What is style? A few quotations

Style does not consist of a list of factors that have to be ticked off, nor does it constitute a totality of meaning. Style is a modification of being that produces captivation, in part through our own explorations of it. […] Style, in other words, can be counted as an agent in its own right in that it defines what is at issue in the world that we can engage with.

Nigel Thrift, “Understanding the material practices of glamour” in M. Gregg and G. Seigworth (eds.), The Affect Theory Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), p. 297.


Black style is not the uniform expression of some unchanging ethnic “essence”, but is best understood as an act of aesthetic agency inscribed into a material world of immense social disparity.

Kobena Mercer, “Foreword” in C. Tulloch (ed.), Black Style (London: V&A Publications, 2004), p. 8


I am more prone to use the term “style” as agency – in the construction of self through the assemblage of garments, accessories, and beauty regimes that may, or may not, be “in fashion” at the time of use. […] For me this is part of the process of self-telling, that is, to expound an aspect of autobiography of oneself through the clothing choices an individual makes – what I have come to call style narratives.

Carol Tulloch, “Style-Fashion-Dress: From Black to Post-Black”, Fashion Theory, 14:3 (2010), p. 276


[S]tyle is a productive and circuitous process that involves both content (subject matter) and ways of knowing (i.e. processes of minding appearances) that perform cultural work as it both undermines and surpasses binary frameworks

Susan B. Kaiser and Sarah Rebolloso McCullough, “Entangling the Fashion Subject through the African Diaspora: From Not to (K)not in Fashion Theory”, Fashion Theory, 14:3 (2010), p. 368


Style […] has been the visual manifestation of a consciousness that breaks away from the traditional perspectives of the dominant social order. In African-American culture, clothes become a source of aesthetic freedom.

Susan Kaiser, Leslie Rabine, Carol Hall and Karyl Ketchum, “Beyond the Binaries: Respecting The Improvisation in African-American Style”, in C. Tulloch (ed.), Black Style (London: V&A Publications, 2004), p. 52

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