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five: Fashion musings

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Product Description

By Suzi Vaughan, Christine Schmidt

Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-921214-47-9
Pages: iv+105
Imprint: Post Pressed


We wanted the book to be visually beautiful and to 'nourish'. It represents a body of work that explores fashion theory, practice and pedagogy through five key themes:
mind: a source of knowledge and ideas
passion and creativity
an essential tool-crafting fashion
aesthetics and interpretation
the focus and external face of fashion

Suzi Vaughan FRSA - Prologue

The thought-provoking essays in five: fashion musings range from narrative exposés, such as Mark Neighbour's questioning of the concept of material thinking in fashion, as referenced in his own practice, where construction determines the design enigma, to socio-cultural histories which trace the link, as outlined by Paula Dunlop, between re-making second-hand clothes and the DIY street-style philosophy, or which consider the importance of symbolic meaning in fashion accessories, in particular the glove, as documented by Kathleen Horton.

Nadia Buick discusses the often neglected role of the model as a cultural figure which can be exemplified through photographic means and John Hartley argues that it is the consumer, rather than the designer who plays the key role in determining the success or failure of fashion trends. He asks the provocative question, how does 'The Look', orchestrated by the model, the photographer and the media machine, and presented momentarily on the catwalk, capture the heart of the consumer?

Kay McMahon celebrates the international success of a past graduate, spotlighting her career path through signature design, events and media exposure, and retail marketing. Other essays rigorously debate theories, presented by eminent writers including Barthes and Foucault, from both a theoretical and practice-based perspective. Christine Schmidt uses swimwear to illustrate that the methodological practice of the assemblage of pattern pieces is inherent to the intellectual construction that underpins fashion's cultural and historical discourses. She argues that these common threads are woven together to shape the finished 'global' garment.

The three broad topologies of the fashion designer, according to Tiziana Ferrero-Regis, include the designer as artist, as celebrity, and as a syndicated brand name. In her essay, she outlines the conceptual differences between these categories and highlights the dichotomy which exists between the fêted 'few' and the 'army' of anonymous designers working in the fashion industry.

This beautifully illustrated book not only celebrates an educational milestone for the Fashion staff, students and graduates of QUT, but endorses the promise of an illustrious future ahead.

Associate Professor Bonnie English
Queensland College of Art, Griffith University

Author of A Cultural History of Fashion in the 20th Century: From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk, Berg Publishers, 2007

Table of Contents

mind: a source of knowledge and ideas
heart: passion and creativity
hand: an essential tool-crafting fashion
eyes: aesthetics and interpretation
body: the focus and external face of fashion

Kathleen Horton is a lecturer in fashion history and theory at QUT. Her research areas include fashion practice, fashion and modernity, and the relationship between feminist theory and fashion.

Kay McMahon is a lecturer in fashion industry practice and fashion journalism at QUT. She continues to work in the industry as a director/partner of her own fashion and lifestyle branding and marketing company, and freelances for local media.

Mark Neighbour: Developing his extensive background in the technical/production area of the Australian fashion industry, Mark recently completed his MA (Research) - The Male Fashion Bias. This research examined the possibilities of designing menswear through the incorporation of womenswear patternmaking and construction techniques. He has been involved with the QUT undergraduate BFA Fashion since its inception and is employed as a Postgraduate Practice Mentor and Technical Assistant for QUT Fashion.

Christine Schmidt is a fashion researcher who draws on her experience as a design practitioner to explore the interfaces between fashion, media, celebrity, sport, and the cultivation of the modern body. Her doctoral thesis traced the career of the modern swimsuit, showing how an inventive individual, Annette Kellerman, and a peripheral nation, Australia, influenced the design direction of the swimsuit in the 20th century and beyond to create a distinctly Australian niche in global fashion.

Susan Sewell is an interdisciplinary creative freelancer with extensive industry experience as an Art Director, Creative Director, Graphic Designer and Illustrator for both private and State Government bodies. Susan is responsible for the creative direction of five: fashion musings, including design, illustration and photography, as well as the photographic art direction of the eCHO project garments. She is currently undertaking a practice-led Masters by Research at QUT exploring the design of fashion accessories focusing on visual storytelling and the fairy tale as inspiration.

Suzi Vaughan was QUT's inaugural head of fashion for the Creative Industries Faculty. In January 2006 she was appointed as Portfolio Director for Fashion, Journalism and Media/Communication. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the advisory panel for the Mercedes Brisbane Fashion Festival.

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