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- annotated

Onomatopee 148.1


a mode of procedure
a way of doing something


Contemporary fashion culture is seeing practitioners actively seeking to challenge traditional ways of working and question the very definition of their discipline. MODUS is a platform for those working in this expanded field to build connections between practices that propose alternate value systems and different ways of thinking, doing and being fashion.

The first MODUS publication takes a glossary of practices as its central thread - a lexicon of habits, methods, rules, techniques, repetitions and actions. Into this glossary four essays are woven revealing questions as well as suggesting approaches or perspectives that expanded fashion practices might offer. The introduction proposes “This document should be read as a live provocation rather than a definitive explanation. We invite you to engage with it as a working model: add notes in the spaces, highlight and draw connections between ideas. It is a blueprint for new ways of thinking, being and doing fashion that forms the foundation of the MODUS project.”

One year on from the launch of MODUS, we have invited a selection of practitioners to do exactly this; reflect on the project through the lens of their own approaches and expertise. This series of annotated publications will be on display alongside the launch of the new MODUS online network.

The MODUS project is part of Onomatopee Projects (Onomatopee 148) initiated and led by Ruby Hoette and Caroline Stevenson in collaboration with Roland Brauchli.


Onomatopee 148, Ruby Hoette, Caroline Stevenson, Roland Brauchli, 2018

MODUS - a platform for expanded fashion practice

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This publication marks the launch of MODUS: a first step towards a network for expanded fashion practice. The central thread is a glossary of practices - a developing lexicon of habits, methods, rules, techniques, repetitions and actions - that together, points towards a shared manual for expanded practice. Into this glossary four essays are woven from academics and practitioners revealing questions and challenges as well as suggesting approaches or perspectives that expanded fashion practices might offer.

We hope that this document be read not as a definitive explanation but as a live provocation, that it might be used as a tool to facilitate conversations between the practitioners working in this expanded field and writers/theorists from other disciplines ranging from sociology, cultural and critical theory to politics and economics. We invite you to engage with it as a working model: add notes in the spaces, highlight and draw connections between ideas. It is a blueprint for new ways of thinking, being and doing fashion which forms the foundation of the MODUS project.


Ruby Hoette is a designer/researcher. Her critical and experimental approach proposes alternate modes of engaging with and producing fashion. By framing the garment as a unique artefact carrying traces of social, cultural and economic interactions and transactions her work explores fashion in context and unpicks the complex relationships between object and system.
Caroline Stevenson is a London based curator and writer working at the intersection of fashion and art. She works closely with emerging and established artists to research and develop new projects and to create space for experimentation, dialogue and exchange. She has produced projects and programmed events for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, ICA (London), Tate Modern and Tenderbooks (London). Caroline teaches in the Cultural and Historical Studies department at London College of Fashion and publishes writing on artists’ practices.
Roland Brauchli is an artist graphic designer, working across the fields of print, design and art. He collaborates with artists, writers, curators and publishers on publications and exhibitions through his work, which focuses on the printed page.
T’ai Smith is Associate Professor of Art History at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research considers textile media and concepts through philosophical and economic discourses. She has published in various journals and museum catalogs, including Art Journal, Grey Room, Texte zur Kunst, ZMK (Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung), the Tate Modern and MoMA. Author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), she is currently drafting a book manuscript titled Fashion After Capital.
Ricarda Bigolin is a Senior Lecturer, designer and researcher in Fashion Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Her practice investigates the performative, sensorial and functional potential of fashion via the use of expanded and critical strategies to inspire new expressions and ways to practice fashion in and outside of fashion systems.
Janice Miller is a fashion theorist and Head of Department of Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston School of Art, Kingston University. Her research interests focus on the role of fashion and embodiment in performances of all kinds. Author of Fashion and Music (Berg, 2011) she is currently working on her second book Makeup: Cosmetics from Everyday to Catwalk to be published by Bloomsbury in 2020, as well as articles on fashion apps, body hair and music video.
Ellen Sampson is a material culture researcher, curator and artist who uses practice-based research to explore the relationships between clothing and the body, both in museums and archives, and in everyday life. She is currently Polaire Weismann Curatorial Fellow at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Alexis Romano is a historian of 20th-century fashion and visual culture, with specific interests in photography, and everyday, subjective aspects of dress; and is currently writing a book on prêt-à-porter and women in postwar France to be published by Bloomsbury in 2019. She is a visiting lecturer at Parsons, the New School for Design and co-founder of the Fashion Research Network.

170 x 240mm / 6.96 x 9.44 inches portrait
Ruby Hoette, Caroline Stevenson
Ruby Hoette, Caroline Stevenson, (D&K) Ricarda Bigolin, Janice Miller, T'ai Smith and Ellen Sampson & Alexis Romano.
Roland Brauchli
sewn and glued
Dust-jacket: 115 gr. Peyr Surbalin Cadena, Diamond White. Inside: 100 gr. Munken Polar Rough.
Tielen, Boxtel (NL)
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Onomatopee project manager
Freek Lomme
Photography of the book
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