Fashion and Freedom to Self-expression

So we’ve started a new unit this semester – Design Research Methods.

A small survey was set out on campus in order to practice one of the new design research methods we have just learnt in class. My group decided to focus on Fashion and look at the freedom of self expression as a design issue to further investigate.  Here are 3 of the questions that we used:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How would you describe your style?
  3. Do you wear the same kind of clothes back home? If you don’t, why?

Since UAL students have different backgrounds and tastes of fashion, we easily identified our subjects. After interviewing a group of students from Brazil, Italy, Australia and England, we managed to collect the information we needed. Most of the international students shared that in London, they felt more comfortable to wear what they liked than back at home.

“I have a few items that I would never wear at home.”

“If I keep my hair dyed like this and come back home, people would think that I am some sort of weirdo.”

In addition, the local students who are Londoners or come from different parts of England, more or less shared the same feeling about how they were being ‘judged’ by the public.

What we learnt from these answers helps us look at our design issue in a much broader perspective. How our surroundings have a certain impact on the way we dress? If we have chosen fashion as a tool to publish our identity, would we change our taste regarding different environments? And does this mean that our sense of self-identity is not necessarily consistent? We are thrilled just thinking about all the possibilities and knowledge that we are about to embrace. So let’s get the reading started!



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