close-up fabric detail on fashionable jacket

Fashion and textiles research

Explore our work in fashion and textiles, one of our areas of research expertise in Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice

Research into fashion and textiles has an impact on everyone. Fabric and clothing are part of practically every moment of our lives – from what we wear, to the furnishings in our homes.

Our fashion and textiles research is addressing important issues around fashion and textile design and its associated industries.

We work to drive positive change and responsible approaches to designing fashion and textiles in the future. We support the Fashion Revolution campaign and its agenda for sustainability and ethics from industry and consumers.

We're exploring the design process and its outcomes, including work into the use of digital technologies within design and supply chains, theoretical research into design and craft that questions fashion and textile futures and socially engaged practices that educate and provide opportunities for economic growth.

Our research covers the following topics

 

  • Sustainability and ethics in supply chains
  • Socially engaged practices in making and education
  • Digital and virtual technologies
  • Critical practice and theories of craft and design

Methods and facilities

Our researchers use practice-based approaches in their qualitative work. We seek to work collaboratively, often using varied approaches such as film-making, animation, narrative methods and workshops.

We have a range of facilities available to support this research practice including Lectra Modaris, laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC milling, rapid forming, as well as digital technologies for VR and AR applications.

Funders and collaborations

Our research receives funding from major funding organisations, including the British Council – who funded our Arts Exchange with Wuhan Textile University, China – and the Regional Development Agency.

We collaborate with academic partners beyond fashion and textiles across a range of fields of international law, ethical business, social engagement, dance and performance, motion capture and digital and virtual animation.

Publications and projects

Our research is regularly exhibited and published in academic journals, books and at events and conferences internationally including the Venice Biennale, FAD Barcelona, Wuhan Fashion Week (China) and the Design Research Society International Conference.

We've also presented and exhibited our work around the world, such as the Venice Biennale, FAD Barcelona, the Design Research Society International Conference, and Wuhan Fashion Week, China.

Project highlights

 

“if I could, unless we”, June 2019

An exhibition by Dr Lara Torres at Manifattura Tabacchi, curated by Linda Loppa during Pitti Uomo in Florence.

 

Rachel Homewood ('Nonahedra' Virtual Fashion Film) and Susan Noble ('What We Wear Is Who We Are') presented and exhibited their research projects at the Futurescan conference, University of Bolton.

 

Our members

Elaine Marie Igoe Portrait

Dr Elaine Igoe

Senior Lecturer

Elaine.Igoe@port.ac.uk

School of Art, Design and Performance

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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Lara Mendonca Guterres Torres Portrait

Dr Lara Mendonca Guterres Torres

Senior Lecturer

lara.torres@port.ac.uk

School of Art Design and Performance

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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Discover our areas of expertise

Fashion and textiles is one of 6 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice – explore the other 5 below.

Graphic and communication design

Our research is looking at the history of design, and ethnographic studies in relation to design, design usability, legibility studies, design knowledge, and epistemology.

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History and Theory of Art and Design

We're exploring the historical production and consumption of art and design in wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts, with a particular emphasis on curation and exhibitions.

Visitor looking at artworks on the wall at Tate Modern, London
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Illustration and Art of the Book

We're exploring the historical production and consumption of art and design in wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts, with a particular emphasis on curation and exhibitions.

illustrator drawing in sketch book, close-up
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Photography

Our research looks at the portrait studio as a psychic space, how photography can be used to propose theoretical considerations, and how subjectivity is defined through photography.

Student taking a photo with DSLR
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Visual and Material Culture

Concepts such as taste are the product of cultural and social forces – and through our visual and material culture research, we're working to uncover the concepts at work.

Young woman wearing Donald Duck sweatshirt
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Interested in a PhD in Art & Design?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Art & Design postgraduate research degrees page.