Making the creation of fashion visible

Hong Kong Design Institute and Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2017, pp. 600 - 604 (5)
Issue Date:
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This research paper investigates garment-making processes, which are ordinarily tacit, from the perspective of the fashion designer-maker. The paper draws on a PhD project entitled Metamorphic Fashion: A Transformative Practice, which is nearing completion at RMIT University. Critical consideration of the status of the made garment in fashion design reveals the elision of the fashion-making process by the represented garment and its semiotics. Whilst material thinking is at a developed stage in the related disciplines of design, art and craft, fashion design is largely disassociated from material transformation. Fashion-making processes lack visibility, and a revaluation only seems possible if such methods gain transparency and if their proximity to handcraftedness, which in the past was more widely acknowledged, is reaffirmed. If a fashion designer is also a maker, the garmentmaking process can be a creative and empowering means of coaxing the unknown into existence. Therefore, a critical reappraisal of the process of fashion making is timely. Reflection on the fashion-making process reveals discontinuity, chance encounters, discovery, the fragmentary and the partially formed. The process involves negotiating ambiguity, which must be embraced by the designer to be transformed into certainty. When valued as generative, newly fashioned outcomes can emerge. In this research, methods are developed to articulate fashion design making as transformative, using a creative-practice methodology. The subjective positioning of the researcher’s experience and tacit knowledge is acknowledged and explored. An intimate perspective on the engagement between self and material is provided using video recordings, conveying the complex interrelationship of concept and material during fashion making.
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