Tag Archives: Otto Von Busch

READ // Buddha Style and Just Fashion: two new books from Otto von Busch


We’ve added two new books to our required reading list, and you should to! While one approaches fashion through a Buddhist lens, the other looks to draw connections between fashion and justice in the context of democracy – both are by-products of separate investigations led by Otto von Busch in 2012.

Buddha Style: A discussion about the Buddha’s radical teachings on fashion and forgiveness asks: “What Would Buddha Wear?”

The publication documents a conversation between Otto von Busch and Josh Korda, covering identity, impermanence, imitation, non-self, temptation and consumerism and even David Bowie!

Questioning the relationship(s) between fashion concepts, theories and systems with/against Buddhist teachings and practice, new insights emerge.

An excerpt from the text under Indentity:

“We can express some aspects of our personality or world view through fashion. Likewise, we can come to see an aspect of another person through their dress or style, and also some traces of their attitude and skills. But at the same time we can simultaneously “objectify” these signals and make the person only a sum of their visually expressed parts. If we are to take the signals sent through clothing seriously, how can we cultivate an “honest” perspective on our dressed peers?”  (Page 21)

For me, this was not a book to simply read, but more a book to sit quietly with, for thoughtful reflection.

Just Fashion: Critical Cases on Social Justice in Fashion is a fantastic resource for/from an every growing community of responsible fashion students and learners. This book was developed in the fall of 2012, via the “Critical Fashion and Social Justice” course at Parsons The New School for Design in New York.

The text covers a broad range of social justice issues, including marginalization, the ‘paradox of aid’ and worker rights, asking “[c]an fashion somehow address the world’s injustices – or can it only feed, and even celebrate, the imbalances of the world?” (Page 9)

An excerpt from the text on “Fashion, Justice and Dependence”:

“Through fashion we think we have equal opportunities, a fair distribution of goods and possibilities, and even that a “democratization” is taking place through fast fashion, as more people have access to a styled life. We are made to believe we have access to fashion while we are simultaneously and bluntly locked out of any decision-making, or any act of empowerment or self-determination, as the goods are already on the hanger awaiting us.” (Page 11)

Digital versions of each are available for free download through selfpassage, with hardcopies available at amazon here and here.
Happy reading!

Otto von Busch Hacks Fashion Theory

As you know, we’re huge fans of Otto von Busch for his innovative work and research in ir/responsible fashion and hackivism.

In a recent project, Otto hacks fashion theory through a series of small booklets. We’ve just added them to our required reading list and so should you!

Fashion is the celebration of the immediate future. By being constantly new, fashion indicates that the future can be something else, and it pulls us there, by force almost, promising the endless possibilities of the new, the unwritten, our possible better self.” (The Virus of Fashion, Axel Trumpfheller and Otto von Busch: Pg. 27)

Click here to access and download the booklets.

Thanks to TED for sharing this project with us (stay tuned for the launch of their new site), and congratulations to Otto on his new post as Associate Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons New School of Design in New York!


Fast Forward: Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference

Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference_Fast Forward

Title: Fast Forward: Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference
Location: London
Link out: Click here

“In a time when we are increasingly concerned with the impact of the fashion industry on people and the planet students need to be equipped to design the way we make and consume fashion differently.

This two day international conference will bring together educators, industry experts, academics and selected students to explore how fashion can be taught to inspire responsibility for the rights of workers making our clothes.” (FEI)

SPEAKERS confirmed include:
Otto Von Busch – Haute-Couture Heretic
Alex Mcintosh – Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Nieves Ruiz Ramos – Bibico
Sophie Koers – Fair Wear Foundation
Academics and students will present papers peer reviewed by a panel
chaired by Doug Miller Professor in Ethical
Fashion at Northumbria University

Local Wisdom by Kate Fletcher, Reader in Sustainable Fashion at London
College of Fashion

This event is by invitation only. Invites have now been sent out by
post. If you have received at invite please RSVP by 13th January. If you have not received an invitation but would like to join us at this event please register your interest online.
Start Date: 2010-03-02
End Date: 2010-03-03