Stacey Johnston: Manovich takes on the fashion world

I promise I have other interests besides fashion, but yes, I am writing about it yet again. The quote that stood out to me most in Manovich’s passage was “In short, media becomes programmable.” In this first point, Manovich refers to media as coded and programmable because it all has a basic set of consistent regulations/guidelines.

I immediately relate this set of guidelines to fashion, because as a whole, fashion also has a “programmable” set of guidelines that we follow in our day-to-day lives. You see, when I wake up every morning, there is a basic set of rules that I follow. 99.999% of people abide by these same rules (I left room for the nudist colonies). With the exception of those few rebellious, scandalous individuals, I would venture to say that everyone wears some type of garment on the torso and some form of pants. Most also wear shoes. That is the basic, underlying “code”, and the “programming” becomes what we choose to do with it.

The programming also leads to variability (rule 4), which can be based on the temperature, preferred style of the person, etc. For example, if I were to wake up and find that it is 10 degrees outside, I personally would definitely not wear just a t-shirt, but more likely thermals, a jacket, a coat, a bear skin rug, or anything else that I could find to keep myself insulated. If it was blisteringly hot, it would be the same concept, but with less clothing instead. Also, if an individual prefers a tank top over a button-down, flip-flops over sneakers, or Chubbies over wearing pants, then that is all part of the “program.”

All in all, fashion can definitely be viewed as a program because it has a basic set of guidelines that we can “program” by selecting what we wear.


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