This course was a study of theories related to appearance, clothing, and fashion, and their influences on cultural identities, gender perceptions, and fashion product consumption. It examined contemporary dress from cultures outside and within the United States.
Dress was analyzed as a communication system that indicated individuality as well as position within specific social systems of kinship, economy, religion, and polity. Technologies and types of dress of a particular society were analyzed and understood as they link to patterns of behavior such as beliefs about morality, hygiene, ritual, and beauty.
In this course, Merchant wrote a book in which she showcased her cultural identity. She sketched all the important dresses she wore since her childhood and explained the value they hold to her as well as designed a T-shirt that shows how she identifies herself.
Here are the links to a book written by Merchant and the T-shirt she designed: