Design Culture Salon 11: How do fashion cycles and design culture interact?

Friday 14 November 2014


Clore 55, British Galleries, V&A Museum

Fashion has featured very little in the conversations and debates generated in previous Design Culture Salons. This is surprising, given that the concepts of movement and mobility, central to the study of design culture, are also central to the study of fashion theory. Fashion also dominates how design is understood and consumed, particularly through the media. At the same time, the ‘trend’ orientated fashion system appears to be oppositional to those seeking to pave alternative systems and cultures of consuming design. So, how useful are the dynamics of fashion as a method of examining and understanding the role of design in contemporary culture? How can we compare the cycles of fashion and furniture design, for example? What can we learn from trend forecasters about design culture? What might account for the apparent separation of the academic study of cultures of fashion and design?

Chair: Christopher Breward, Principal, Edinburgh College of Art

Cher Potter, Research Fellow, V&A and London College of Fashion
Lisa White, Content Director, HomeBuildLife, WGSN
Marloes ten Bhomer, Designer and Fellow at Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University
Joanne Entwistle, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries, Kings College, London

Professor Christopher Breward is a leading cultural historian. Appointed Principal of ECA in September 2011, he is also Vice Principal for the Creative Industries and Performing Arts and Professor of Cultural History at the University of Edinburgh. His publications and exhibitions have considered the cultural history of fashion in the West, the history and status of London and other cities as global capitals of fashion, men as consumers of dress and related histories of dandyism, and ideas of fashion, modernity and memory. He has worked on major collaborative curatorial projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Cher Potter is London College of Fashion / Victoria & Albert Museum Senior Research Fellow. Before starting at the V&A, she led the Creative Direction at WGSN Forecasting Agency – the global leader in design research and trends. In 2012, she curated the 23rd edition of the Impakt Arts Festival, focusing on post-western arts and design practice. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including a regular feature on design futures in 032C Magazine.

Lisa White Lisa White is creative director of WGSN’s Think Tank and the Homebuildlife website, at the crossroads of fashion and design. A multicultural multinational, Lisa White is an American who has spent half of her life in France. She began her career at Chanel, then joined the trend forecasting office of Li Edelkoort, where she launched and edited the iconic professional magazines View on Colour, INview and Bloom. She also wrote on design for a variety of international publications, including Vogue, Surface, Beaux Arts and Form.

Critically acclaimed designer Marloes ten Bhömer aims to challenge the generic typologies of women’s shoes through experiments with non-traditional technologies and material techniques. By reinventing the process by which footwear is made, the resulting shoes serve as unique examples of new aesthetic and structural possibilities, while also serving to criticise the conventional status of women’s shoes as cultural objects. Ten Bhömer’s work has been exhibited internationally. She is currently a Professor in Fashion at the Universität der Künste Berlin and Senior Research Fellow at Kingston University.

Dr Joanne Entwistle is senior lecturer in culture and creative industries and PhD Programme Director and PhD Admissions Tutor at Kings College, London. She has previously worked at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London; University of North London (now London Metropolitan University), and in the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. Her most recent published works include Entwistle, J. and E. Wissinger, Eds. (2012). Fashioning Models: Image, Industry, Text. London, Bloomsbury and Entwistle, J. (2009). The aesthetic economy of fashion: markets and value in clothing and modelling. Oxford, Berg. She is  Co-Investigator on the ESRC project ‘Configuring light/ Staging the Social: Dialogues between the social sciences and lighting practices’.

This event is free, but booking is essential. If booking is full, please email to join the guest list.

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