Breaking the script

ten Bhomer, Marloes, Hoette, Ruby, Pollmann, Alexa, Poslethwaite, Susan and Thiel, Kat (2017) Breaking the script. In: Thornquist, Clemens and Bigolin, Ricarda, (eds.) Everything and everybody as material : beyond fashion design methods. Boras, Sweden : The School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University and The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boras. pp. 226-231. ISBN 9789188269799


‘Breaking the Script - Fashion Critiques and Conversations, Thoughts in Progress’ is a group presentation of a “working manifesto” at EEM2017 conference, by Marloes ten Bhömer, Kingston University, Ruby Hoette, Goldsmiths University of London, Alexa Pollmann, Ravensbourne College London, Susan Postlethwaite, Royal College of Art, Kat Thiel, London College of Fashion. The role of the fashion designer is broadening and shifting and in the academic, as well in their roles of creative practitioners, the collective feels a responsibility to develop new tools and resources for coming generations. A critical reflection on the fashion system – informed by a wide spectrum of roles and reaching from student to industry – is emerging in isolated pockets and on the fringes. These now need to be nurtured and connected through educational structures and institut↲ ions. From conversations and critiques themes, challenges and mostly questions are emerging. Missing fashion-owned language to describe the new paradigm as well as updates in fashion methodology have been identified. As educators the group experiences the disconnect between students’ expectations of their education/curriculum, the fashion industry and their future roles within it and the reality of the current fashion system. The group also encounters fear of owning up to responsibilities within fashion in general and in particular to one’s role and agency within and beyond the field and ultimately a lack of honest and potentially vulnerable critical debate. Issues and opportunities of the fashion system and ways to break the ‘script’ that are seen embedded in fashion education are being identified. At the EEM conference 2017 they shared their ‘thoughts in progress’ through an evolving and participatory manifesto – not as a finished document but rather as a series of live provocations towards re-imagining the very structures and material of fashion education as they have experienced it through the institutions they have studied and worked within.

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