It’s our third year of running the Better Lives lecture series and this time we’ve paired up with LCF resident psychology Dr Carolyn Mair to devise four sessions exploring Psychology’s links with Fashion.
Our focus will be on Judgment and Wellbeing.
Speakers taking part will include Cosmopolitan’s Woman of the Year 2012: Natasha Devon (Body Gossip), Dilys Williams (Director at CSF), Dr Kate Fletcher (Researcher, CSF), Frances Corner (Head of College, LCF) and Caryn Franklin MBE (Fashion Commentator).
More information is available at the following link where you can also sign up to attend any or all of the free sessions: http://betterliveslectures.eventbrite.co.uk
Last night the first ever Guardian University Award winners were announced in a London ceremony hosted by BBC education correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti, and we are extremely pleased to congratulate University of Wales, Trinity St David for winning in the Sustainability project category. The awards ‘celebrate the best of Britain’s universities and act as a benchmark for excellence across the higher education sector’.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion has been working with the support of Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE, on the development of the Green Academy programme, through which we aim to develop long-term transformational change for sustainability across the London College of Fashion and University of the Arts London. We are proud to be embarking on this programme to explore strategic and holistic ways to embed sustainable development throughout the student experience, and to be working with other exemplary institutions such as University of Wales, Trinity St. David.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion recently hosted the first in a series of events aimed at fashion educators to discuss and raise the profile of design for sustainability in fashion education.
The first event, a debate questioning ‘What is the role of fashion education in our changing world?’ involved key fashion educators and activists engaging in a lively debate to find ways in which we can explore fashion education, to improve student experience and foster sustainability throughout the curriculum.
The panel was chaired by Nina Stevenson – Education & Curriculum Development Manager, CSF and included:
Dilys Williams – Director, CSF
Kate Fletcher – Reader in Sustainable Fashion, CSF
Gemma Robertson – Graduate Recruitment Manager, ASOS
Lesley Raven – Senior Outreach Coordinator, LCF
Frankie Moloney – Students’ Union Vice President for LCF
Dilys opened the discussion by asking, we are almost at the end of the , but has much changed in fashion education?
We should be looking at fashion education as an exploration of self in connection to place, through the practice of fashion, and as a forum for self-contemplative work:
‘Time spent in fashion education can be a precious and vital place for change at a profound level – if it is about education of the person, through practice of fashion that really is relevant to time and place.’ Dilys Williams
‘Universities can be hierarchical in their knowledge structure – they value industrial knowledge above all else, which doesn’t give space for self-contemplative work.’ Kate Fletcher
From a student’s perspective, ‘fashion education is integral to finding like-minded people and creating networks and there is great value in the experience of those teaching.’ Frankie Moloney
Part of this networking value was highlighted in creating university and business dialogue through placements. ‘Working with a broad range of companies gives a strong overview of the industry, and showcases the creativity that can be nurtured in a university context.’ Gemma Robertson of ASOS explained. ‘Networking and attending events ensures you will make an impression and recruiters will remember you’, she continued, highlighting the importance of a genuine understanding of the role and market level being applied for, having recruited approximately 96 graduates in the past six months.
Within a university setting, there is ‘the need to promote collaborative working and creative thinking in education models, to create a community of practice to enable continuous improvement.’ Lesley Raven
‘We need to engage our imaginations in the ingenuity needed to get us beyond the tweaks at the edges that are obviously not making enough of a difference to how we live– fashion gives us an opportunity as it should be a barometer of change relevant to time, people and our natural world, upon which we all revolve.‘ Dilys Williams
The discussion then moved to the audience for insightful comment and probing questions. When asked about allowing space for thought, experimentation and balance within curriculum, Kate responded, ‘most of the world focus is on narrowing peoples perspective on things. Within sustainability it’s almost a progressive broadening you need. The challenge is to get people to become experts in a synthesis where they put things together instead of taking them apart.”
This challenge is being addressed within Centre for Sustainable Fashion through initiatives such as MA Fashion and the Environment at the London College of Fashion, which was that same night awarded the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Award for Educational Innovation. The course was set up five years ago by Dilys Williams as a vital part of the development of the Centre’s work, to engage a multi way flow between the research and consultancy practitioners in the centre and burgeoning creative sustainability led postgraduate students. Susan Postlewaite, now course leader of the programme is currently collating this year’s graduate work for exhibition during London Fashion Week in February 2013.
The evening provided rich and diverse discussion regarding fashion education and set an agenda for future work, which will be continued through the network, for which details will be posted in the new year.
‘We need to encourage people to foster a sense of balance. It’s at the heart of a set of values that are different, and us showing that fashion can be different. Education is for life, not for a moment or for a score card.’ Kate Fletcher
The evening concluded with a final comment from a recent graduate, Alina Moat, ‘the best thing about the MA Fashion & Environment course is that normally courses are designed primarily around the idea of success. This offered the opportunity for failure – meaning showing that you can learn from mistakes and build on them; it’s not just built on society’s idea of success.’
