Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Marla Solomon


The “…adornment of the body pre-dates all other known forms of decoration; that clothes express the mood of each succeeding age; that what we do with our bodies expresses the Zeitgeist” (Wilson, 2010 p.47). Adornment of the body has provided historians, sociologists and anthropologists with the ability to know and understand a group of people, the society, political and economic movements of the ages. Throughout history “…fashion is deeply connected to struggles over power” (Ouellette, 1994 p.2) and also to “…conflicts and affiliations among citizen based on race, class and gender often express themselves in dress” (Miller, 2005 p.6). Adornment in appearance can be a cause of liberation, expression and struggle. It is also a representation and a metaphor of culture and identity for both individualist and collectivist societies.

In this capstone paper, I will explore the ways in which fashion or the visual representation of the self, expresses and communicates messages to an outsider. This paper will also address the occurrences of diversity issues that arise year after year among the PIM and MAT students.

Commonalities between the visual dressed appearance of the self and diversity issues are topics concerning: classism, socialization, race, gender, age, and sexual orientation, to name just a few. This paper.s aim is to enhance the SIT Multicultural Fashion Show through a process, the design of which will provide the opportunity for dialogue concerning the issues that present themselves each year, and to provide the students with the ability to personalize the production of the show which will express their own cultures and identities.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Social Psychology and Interaction