Tuesday, June 12, 2007

i'm back (for now at least)

It's been more than six months since the last post. Blogging didn't feel a right fit to document the practice on the kind of basis that is necessary for the research; my research journal (a very hands-on approach that I'm familiar with) has worked much better. But, I do think this place can play its own role, too.

The six months have been hectic, as I'm currently trying to explain in my now-two-weeks overdue progress report for the semester. In late February I finished the book chapter I've worked on since August; that has now come back with comments from the publisher. It's quite exciting to see how that project has evolved. The book is planned for publication in early 2008, under the title Sustainable Fashion: Why Now? It is edited by Janet Hethorn (University of Delaware) and Connie Ulasewicz (San Francisco State University). My chapter is titled 'Jigsaw Puzzle: Creating Fashion without Creating Fabric Waste'. The other chapters (there are 15 in all!) seem very exciting; the book will be a valuable resource for various fashion-related fields.

I was accepted to present two different papers at two different conferences. The first was Dressing Rooms: Current Perspectives on Fashion and Textiles, in Oslo 14-16 May. The second was Design Inquiries, organized by Nordes in Stockholm 27-30 May. Both conferences were invaluable experiences, both as speaker and audience member. At this point I still feel the information overload, as I'm typing up my notes. If another research student somewhere reads this and thinks, wow, he's doing all that, know this: I was petrified going to both conferences, doubting everything that I was about to talk about. It's that eternal fear of being caught out. That you're a fraud. You just need to ignore that fear for the twenty minutes it takes to present a paper.

During the trip I had a chance to meet Professor Julian Roberts from the University of Hertfordshire. His approach to fashion design and pattern cutting (or what we in Australia call patternmaking - I still don't know where I sit with either term, and am not sure it matters, either) has interested me from the start of my project, and he was generous in talking about his work. Hell, he was generous just to meet me (and buy me a drink, which I had no opportunity to shout back). I still can't believe how late I was, although luckily I've since understood a few more things about reading the London Tube map.

I was also contacted by Mark Liu who I then had the pleasure of meeting. Mark is a former student who is finishing his MA in Textile Futures. His final work? A series of textiles, that are in fact garments - all of the textile is in each garment; these are zero-fabric-waste fashion! I got very excited by his initial email, and even more so when I saw the work. He's letting me include the the work in the book chapter, too.

I think that'll do for an update for now. Of course I've been busiest with making. More on that at the other one.

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