You can track commentary and join in the debate on Twitter by searching #TransformFashion
‘Design Against Fur’ a design competition run by the Fur Free Alliance set London College Fashion students the task of designing without animal products. LCF took it one step further by asking students to use animals and nature as their inspiration and the motto ‘don’t use fur use your imagination.’ The results were beautifully crafted pieces that incorporated new technologies. One of the outcomes was the ‘HyperNatureSuperHuman’ film which demonstrated that no animal need be used to produce beautiful fashion.
The Centre for Sustainable Fashions Professor Sandy Black joined writer and journalist, Julia Robson in a discussion about tights, new fashion and technology during Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. Sandy looks at hosiery in her latest book Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft which launches on October 4.
This London Fashion Week, which takes place from 14th-18th September, sees the launch of the new Fashion & Textiles section on the Future Morph website. You can explore the career opportunities combining science and fashion, from textile technologists to fashion photographers and footwear designers, science exists behind all of your favourite garments and you could become a part of it.
We have entered an era where we are able to develop our own wardrobe of fragrances depending on our mood, fabrics can be made out of old plastic drink bottles, and new technologies are being used to integrate natural inspect repelling agents into our clothes. Future Morph has been working with a range of fashion designers, organisations and businesses in order to bring this content to life, including Rainbow Winters, Camira Fabrics, Helen Storey Foundation, Heriot-Watt University and MzTEK. Funding was provided by the Drapers’ Charitable Fund.
Future Morph are encouraging the next generation of young creatives to look for careers within this innovative field. For more information or to request an interview, please contact Diana Garnham, Chief Executive, Science Council on 020 7922 7884 or email@example.com or Holly Margerison, Careers from Science Manager, Science Council on 020 7922 7881 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Fashion & Textiles section can be seen here
Last weeks spring/summer 2013 Fashion East show took place at 50 St James and showcased designersClaire Barrow, Maarten van der Horst and Ryan Lo. Watch Lou Stoppard, Frances Corner, Marion Hume, and Dilys Williams discuss the Fashion East show live as it happens below:
Below is the final interview in the Li Edelkoort series by BLINK London:
This is the final part of our interview with Lidewij Edelkoort, and I think that may be just as well as several people have asked me if I work for Li or if I have something to do with Trend Tablet. The answer to both of those questions is no- but only because I haven’t been asked!
In 2005, Aid to Artisans honoured Li with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2008, on behalf of the French Minister of Culture, Didier Grumbach, President of the French Fédération de la Couture, honoured Li by awarding her Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, amongst many other honours and awards so she has many, many amazing career highlights, so we were wondering if there was a moment that felt more significant than the others…
“Blink”: The final question we have for you is to ask what has made you proudest in her career?
Lidewij Edelkoort: I have recently been awarded the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfondsprize in the Netherlands for outstanding contribution in the fields of design, fashion and trend forecasting, which was a wonderful surprise as they just turned up on my Amsterdam office’s doorstep with a film crew, unannounced, to give me the award. It feels like an incredibly important acknowledgement and validation for myselfand also for my peers. One of the most significant aspects of this award is the ability to set up a foundation (The Prins Bernarhard Cultuurfonds prize awards €75,000.00 to the winner) and I’m just waiting for it to be put together. My plan is to create a ‘floating institute’ that could move from school to school, location to location, both literally and virtually.
Really, every day is a great career moment for me.
The work changes constantly. The diversity is a constant creative trigger. I’m never bored and for that I consider myself very lucky. Even if I’m traveling delivering the same trend lecture over and over, it changes thorough the impact of the location and the audience, which is an inspiration in itself.
We’re constantly looking at how we can deliver information in new ways, particularly in how we can reach emerging designers, small businesses and emerging countries. In this time of crisis, it’s important to offer that option, so we’ve created Trend Union Online Forecast; a more affordable, accessible, closer to the season option. We’ve also launched the Trend Letter, a sister service to Trend Tablet, which is a premium curated tool delivering a weekly input of inspiration, analyzing fashion shows and brand strategies, and noting the exhibitions, books and culture that will trigger trends.
“Blink”: the way that we work at “Blink” is very different to how I was working as a designer and forecaster at the start of my career, and that is mainly due to new technology and the internet. How has technology impacted on the way that you work?
Li Edelkoort: access to the internet has hugely deepened the research factor. I really like it. For me it’s like walking along. You come across an image, which leads to a film, which then leads you on to a whole new subject. It is full of amazing traps and diversions.
It may save huge amounts of time, but it can also be very annoying because you just can’t stop!
It has also added wonderful new ways of working with our clients, and created new opportunities for us to share information and communicate our ideas. Last year we launched the Trend Tablet. Our aim was to make it a social website, like the Wikipedia of trends where everyone has the opportunity to contribute information. This free site is a place where you can see what the team are interested in and being influenced by, gaining an early insight into emerging trends, watching them evolve and grow. Trend Tablet has also linked in to Pinterest where we have set up some boards reflecting things that we are currently considering and discussing. Anyone can contribute to these boards by emailing us their images, adding to the social aspect of this part of our business.