Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of Scenography and Costume Design, takis (Panagiotis Chatoupis)
takis (Panagiotis Chatoupis) will defend the thesis "The Meta-Suit; De-Re-Constructing the Ultimate Masculine Attire" on 3 December 2021 at 12:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Film, Television and Scenography, in lecture hall C105 (T2), Konemiehentie 2, Espoo, and online in Zoom.
Opponent: Dr. Angela Finn, RMIT
Custos: Prof. Susanna Helke, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Film, Television and Scenography
The public defense will be organized via remote technology. Follow defence: https://aalto.zoom.us/j/66888968409
Zoom Quick Guide: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/zoom-quick-guide
Thesis available for public display at: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/doc_public/eonly/riiputus/
Doctoral theses in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/54
For the past three hundred years, the male suit has proven to be an enduring form in male fashion, an almost 'unchangeable' design that epitomizes traditional masculinity. But just as our understanding of masculinity has evolved, so must the suit – with all its connotations of power, strength, and formality – evolve to match.
This practice-based dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach, exploring the dynamic relationship between masculinity and the male suit through a series of workshops, collections, and installations. Using the design gestures of addition and subtraction, this work challenges the 'untouchable' design of the suit, arguing that how it is designed and worn can challenge, resist, and reconfigure male identity.
Situated at the center of this investigation are the twin concepts of gender performativity and embodiment, as no garment can be truly understood without examining its relationship with the body. Together, the body and the suit are capable of communicating and performing countless expressions of masculinity, depending on the wearer's preferences, needs, and context.
A spectrum of historical, sociological, and design theories are applied to these two concepts in the creation of two publicly-exhibited collections: Plus and Minus. Through addition and subtraction, these collections demonstrate the complexity and flexibility of the male suit, embodied by members of the public in a series of installation exhibitions.
Challenging the borders between fashion/costume, conceptual/commercial fashion, and art/fashion, the primary contribution of this research can be found in its proposition of the 'Meta-Suit.' As a practical design, the meta-suit encompasses the fluidity of modern masculinity. It can be physically altered and adapted to fit the context, social setting, and type of masculinity that the wearer seeks to perform.
The meta-suit can also be understood as a heuristic tool, an original concept for investigating how the male suit is designed and worn in current society and the future. This cross-disciplinary conceptual model can be applied to a range of disciplines that explore how the clothed body communicates concepts to audiences, including costume design, fashion design, sociology, and psychology.
Contact information of doctoral candidate: