“You will be relieved to know I have no semiotics of cardigans” was my opening line.
Trust me, it made sense at the time.
It also turned out not to be true. As the conversation went on, I discovered that I do have a “semiotics” of cardigans – that is, when we continued the discussion, I realised that I have a very clear understanding of what cardigans mean/inscribe on a body in different contexts; a cardigan worn by a man at home says something different from a cardigan worn by a woman at work; a cardigan on a young woman is different in denotation from a cardigan worn by a middle-aged womern and similarly, but different meanings from men.
It was a fun discusison.
And slightly distrubing – I didn’t know I still took my (very long ago )studies in semiotics so seriously, or had embodied them so deeply.
And more significantly, it reminded me how important clothes are – not just in how they look and feel, but in the message they convey.
Which may not always be the one we epxect. My interpretation of one of the cardigans under discussion was very different from that reported by somebody else. (I still maintain I am right!) But then that begins to take us into the the consideration of just what is meaning, and does it really exist.
That’s another post, I think….