The ambiguity of seamlessness: The skin ego and the materiality of fashion
This article examines the materiality of fashion and the role it plays in the continuous making of personal and social subjectivities, through the author’s own experience of making seamless woven garments. Psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu’s influential notion of ‘the Skin Ego’ theorizes the initial formation of human subjectivity based on the tactile interaction between the mothering environment and the baby. As a garment maker, the author analyses the woven surface or garment as the extension of the Skin Ego, and inquires into the ways that the ‘separation’ from the earliest relationship and the unending attempt to repair this ‘cut’, might become figured in the ambiguity that is found in the seams and edges of garments. Integrating refer- ences from the fields of psychoanalysis, anthropology and cultural studies, this article suggests that the proc- ess of making and using garments – regarded as the interaction between human and material, as well as interpersonal, interaction – successfully reveals the ambiguities inherent in modern subjectivity.
Citation : Lee, Y. (2015) The ambiguity of seamlessness: The Skin Ego and the materiality of fashion. Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty, 6 (1), pp. 75–93
ISSN : 2040-4417
Research Group : Design and New Product Development
Research Institute : Institute of Art and Design
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Design