Fashion Fictions brings people together to generate, experience and reflect on engaging fictional visions of alternative fashion cultures and systems.
Run by Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, Associate Professor of Fashion and Sustainability in the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University, the initiative takes fashion design from its usual commercial context to instead explore speculative scenarios with diverse groups of participants through written outlines, visual and material prototypes and ‘everyday dress’ projects.
The fictions, or Worlds, are framed as parallel presents, rather than speculative futures, and are guided by some loose parameters. These parameters specify that the fictions should describe sustainable and satisfying cultures and systems; explore social and cultural factors, rather than technological change; and focus attention on use and associated practices such as loaning and sharing, rather than production and conventional consumption.
In research terms, the aim is to understand how alternative fashion cultures and systems might be imagined and experienced, and discover which historical or contemporary real-world examples we can draw on in the process of exploring them. As a form of activism, the initiative aims to contribute to the emergent post-growth fashion movement – which seeks a fashion system that fully acknowledges the Earth’s capacity to support life – by supporting people to imagine alternative ways of living with clothes and take action to bring them to reality.
Fashion Fictions is aligned with and takes inspiration from the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham. Atlas of the Future describes Earth Logic as ‘a simple yet transformative call to the fashion sector: to put earth first, pledging loyalty to the planet before industry, business and economic growth.’
Participants in Fashion Fictions include people with experience of fashion cultures gained through wearing and enjoying clothes (yes, that could mean you), along with those with specialist expertise in fashion theory and history and in speculative design and fashion/textile practice.
Fashion Fictions has a three-stage structure:
Creating outlines of fictional fashion cultures and systems, presented via 100-word written sketches describing each World.
Running workshops to build on the sketches, with each group generating visual and material prototypes to represent a specific World.
Facilitating intensive and extended ‘everyday dress’ projects, with participants enacting and experiencing the prototyped Worlds.
Want to get involved?
Fashion Fictions is currently in a pilot phase, supported by Nottingham Trent University’s strategic research funding. A selection of outlines (stage 1) has been created and a pilot workshop (stage 2) and ‘everyday dress’ project (stage 3) completed.
There are three ways to join in as the initiative grows. You are invited to:
- contribute ideas for new Worlds
- share any historical or contemporary real-world examples that the current collection of Worlds bring to mind
- express interest in participating in future workshops and ‘everyday dress’ projects.
Follow the links to find out more!