Does the Infrastructure of Fashion Education Embrace the Skills, Processes and Associated Techniques for the Realisation of Innovative Design for the Fashion Industry?

There is a widening dissociation between fashion education and the demands of contemporary professional design. Over the past decade universities and colleges have seen a growing popularity for this subject. The scalability between the learning of design and skills varies within universities and colleges across the UK and abroad. Some universities and colleges encourage a focus and deeper approach towards fashion design innovation, and others embrace and acknowledge the need for skills and techniques within pattern cutting and garment construction for the understanding of creativity for fashion design. One of the many concerns that are facing the education sector within fashion and the industry, is students’ lack of basic skills, which are fundamental to the process of design realisation.

The research will analyse and provide reasons for the recognised gaps, and will seek to develop measures to fill them. It will also explore the relationship between the creative process of design and the technical application of skills and techniques within pattern cutting. One of the key aims is to introduce a body of research to an area that has seen minimal investigation because of traditional approaches.

Technological developments have altered manufacturing practices across the globe. Companies who have based their production abroad still administer production from the UK. For those graduates entering the market, there is a demand for technical design skills. It will be necessary to analyse the deficit.  By engaging in dialogue with specific contacts, fashion institutions across the UK, Japan and among others, the research will seek to make comparisons in approaches to the learning and teaching of skills and techniques.

The research will identify and explore the historical and current developments of fashion technical techniques which highlight the historical and cultural context that has motivated shifts and enable the charting of trends.

Finally, I aim to propose a series of measures that will bring technical fashion pedagogy into closer dialogue with industry practice, and explore the value of explicit and tacit knowledge and their contribution to cognitive processes. This will be used to analyse levels of autonomy, when factored into technological developments in fashion education.