The Internal Drivers of a Fashionable Collective: Simondon, individuation and the amplifying nature of aesthetics

Miss Breeze Mojel1

1UNSW Canberra, Campbell, Australia,

2The Difference Lab


For over a century, thinkers of fashion have theorised the collective as being bound together by forces and ideas external to their members with the role of ideology seen to drive the behaviours of those sharing a group style (Simmel [1904] Entwistle [2015]). Within this framing of the collective, the wearing and bearing of fashion appears as merely a tool for promoting individuals’ inter-identification and strengthening of relations between them. French philosopher Gilbert Simondon challenges this notion of the collective and aesthetics’ participation in its creation. Here, Simondon reconceptualises the concept of the collective as originating from an associated pre-individual reality in intimate common zones of subjects. Its actualisation arises from a solitary process such that any relations created are resultant expressions of the collective’s individuation into actuality. These relations created are now far from simply markers of inter-identification but rather dictate fields of resonance whose intersubjective interactions provide the potential for further individuations. Utilizing Simondon’s understanding of the amplifying nature of aesthetics, I will outline how fashion’s engagement is more than a tool for reproducing and solidifying concurrent collective thought but a productive medium for more novel individuations and therefore, a more inventive collective.


Breeze Mojel is a PhD student studying Cultural Geography at UNSW Canberra with a BDes (Hons) in Fashion Design from Massey University in New Zealand. As a member of the Difference Laboratory she utilizes both Deleuzian and Simondonian thought to explore topics surrounding fashion, individuation, anti-hylomorphism and ethics.

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