Graduate Fashion Week: June 2011

A Diversity Network to pioneer new design approaches for Diverse Body Ideals.

Launched in June 2011 by Govt Minister Lynne Featherstone at Graduate Fashion Week, The Edinburgh College of Art and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk Diversity Network, is an important tool for learning.

Run by Director Mal Burkinshaw: Programme Director of Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art and located at the Scottish Academy of Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art, the goal is to create a long term ‘Network of Excellence,’ for research relating to emotionally considerate design for a range of body shapes. The network will be a hub for dynamic and challenging creative research that will span the breadth of modern fashion pedagogy. See Press Information here

Director Mal Burkinshaw says…

“Graduates are the future – as identified by the All Walks Beyond the Catwalk initiative; will need embrace and understand diversity in an increasingly complex global market, the Edinburgh College of Art and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, Diversity Network, will tackle research questions such as:

• How can academic institutions develop emotionally considerate graduates?

• How can businesses communicate emotion and add meaning to their products and brands to enhance value and engage with more diverse markets?

We are entering an era where emotion and experience are increasingly important in both personal and professional development… people are looking for diversity, meaning and integrity in what they do and what they buy and embracing individualism after a prolonged period of mass-market consumption. How does design affect mood? Can specific design elements such as colour, size and style affect consumer behaviour? Can psychological issues related to identity and well-being be fused into fashion to comfort the consumer? The idea of Emotional Engagement could revolutionise both the way we teach our design students and how businesses market their products globally.”

Government Minister Lynne Featherstone says…

“I am delighted to be working with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk as part of my work on Body Confidence. It is an organisation which has the capacity to make a real impact on the fashion industry.

“We recognise that there is huge pressure on people nowadays to conform to very narrow ideals of beauty, which can contribute to low self-esteem and eating disorders. All Walks’ work is playing an important part in broadening beauty ideals and encouraging diversity and individuality. It is important that this realistic and inspirational fashion imagery is there for women to see.”

“I am working within government to look at what can be done to tackle this problem, and All Walks is offering their expertise in those discussions.”

Project Principal Contact:

Mal Burkinshaw, Programme Director of Fashion, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place. Edinburgh, EH3 9DF Contact: m.burkinshaw@ed.ac.uk

See key team here.

See Director Mal Burkinshaw’s aims here.

Research Project Team:

Linda Shearer, Programme Organiser, BA (Hons) Fashion Business, Caledonian Business School, Glasgow Caledonian University

Karen Cross, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Fashion Management, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University

Jo Royle, Head of Department of Communication, Marketing and Media, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University

Anne Chaisty, Course Leader BA [HONS] Fashion Studies The Arts, University College at Bournemouth

Philip Clark, Programme Leader Fashion Photography and Communication: Southampton Solent University

Jacq McMahon, Research Development advisor.

Key Partners/advisers:

Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne, Erin O’Connor: All Walks Beyond the Catwalk

National Galleries of Scotland

Scottish Academy of Fashion

Denise McKeever: Designovater

Rinaldo Girasoli, Lecturer, Pattern Cutting, Edinburgh College of Art