Call for Papers: Front and (Off-)Centre: Fashion and Southeast Asia

Photograph of a man walking directly towards a camera. He enters a kitchen through a bead curtain which drapes behind him. He is barefoot, looking directly at the camera, while carrying a pair of snakeskin boots i Image caption: Jaya Khidir, page 71 of ‘YALAM’. Erwin Shah, a graphic design graduate dressed in baju keluar, one of the “fashion situations” given by the artist to his collaborators. Image courtesy of the artist. More information at

Online via Zoom, 5th – 6th May 2023, 9am BST – 1pm BST 

The conference seeks to highlight the diversity and sophistication of fashion practices within or relating to Southeast Asia, and contributes to efforts to decentralise fashion studies.

How do fashion practitioners with ties to Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) engage with the self, their local regional communities, as well as the global fashion system? What are the ideas and values that underpin the work that they do? And what are the common threads and unique characteristics that define fashion from the region, if any?

We welcome all proposals that discuss historical and contemporary fashion as part of material and visual culture, including but not limited to these areas of interest:

Archives (clothes, photographs etc.)
Fashion businesses
Fashion curation
Fashion films
Fashion journalism
Identities (gender, national etc.)
Multidisciplinary practices
Wardrobe practices

Formats and Submission Process

  • 20-minute academic presentations
  • 20-minute industry presentations including but not limited to business practices, community collaborations and creative innovations.
  • 40-minute moderated conversations

In a single PDF with the applicant’s full name indicated as the file name, please submit the following to

  • an abstract/proposal of 150-200 words in English
  • a representative image can be included if desired
  • a brief biography of approximately 100 words

Important Dates

19 Dec 2022 Submission of abstract/proposal
30 Jan 2023 Notification of acceptance by organisers
10 Feb 2023 Notification of acceptance by presenter

Organised by Dr Rebecca Arnold (The Courtauld) and Dr Nadya Wang (LASALLE College of the Arts)