On Teaching Fashion: In conclusion.

The conclusion, evaluation, summing up of a project- often perhaps an oversight after weeks and many hours of sewing a precious collection together.

Previously I have written about the necessity for critical thinking in research and visual data gathering at the start of design projects. Understanding why you have gained this visual information, and what you could do with it. A sketchbook should never look like a scrap book of magazine rips, and no, no one can read your mind between frequently ad hoc images presented.

So, in conclusions I draw my focus for the evaluative stages of the design process and primarily how reflective they are of the first researching stages. Requiring success in the depth of critical thinking and analysis- alike in research and the entire design cycle. I break conclusions down into simple stages with my younger learners. Firstly- if you are going to say something is successful, great! But why is it? Is this to do with the link to trend, target market, suitability to purpose or perhaps quality of production?

Contrasting to that, if something could be improved (I always encourage students never to use the word ‘bad’- perhaps it is just not in keeping with your success criteria?) always needs a reason. However furthermore- what are you going to do about it?

Primarily evaluations are lacking in depth without drawing conclusions about how you are going to move forward with your professional practise, skills and abilities. What have you learnt from this project?

Also, a key point I include for my students is discussing how contextual references have influenced their designs. How have they used elements from historical and contemporary sources to being to create something original and unique and which is theirs. I also emphasise to my students that a conclusion is learning from what has happened and planning for the future. And also, enforce the golden rule that this piece of critical analysis does never start with the phrase ‘in conclusion.’

6 years into my teaching career I am projecting forward with what I wish to do, continuously expanding my creative abilities, learning new skills and widening my teaching experiences in educational contexts. Also understanding that the artistic processes take experience and time to breathe and develop into a progression of creativity and not a repetition.

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