Fashion and Costume Thinking focuses upon four interdisciplinary research areas: Costume and Performance, Pattern Cutting and Technologies, Fashion Ecology, Fashion Economies and Business Engagement; each area is underpinned by long-standing industrial relations, including Burberry, Betty Jackson and M&S.

Staff working in these areas have made significant contributions to the changing role of fashion and costume in relation to design, manufacture, reception and retail management in both local and global environments. Drawing from expertise in design, pattern cutting, 3D digital imaging, sculpture, photography, costume and the performing arts Fashion and Costume Thinking promotes interdisciplinary approaches to practice-led research as well as traditional theoretical approaches; engaging with a range of disciplines, including anthropology, ethnography, humanities, social and political science. Fashion and Costume Thinking is composed of designers, artists, historians, business and technical experts all of whom are committed to exploring the cultural, social and political ecologies of fashion and costume in contemporary society.

1: Costume and Performance

The fusion of historical and contemporary design, which includes cut and construction techniques used in collaboration with textiles for the following cultural industries: theatre, opera, dance, film, TV, music videos and commercials.

2: Pattern Cutting and Technologies

Pattern Cutting and Technologies Research aims to explore different perceptions of garment making in contemporary fashion and costume making. The group explores different levels of craftsmanship and skills in these areas and how they can be the source of creativity, whether through traditional techniques and/or digital approaches. Staff research focuses upon tacit intelligence and tactile epistemologies within the making process and how techniques and technologies are located in a broader cultural and historical context.

3: Fashion Ecology

From cute culture, normcore to formal evening wear, Fashion Ecology focuses upon the creative and conceptual developments of design with respect to fashioning the body and its associated aesthetics. Staff research explores practical and theoretical approaches to fashion, which includes cultural and social ecologies of contemporary society, as well as focusing upon historical precedents.

4: Fashion Enterprise and Business Engagement

Staff research explores the exchange and integrated practices operating between the creative and commercial aspects of fashion design, production, retail and management. Current research focuses upon the marketing challenges facing fashion companies in the UK and around the world, in particular the conceptualisations of brands and their significance to corporate strategies.

Postgraduate Opportunities

MA by Research or PhD Applications are welcome to support interdisciplinary research to address, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Trans-disciplinarily: analogue and digital focus on the body, dress and material
  • Virtual embodiment: changes to concepts of body, identity and dress in the digital age
  • Sculptural thinking in fashion design
  • Representation: fashion and politics in the 21st Century
  • Curating contemporary fashion and historical dress
  • Sustainability: business, ethics and political agendas
  • Fashion retail and social media

For more information on postgraduate taught courses within Art and Design view our Art and Design Postgraduate Guide

Taught Masters Programmes offered within the centre include:

Fashion Textile Practices MA

International Fashion Management MA

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Costume and Fashion in Context and Practice

5th - 6th December 2016
University of Huddersfield‌

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