Deconstruction is a term used on a concept introduced by Jacques Derrida in his book Of Grammatology in France in 1967. In simplest terms, deconstruction is a mode of questioning that breaks-down the hierarchical oppositions of language, revealing its inherent instability. On the definition of deconstruction, the most precise and explicit account in Derrida found in ‘Signature event context’. Its unusually direct and explicit argument make it worth quoting at length.
“Deconstruction cannot limit itself or proceed immediately to a neutralisation: it must by means of a double gesture, a double science, double writing, practice an overturning of the classical opposition and a general displacement of the system. It is only on the condition that deconstruction will provide itself with the means with which to intervene in the field of oppositions that it criticises, which is also a field of nondiscursive forces. Each concept, moreover, belongs to a systematic change and itself constitutes a system of predicates. There is no metaphysical concept in and of itself. There is a work – metaphysical or not – on conceptual systems. Deconstruction does not consist in passing from one concept to another, but in overturning and displacing a conceptual order, as well as the nonconceptual order with which the conceptual order articulated”.
Within the design community, this term is most widely 1990s that translated poststructuralist theories, including Derrida’s key concept of deconstruction, into visual layouts. Involved work took place most notably at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where designers actively engaged the intricacies of poststructuralist thought within a full body of work.
Key fashion designers within the deconstruction terminology
Fashion Deconstructions have always been a part of the DIY culture and historically, the last century been used practically in wartimes when materials were hard to find. However, changed youth cultural movements such as the sixties hippie’s and mid-seventies punk culture.
During the 1980s in Japan fashions big three Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo challenged the Parisian norms of couture and turned it upside down, intelligently use new forms, raw edges and details unfinished on final pieces of clothing. Issey Miyake started already in the 1970s with a technology-driven, intelligent approach to clothing design and meaning. First presented the radical concepts of two-dimensional clothing “A piece of Cloth” 1976. The core Japanese aesthetics called “Ma” translated to “space” is a universal approach to dressing creating abstract, asymmetric and sculptural shapes around the body
Recommended posts Refashioned series
- Refashioned, cutting edge clothing from upcycled materials. Part One
- Refashioned, cutting edge of design in the sustainable era. Part Two
- Refashioned, fashion activism from the 1999s and up to the Fashion Revolution. Part Three
- Refashioned a part of the fashion revolution. Part Four
Sources and useful information
- Routledge Philosophy Guide Book to Derrida on Deconstruction by Barry Stocker. Published 2006 by Routledge
- The posts, Refashioned, cutting edge clothing from upcycled materials series