Who Cares What You Wear?

Word Count: 546

by Stillpoint Magazine
Monthly Exclusives

In January 2021 Stillpoint Magazine hosted the online panel event Who Cares What You Wear? with fashion scholar Sequoia Barnes and fiction writer Gaurav Monga. Sequoia subsequently contributed to Issue 007: DESIRE with her essay “Living My Life”: Grace Jones and the Undecidability of Fear and Desire. Gaurav contributed to Issue 006: SEIZE with A Fashion Dictionary: Excerpts. Their conversation, which you can view in its recorded form below, was facilitated by Stillpoint Magazine‘s editor Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon.

“Fashion is not necessarily a matter of expressing one’s ‘identity’, nor is it merely about trends or the business of products, branding, and retail… Fashion is, perhaps, primarily concerned with innovation in the surface decoration of the body, and the wider social and cultural responses to this innovation. It would follow, then, that it is the wearer, and the act of wearing, that are in fact central to fashion.”

So says Alison Bancroft, author of the groundbreaking Fashion and Psychoanalysis. In this virtual panel discussion, Stillpoint Magazine invite[d] scholars of fashion to explore the personal, cultural, social, and political implications and potentials of attire.


Gaurav Monga is the author of Costumes of the Living (Snuggly Books, 2020), Family Matters (Eibonvale Press, 2019), Ruins (Desirepaths Publishers, 2019), and Tears for Rahul Dutta (Philistine Press, 2012).

His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Fanzine, Tammy Journal, Queen Mobs Teahouse, and B O D Y. He is originally from New Delhi and teaches creative writing and German at schools and colleges. “A Fashion Dictionary“, his contribution to Issue 006: SEIZE of Stillpoint Magazine, along with Costumes of the Living express his fascination with fashion and its relationship to literature. He is a member of an international art and lifestyle movement called Neo-Decadence. To read more about the author visit: www.gauravmon.ga.


Seqouia Barnes’ work is predominately centered around making processes, rituals, and modes of fashioning. Trained in semiotics, she deploys research through praxis often in her scholarly and artistic explorations of black diasporic symbolisms, storytelling as performance, and positioning the creative process as a performance/ritual.

Her scholarly work currently explores the design techniques and aesthetic semiotics of late fashion designer, Patrick Kelly. Her most recent artistic works include her artist responses to Senga Nengudi (Fruitmarket Gallery) and Nick Cave (Tramway) with performative works entitled Sew Me A Quilt. Tell You A Story. (2019) and The Burden I Bear Is Heavy (2019), respectively.

Sequoia’s scholarly work was first highlighted by Stillpoint Magazine‘s Fashion Editor in our Antiracism Study Resource, available in our Study Room. Access the resource here for further links to Sequoia’s paper “If You Don’t Bring No Grits, Don’t Come”: Critiquing a Critique of Patrick Kelly, Golliwogs, And Camp as A Technique of Black Queer Expression.

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