Eco-phenomenology of fashion films

“Visible and mobile, my body is a thing among things; it is one of them. It is caught in the fabric of the world, and its cohesion is that of a thing. But because it sees and moves itself, it holds things in a circle arounditself. Things are an annex or prolongation of my body; they are incrusted in its flesh, they are part of its full definition; the world is made of the very stuff of the body.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Eye and Mind, 1964).

In the paper I am delivering at ZoneMode Conference 2019 on “Be cool! Aesthetic Imperatives and Social Practices”, held at the Rimini campus of the Università di Bologna on May 16-18, I adopts an ecological and phenomenological approach to human perception and experience in order to (re)discuss the relevance and the characteristics of fashion in the contemporary media ecosystem. As a case study I analyse Spike Jonze’s commercials Kenzo World (2016) and Welcome Home (2018) , in which the imperative of social emancipation and affirmation of identity is rendered through performances that literallyembody and express deep desires and impulses: the mind extends in the environment through the transformative power of the body.

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