Research in fashion design, experimental or theoretical, is no longer concerned with finite categories of design; meaning what is designed and how it is designed are radically expanded. As the territories between fashion and fashion research practice slide and loosen to encounter eachother, other fields, disciplines and terrains; we are challenged to reconcile the way we attribute the basis of knowledge in fashion design. As a consequence questions about materials in fashion design are equally expanding. In other words, what are the materials used in fashion design and what are their potential? What is a material (in fashion design) and what are the things we design? The role of things we use to design with, the shifting categories of these things that become ’material’ and the body that makes or performs (fashion) is of key interest. Fashion design no longer occupies a singular category where a linear methodology is enough to account for the current conditions of practice. The conference intends to evoke discussion and speculation on how we might be able to imagine the places That fashion design (methods) might occupy in the future.

Fashion understood in the widest possible sense, is a phenomenon that is understood and described through a system based on a function of associating materials and objects with established cultural, social and commercial categories. On a linguistic level, for example, it has been shown how material as forms of non-linguistic media contribute to the constitution and substantiation of cultural capital. Similarly, but from archaeological and anthropological perspectives, materials and material objects such as for example clothing and buildings are used as the physical evidence of culture and cultural categories.

However, fashion, understood as a way of giving shape to our everyday lives does not only associate materials and objects with existing cultural categories, it perhaps more Importantly produces new cultural categories, new meanings, ways of being and propositions for ways of living.

Thus, acknowledging the material’s propensity between things and bodies, the aim of this conference is to experimentally explore the artistic potential in all aspects of materials that is of importance to fashion design. Welcome!

The conference invites exhibitions, performances, showings, demonstration, intervention, papers, panel sessions and social events. Of interest is different ways to present research with a focus on creative practice outcomes which may challenge traditional conference formats.

Keynote speakers, exhibitions and performances will introduce discussions, perspectives and critical reflection on ’everything’ and ’everybody’ as materials in the development of new fashion design methods.

The conference is presented by the School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University and The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås.