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Events
  • Composer Kubilay Üner offers a reactive experience with a live presentation of a new composition made in response to the exhibition Angie Bray: Shhhh. The performance will be interspersed with conversation between Üner and Bray.

  • Kathryn Andrews gets some of her best ideas driving around Los Angeles, where the visual contradictions she sees every day find their way into her art. Andrews, who is originally from Mobile, Alabama, is known for the commonplace objects she fabricates from highly polished and painted metal, into which she incorporates inexpensive or borrowed finds, including rented Hollywood props.

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    Los Angeles Premiere Screening of 

    The State of Creativity

    A Look into the Otis Report on the Creative Economy

    Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the formation of a media partnership with KCETLink. The partnership will bring the 2014 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region and the State of California into the digital age through an interactive, multi-platform presentation developed by, and for, KCETLink’s award-winning arts and culture series, Artbound.

  • Angie Bray is something of a Renaissance woman with a wide range of artistic abilities and interests encouraged and enriched by her upbringing and her liberal arts education. She spent her childhood in the countryside outside Philadelphia where she attended a girls’ school that emphasized music, drama, and art in addition to academics. She studied at La Sorbonne in Paris and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, followed by a Masters in Education from Harvard University in Massachusetts.

  • Sean Cully

    Bolsky Gallery

    Otis College of Art and Design

    9045 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045
    (310) 846-2614

     

  • Orange County Premiere Screening of 

    The State of Creativity

    A Look into the Otis Report on the Creative Economy

    Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the formation of a media partnership with KCETLink. The partnership will bring the 2014 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region and the State of California into the digital age through an interactive, multi-platform presentation developed by, and for, KCETLink’s award-winning arts and culture series, Artbound.

  • Closing reception for exhibition Angie Bray: Shhhh

O-Tube

Contemporary Fashion Culture

For your writing assignments in this course, you will need a combination of books, periodical articles, and websites. This pathfinder is designed to guide you in your research.

Step 1: Pick Your Terms

What are your specific research interests? Although your overall topic is "fashion culture," using that phrase as a search term is problematic. It's too broad to be effective and it does not have a universally accepted meaning. So think of other terms which identify elements associated with "fashion culture" that can more easily be searched. For instance:

  • teens, teenagers, tweens, kids, adolescent, peer group, peers, etc.
  • fashion trends, popularity
  • coolness, cool
  • advertising, advertisements, ads, campaign
  • consumerism, consumers
  • branding, brands, brand names, logos
  • specific company or product names like Nike, Benetton, Calvin Klein, makeup
  • models, modeling, model types, specific names of models
  • youth market, sales, purchasing behavior, promotion, marketing
  • alienation, rebellion
  • body image, peer pressure, sexuality, sex appeal
  • women, gender, masculinity, homoeroticism, politics, etc.
  • race, Latino, hip hop
  • rave culture, drugs, heroin chic
  • celebrities, celebrity, idols,
  • music, skateboarding, surfing, etc.

It's advisable to browse first, gather ideas, and then narrow the topic as you gain a sense of what's available in various places. As you browse, make a list of specific terms or ideas that you can research further.

Step 2: What Kind of Information Do You Want?

Identifying the type of information that you need will greatly help in formulating a search strategy. After your initial browsing, think seriously about your topic and get as specific as you can. Here are some examples of narrow, searchable topics:

  • a history of wearing denim and jeans
  • types of makeup advertising directed at teenage girls (or African American women)
  • an analysis of the influence of Kate Moss written by a scholar
  • tween consumers and their purchasing behavior
  • high heels--their history and ongoing popularity--from a feminist perspective

Next, think about what you expect to find and where to look.

Statistics come in handy when you want to argue cause and effect. You could use "statistics" in combination with another term like "purchasing power."

Popular culture is readily apparent in pictures and advertising. If you want to see ads targeted toward a particular group, find magazines or websites targeted toward those groups and look through them. Magazines of interest in Otis Library include: Adbusters, Arena, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, Face, i-d, Source, Spin, Vanity Fair, Vibe, Vogue. There are also databases of historical ads which you can try such as: Ad Access and AdFlip.

Of course, you will definitely want to find a few articles from journals to substantiate your position.

Step 3: Finding the Materials

To find background information, search in online encyclopedias or dictionaries. For instance, Britannica Online is not a bad place to start if you want to find basic information. On "jeans," for instance, there are 2 short paragraphs about their history and purpose. There are also links to "denim" and the "Levi Strauss." If you search "denim" in the Oxford English Dictionary, you will find the earliest use of the word was actually in 1695 in Merchant's Magazine. A fact like this could be just what you need to start off a paper.

To find books, search in the OPAC, the Otis Library Catalog. Remember, this database is relatively small. To begin, use only one term as a keyword. Once you find one book which is interesting, look at the "subject" field for other useful terms.

To find articles, use indexes, also known as subscription databases. In many cases you will find the full-text of the article which was previously published in a journal, magazine, or newspaper. Hint: Start with EBSCO OmniFile or ProQuest, large multidisciplinary databases. Quickly browse general terms and find an article of interest. Look at the "subject" field. The subject terms are sometimes links. If you click on the link, a search of that term will be performed in the subject field only. This will narrow your search considerably. Example.

To find websites, use search engines. Google is one of the largest. Yahoo, which is one of the most popular, is really more of a directory of selected sites. If you want an academic site, you can adding ".edu" to your search terms will bring up sites published by colleges and universities. Of course, you may end up with a course syllabus or student work. Google is so large that you can enter several terms and still get millions of hits. Other more selective and academically-oriented search engines include: Infomine and ipl2.