On Teaching Fashion: Design and developments.

I have written before about the concept of design. And how learners in previous jobs I have had have handed to me an outline of their ‘desired final piece’ before the research or project even begins. Why is that? Well recently I have had one more student do this in a class, whilst other members of the group are taking time in developing theory, sketchbooks, methods and samples. The beginning of a project is like a blank canvas, and empty mannequin with so many options to develop. I as a teacher yearn for students to consider this brilliant opportunity and not jump to the final hurdle.


I find this interesting, and have questioned in my recent musing whether this is an act of impulse. Yes, I believe it is- but, where from? Or, is this just a reaction of fast paced, instant access thinking in a fast paced existence?

So is one method right or wrong? I do not believe this could be defined.

However, I found myself in a class talking consistently for 2 and a half hours today. I am reflecting on my own methods with one to one discussions, assistance, feedback and tutorials. In this time and continuous talking I found myself churning out so many ideas and opinions to my students. And then following this with perhaps four key bullet points on their feedback sheet. Does their feedback sheet reflect all of our discussions? No not at all in the verbal depth that took place. However, these 4 key titles are more likely to stick in their mind.

Again, will they remember 30mins of discussion with me? Probably not, however the gist, and perhaps these 4 key bullet points I do hope. But, even furthermore there is a huge weight on accountability of work in education today where feedback and marking is quite onerous in these checks. So, are my points an entire document of the feedback- no, but I shudder to think of the work load to write down every word from a lengthy tutorial.

I have never used audio recording for tutorials, do you find them effective?

So returning to the difference in my students’ design methodologies, others I have seen are taking so slow to get going with their work we risk running out of time at the latter stages of the project. I think there is a fine line between over ( and too slow) research, and speedy/ resulting in lack of thinking jumping stages. So I try to split the projects into weeks and dedicate different weeks to the individual stages of my projects.

I have just found that my student who decided on the final piece at the beginning, from progressing with her samples has now altered these ideas with reflecting on the experiences she has done. So, realistically this initial impulse has had the consideration and refining that is needed after all.


Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Monthly Archive


Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at : Amazon.com, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.