Rebecca Halliday

Contract Lecturer

MA Theatre and Performance Studies, York University

BA Honors Drama and Creative Writing, University of Alberta

Phone: 416-979-5000

Ex. 6443


KHW 261


I am a PhD Candidate in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at York University (joint with Ryerson University). I have written on various fashion-related topics, including fashion shows; online/digital media; street style; celebrity culture; hip-hop; Rad Hourani; and Coco Chanel. In addition to teaching, I am a research assistant on Refashioning Masculinity and a tutor at York University's Writing Centre. Before pursuing graduate studies, I worked in Edmonton as an arts administrator and as a freelance writer, editor, theatre publicist and wardrobe mistress/stylist. I have also held a contract writer and editor position for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Recent Professional Projects

Performing Exclusivity, Transmitting Spectacle, Manufacturing Desire: The Live Fashion Show in Mediatized Consumer Culture

My dissertation examines recent transformations to the role of the fashion show as a microcosm of online and social media’s impact on consumer culture. With the prevalent use of online media, from digital film to e-commerce to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, critics continue to suggest that the live fashion show has become obsolete. Instead, the entire Fashion Month circuit has mutated into an online (and intermedial) spectacle, live streamed in ‘real time’ and proliferated in video, photographic and textual formats. As companies such as Burberry and Tom Ford seek to collapse the time between fashion shows and collection releases, the function of the fashion show continues to be a hot-button discussion topic. How and why does the live fashion show remain a necessary focal event? I posit that the online fashion show seeks to reassert fashion’s industrial and social hierarchies, and describe how its representations refocus attention onto the live event and its (often celebrity) attendees. Online media have built an obsession with immediacy (Tomlinson, 2007), and altered the structures and timeframes of fashion journalism (Rocamora, 2012, 2013). While online media can be democratic, they nevertheless produce exclusion, reinforcing a historical dialectic that drives fashion and art (Troy, 2004). The fashion show as a mediated performance is calculated to build consumers’ desire to participate in fashion – fulfilled through immaterial labour and purchases of commodities. This research further illustrates how the use of media has altered the social structures of Fashion Week spaces – from bloggers’ admittance to the front row, to the frenzied interactions of the street style parade outside venues – and influenced the cultural status of major fashion cities and the international reach of fashion corporations. Fashion show examples discussed include presentations from brands such as Burberry, Chanel, Kanye West (Yeezy), Opening Ceremony, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff and Topshop Unique.

A profile of my research from The Walrus's January-February 2016 issue can be found at:

Publications & Exhibitions

Halliday, R. (2017, forthcoming). The politics of the neutral: Rad Hourani's unisex couture collections. In B. Barry & A. Reilly (Eds.), Crossing boundaries: Fashion to deconstruct and reimagine gender. Bristol, UK: Intellect.

Halliday, R. (2016). Front row aspirations in the online era: Bodies, accessories and fashioning celebrity. In B. Deb, J. Raphael, & N. Shrivastava (Eds.), Building bridges in celebrity studies (pp. 20-30). Toronto: WaterHill.

Halliday, R. (2014). Conflicts of interest, culture jamming and subversive (S)ignifications: The high fashion logo as locational hip hop articulation. TranscUlturAl: A Journal of Translation and Cultural Studies 6(1), 70-83.

Halliday, R. (2015). Four exhibitions in Toronto: Fashion Blows, Fashion Follows Form, Fashion Victims, Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics [Exhibition reviews]. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, 19(4), 519-39.

Program Streams: 

MA Fashion