Towards a collective understanding of Fashion (Design) practice: how the academic community can support practitioner discourse through reflection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle




Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
JournalWork Based Learning e-Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper argues a ‘thought structure’ and narrative of ‘seeing’ exists through critical gaze when viewing and engaging with fashion practice. Through the creative practice of curatorial project work the unity of discourse between reflection and practice can be attributed to mapping and developing the knowledge’s of fashion practice experienced and exploited through the practice portfolio or exhibition. There is opportunity for professional doctorates of design practice to develop insightful methodological approaches informed through the design process of practice. The context of this research paper is the learning experience of a professional doctorate study that focuses on developing and evaluating a fashion (design) practice process of constructing the fashion narrative in a contemporary context. Research suggests that present texts on design practice, reflective practice, visual anthropology and curation are still not effectively informing creative-authorship of practice as portfolio or exhibition of Design Practice. The fashion commerce and fashion cultural industries have much to gain in linking theory with practice towards a better understanding of what designers do, in, through and of practice. The research concludes that a conscious ‘seeing’ exists as a pure discourse of fashion practice toward an understanding of what designers 'do' in thought and action and how the spectator can apply critical gaze to understand, perform, and respond to fashion practice in both a commercial and cultural context that is to be collectively understood; and that this achievement can be effectively facilitated through engagement with a professional doctorate programme.

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