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Dress communicates: King
Apr '17
Dr Ian W King , Fashion Guru, London School of Fashion
Dr Ian W King , Fashion Guru, London School of Fashion
Dress provides a rich visual indicator to audience, both familiar and unfamiliar. It is a non verbal communicator and compliments our language. It is a tool that represents our culture, sexuality, nationality and class and it has the potential to overcome language barrier. These are the views of Dr Ian W King, author of 'The Aesthetics of dress'.
King, professor of aesthetics & management at the University of Arts London's college of fashion, was speaking at a function organised by ARCH Academy of design in New Delhi.
That dress provides a rich visual indicator to audience can be judged by simple observation in our day-to-day life as particular piece of clothing worn by a person is  associated with that person's formal role like doctor, nurse, fire person, policeman, defence personnel, attending a party or getting married, King said.
"Our dress as non verbal communicator is presented to unfamiliar audiences in our day to day life. If we travel in Metro train or sit on a bench in a park, our presence is not based on appearance but reinforced through dress and amplified through non verbal language. We cannot verbally introduce ourselves to audience but we consider their attention as familiarity in guise. The potential of clothing has power to overcome language barrier," said King who has been associated with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Granada TV, Tina Turner, Elton John and Michael Jackson.
"In today's world what is worn on our body is not neutral activity and not many of us in today's society can claim that our choice of clothing is restricted to decision to protect us from warm or cold weather or to clothe our nakedness. The reality is contemporary world is dominated by media, design, label and brands. That is aesthetics," King noted.
People 'dress' their bodies to communicate - to express confidence (or not), identity, status, aspirations, affiliations, etc. "We dress according to the situation/audience etc. It might be to attract attention, to protect or to hide the body. It might be to accentuate height, or religious belief, or simply to shock or conform," he said. 
"Essentially, it is not simply clothing that we wear that achieves this - for example, hair, makeup, jewellery, handbags, shoes, piercings, tattoos - cumulatively these constitute how we 'dress' our bodies. Thus, the appearance (as well as the feel) of the body is significant if we are to appreciate an enacted approach to aesthetics," he said.
Fashion is seen as the most creative industry in the world with more than 50 million people associated with it and a turnover in access of three trillion dollars. (SV)

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