Podcast: ‘In Conversation: Textiles and Fashion’

You can now listen to a full recording of ‘In conversation: Textiles and Fashion’, an event organised by Goldsmiths Design and the Goldsmiths Fashion Research Unit, which took place on 30 June 2015.

This event marked the recent publication of ‘Textiles and Fashion: Materials, Design and Technology’, a volume in the Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, edited by Rose Sinclair, a Lecturer in Textiles in the Design Department at Goldsmiths. The book gathers 31 chapters by authors from around the world who are both academics and practitioners, including chapters by Rose Sinclair, Mo Tomaney, Philip Richards, and Dr Julia Gaimster. The event was held in the Special Library collections archive at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Rose spoke about the process behind the book and her practice of pedagogy which the book also reflects. She utilised personal archival textiles objects such as a Levi’s ‘wearable tech jacket’ and Marks & Spencer iPod jacket to illustrate the vastness of wearable technology, which also allowed Mo Tomaney to iterate the role of the textile designer in new emergent fields and her personal role in this project. Philip Richards spoke about relationship between his technology background and the place of the humanities in the textiles technology discourse, and the work he does in textile industry. Mo Tomaney focussed on the place of sustainable thinking alongside sustainable practices, whilst Dr Julia Gaimster drew on Visual Research Methods and the place of Virtual Technologies in fashion design practice, and the link to the practice of engagement and non-engagement with technology

The key element of the in-conversation piece looked at the relationship between fashion and textiles practice and how they are both intertwined, but the vastness of the subject area could sometimes limit both educators and students in the accessing the required knowledge to make changes in the system. Sustainable practices and the message of sustaining fashion or sustaining textiles was very much the message of the event. The discussion of demise of textiles skills much lower in the curriculum also drew heated debate. The place of understanding material culture and the wider context of ‘humanities’ in understanding how to make changes in series of systems was one of the points that Phil Richards made.


About the speakers:

Rose‘s work exists in the space between design education and design practice. Originally a knitwear designer/ yarn developer, today Rose’s work is concerned with the interaction and engagement with traditional and new digital technologies and their impact on not only on design teaching and pedagogy but also the relationship between process and practice of designing textiles and fashion. Her current research focuses on the relationship between communities and the textiles practice.

Mo Tomaney is an independent consultant in sustainability for the fashion sector, who works in both academia and across the fashion industry, and has developed her practice in the space of sustainable design and practice. Mo’s work is focused on research-driven analytical and practical interventions for sustainability and ethics in fashion and textiles that engage with creative, technical and systemic drivers in the production and consumption of fashion and textiles. Mo’s projects are often concerned with potential for or mapping of social and environmental responsibility within creative, technical and logistical processes that drive fashion excellence in a global and local marketplace.

Philip Richards counts himself as a textiles technologist, with a background in Dyeing and Finishing but balances this with engagement in the humanities. Philip worked in the UK Textiles industry for 40 years as a Dyehouse and Technical Manager in various companies, which supplied major retailers, during this time he was involved in many innovations, particularly in the area of garment processing. Since leaving Courtaulds, where he had spent most of his career, Philip has since set up his own business, Richtex Textile Consultancy.

Dr Julia Gaimster is The Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies at the London College of Fashion and has developed work in the field of Visual research methods and the use of e-learning. Julia’s research also extends across the areas of exploring the use of web 2.0 technology and virtual worlds to enhance teaching and learning in art and design. Her research interests also include, Pedagogy, Virtual worlds, information technology, teaching and learning, in fashion and textiles.