Fashion's Non-Places: Digital Complicity and Visual Codes


  • Rada Leu Zurich University of The Arts



Authenticity, Heterotopia, Internet, Body Modification, Fashion


In the heterotopia that is the internet, fashion’s social identities and representations are constructed and mediated through images: blogs and YouTube tutorials have developed a following in the millions and are often the first stop when seeking advice, opinions or product reviews. All of these channels have a very specific language, with its own precisely defined vocabulary of signifiers.
In this paper, I would like to examine the digital beauty parlor as a place of socio-geography: at the intersection of the natural and the unnatural, of late capitalism and emancipatory movements, the disembodied avatars and live bloggers generate a sort of impersonal complicity with their viewers. Digital self-representation takes on a variety of forms, loosely connected to real places and social codes. How is this connection manufactured? What ideologies lie behind digital beautifying tools? What types of knowledge do those channels generate, how does it relate to the fast-evolving cycle of fashion? What impulses are at the source of returning time and time again to these spaces of cultural phenomena? And what kind of place is the digital beauty parlor, compared to its real-life equivalent?



Augé, M. (1995). Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropolgy of Supermodernity. London: Verso.

Foucault, M. (1984). Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, in Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité, October 1984, cited from Des Espaces Autres, March 1967, translated from the French by Jay Miscowiec.

Guignon, C. (2004). On Being Authentic. London-NewYork: Routledge.

Han, B. (2018). Saving Beauty. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Wolf, N. (1990). The Beauty Myth. London: Chatto & Windus.




How to Cite

Leu, R. (2018). Fashion’s Non-Places: Digital Complicity and Visual Codes. Almatourism - Journal of Tourism, Culture and Territorial Development, 9(9), 115–127.