What’s in a Label?

February 27, 2020

Krista Anara Cibis will be presenting Branded: A Taxonomy of Clothing Labels

The Branded project developed through observation of the garment tags on the collars and waist bands of clothing in thrift stores. Cibis is building an archive of photo-documentation of hundreds of clothing labels in place. The tags carry far more information than the list of fiber content, country of manufacture and cleaning instructions. They brand/identify the product, linking it to a word or phrase which often unrelated to the garment. It is worth noting that these tags are also called labels, which acts as a metaphor on its own. The labels are an entry point into subtle undercurrents of messaging around identity and aspiration.

Cibis will share a portion of the archive being developed by gathering and organizing the language used on these tags. She has begun to identify specific themes relating to nationalism, pessimism, connotations of sexuality and intimacy. The labels offer a look at the linguistics, history and culture of what is worn so close to our body.

More information can be found here: Lewis & Clark College 39th Annual Gender Studies Symposium Tensions of Possibility