Digital Fashioning of the Material Body: Consumers and Their Fashion Consumption Online
Fashion Studies (MA)
In my thesis, I use an ethnographic approach to examine online fashion consumption. The thesis gives insight into the digital processes and affective experience of online shopping and explores the way fashion e-commerce influences the consumer’s fashion experience. With the development of information and communication technologies, the landscape of fashion has become ever more complex. Fashion and fashion practices such as consumption have become increasingly mediated by computers, screens, and websites. New perceptions of time and space resulting from interaction with the Internet have substantially changed people's relationships with fashion and modes of fashion consumption. In contemporary consumerist society, people shop online for convenience, immediacy, better prices, and more options. Buying clothes on the Internet involves digitization, mediatization, imagination, and other acts of deciphering fashion images that were unknown in traditional fashion retail. Being physically and materially alienated from products, online consumers rely on visual and textual information from e-commerce sites and their own imaginations to make purchase decisions. The process of accurately imagining a three-dimensional product from two-dimensional images of garments and bodies in product listings is challenging even for the more experienced consumer, making online fashion consumption uncertain and risky.