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Fashion And Health

FASHION and Health

Video and images now available
[ 6 July 2012 ]



April 20-22, 2012 at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

This symposium is the first of a series of events entitled "Fashion And … " connecting fashion with other themes of importance in today's world. The symposia of Fashion And… will examine the implications of fashion in today's world.


Fashion is change and because it is change, fashion impacts nearly every aspect of our lives from the language we speak, the furniture we use, the homes we live in, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat. For our inaugural event we focus on relationships between fashion and health. Fashion and health are symbiotic; each affects the other. Fashion can make us stand straighter and help prevent osteoporosis. Fashion can also damage our feet and our balance through a choice of shoes or it can exercise our leg muscles and improve our gait. Fashion can protect us from the harsh rays of the sun or monitor our health through embedded electronic sensors. Fashion is a visualization of how we choose to live our lives. The fashion choices we make affect our thoughts and feelings (emotionally, spiritually, physically). And if looks could kill, we'd all dress better.


This symposium connects fashion to the topic of health. Through a series of scholarly presentations, panel discussions, design presentations, the symposium participants will explore, define, and document the interconnections between fashion and health.


The symposium has an inclusive definition of the term "fashion". While fashion is often understood to center on apparel choices, fashion can be recognized as the current style or aesthetic choice in any design field. Proposals are welcome from divergent fields such as architecture, anthropology, cultural studies, history, interior design, graphic design, psychology, sociology, and women’s studies.

This symposium will provide the opportunity for researchers and both graduate and und

ergraduate students to exchange research findings, innovative teaching strategies, and creative designs addressing the interrelationships of fashion and health.


Symposium Participation:

You are invited to participate in this symposium by submitting a written abstract or a design. The official conference language is English. Best submissions will be considered for inclusion in focused issues of journals including Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process and the Fashion Industry as well as for a book to be edited by Kim K. P. Johnson and Elizabeth Bye. All accepted abstract submissions will be published in the conference proceedings.


Symposium formats will include poster sessions for design work, concurrent presentations [30 minutes], and plenary sessions [60 minutes]. Panel or collaborative presentations are encouraged.


Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Issues related to body image (cross cultural or cross historical)
    • Considerations of the diet industry and diet discourse and how they impact health
    • Considerations of health/disease and beauty/ugliness as it relates to body size
    • Connections between fashion and risky appearance management behaviors
    • Medical monitoring
    • Fashion and athletics
    • Historical views on dress and health
    • Views on healthy lifestyles and fashion
    • Fashion and mental health
    • Issues related to obesity and fashion
    • Fashion and protective apparel
    • Unhealthy consumption practices

Symposium Co-Chairs:

Kim K. P. Johnson

Brad Hokanson


Important dates:


December 15, 2011: Abstracts due and received.


January 30, 2012: Notice of acceptance


April 1, 2012: Full materials due and received; this includes all written and visual materials in digital form. [Papers not received by this date will not be included in the proceedings.]


April 2, 2012: Hotel room reservations due [unreserved rooms released]


April 9, 2012: Online registration closes Click here for registration.


April 19, 2012: 2013 Symposium announced: Fashion And Social Responsibility


April 20-22, 2012: Symposium


June 15, 2012: Notice of acceptance for publication in conference book.


Guidelines for Research and Teaching Submissions:




Abstracts should present research and teaching that has not been published or presented at other professional conferences. Use Times New Roman, font size 12, for all text, including titles. Prepare three electronic files, all in Microsoft Word format.


File 1 contains a cover page with title of paper and name and contact information (address, phone number, email) for all authors.


File 2 contains an abstract in English for review (2 pages, single spaced, in a Word.doc format; one inch margins). Include the title (single spaced, centered, maximum 30 words) but no identifying information about author(s) or professional affiliation(s). Tables and other graphics should be incorporated within the body of the abstract in the appropriate place(s). All content (references, tables, figures) must fit within the 2 page limit.


File 3 contains the abstract with the title, authors, institution, and country. File 3 will be used for the symposium proceedings. This will go directly into the proceedings once the submission has been accepted for presentation.


Submission Procedure


1. Submit abstract to:

Kim K. P. Johnson


2. In the subject line use the following wording to indicate whether you are submitting a teaching or research abstract

Fashion and Health: Teaching

Fashion and Health: Research


3. Attach the three files to your email as described in the guidelines above.


4. Complete a separate e-mail submission for each abstract you want to submit. Multiple proposals may be accepted.


Abstract Submission Deadline (Received by): December 15, 2011

Acceptance Notification: Authors will be provided acceptance notification of their papers for presentation at this symposium by approximately January 30, 2012. Authors of accepted research/teaching abstracts will be asked to submit their final full papers by April 1, 2012. These papers will be considered for publication in focused issues of Fashion Practice and the edited book. Guidelines for final papers will be sent to authors when they receive notification that their abstract has been accepted. Notification of acceptance/rejection for papers to be included in the journal or the edited book will be made by June 1, 2012.



Guidelines for Design Submissions


Abstracts should present designs that have not been published or presented at other professional conferences. Use Times New Roman, font size 12, for all text, including titles. Prepare three electronic files. In preparation, photograph images of your design. Take a copy of the copyright agreement with you and obtain signatures of the photographer and, if appropriate, the model. Items should be photographed as they would be used (i.e., apparel must be photographed against a plain background on a live model, mannequin, or dress form). Non-apparel items must be displayed as they would be exhibited. Photograph the following: full front view, full back view of apparel items or different angle view of non-apparel item, and an interesting design or construction detail.


File 1 contains a cover page with title of your design and name and contact information (address, phone number, email) for all authors.


File 2 contains a title, a description in English to accompany your design submission (2 pages total, single spaced, in a Word.doc format; one inch margins) and photos of your design. In this description include the following: the purpose of the piece, the design process, including how you implemented the process, the techniques used to create the piece, and the materials used. There should be no identifying information about the designers in this statement. Images should be no larger than 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in portrait orientation (50% of original image). You are responsible for color management, cropping, quality of the images, and proper placement in the submission.


File 3 contains file 2 with the addition of authors, institution, and country. File 3 will be used for the symposium proceedings. This will go directly into the proceedings once the submission has been accepted for presentation.


Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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