The geography of garments: cartographies of London’s fashion industry from 1984 onward.
Royal Holloway, University of London
Year of enrolment: 2019
This research project aims to analyse and visualise the fashion industry in London from 1984, the year that London Fashion Week was launched, in order to better understand: i) the different agents involved; ii) the processes of design; manufacture; display and consumption; iii) interconnections between different sites and spaces of fashion.
At the heart of the analysis are two key elements: first, the analysis will focus on a series of case-study garments, approaching them not just as complex material objects with crafted meanings, but also as objects that move through the sites and spaces of the city and that have other kinds of connections with distant places. Second the analysis will be organized around a series of cartographic visualizations of these geographies, tracing the case-study garments from design through production and consumption, and shedding new light on the complex networks of people and places which make up London’s fashion industry.
This interdisciplinary research project will combine fashion, fine art, geography, and architectural history research methods, and will uncover new, previously unwritten narratives on London’s fashion industry and culture, between 1984 and the present. The project will capitalise on the author’s own extensive professional experience in the industry to give voice to a diverse range of individuals’ perspectives. The work will make a contribution to evolving discourse on creative industries, London as a fashion capital (as well as the wider heritage of London) and the processes of design, making, craft, marketing, promotion and consumption, tracing the geographies of each. It will do so through putting to practice a combined scholarly and practice-led approach with a focus on a series of distinctive maps of fashion’s geographies. This combination of fashion studies and close attention to urban spatiality will provide a new analysis and visualisation of the industry.