesthetic relationship between the natural body and the fictitious body, seen as a mystical and political body, considered present in the practices of dressing and twentieth-century fashion. Fashion is one of the forms through which, in mobilising desire, the human being constructs that “second body”, fictitious, represented, parallel to the real body, which is constitutive of the subjective and collective identity of a society. This body is fashioned under the ritualised and institutionalised form of the garment that hides the body, concealing its animality, which gives access to a collective fictitious reality, of which, we could add, all the products of the semiosphere, including the juridical institutions, are formed.
PÓLEMOS
10
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Body, fiction, corpus mysticum, liturgy, Leviathan, Mussolini
Paolo Heritier
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1693878
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