Aesthetics and Politics of the Fashion Image: A Queer Perspective

Roberto Filippello


This essay theorizes the fashion photographic image as a privileged site for queer sensory experience. It takes the stance that the aesthetic engagement with the fashion image occurs through sensation, and more precisely, through a haptic and periperformative experience that activates desires, meanings, and fantasies. Through the circulation of feelings sparked via the sensorial experiencing of the photo, queer subjects can sense belongings and form affiliations that bind them in an egalitarian community of sense exceeding sexual and social differences. A queer theory of fashion photography does not posit that the photographic image may foster propositional knowledge in the viewers, but rather that it moves them to engage corporeally with the image and triggers their imagination to configure new affective modes of being in the world.


fashion image; photography; affect; queer theory; queer aesthetics; aesthetic community

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