Garment-Based Learning for Higher Fashion Education

Research output: Working paper/preprintPreprintAcademic


Traditional theory education in creative studies must move with the times or is in danger of being sacrificed in favour of increasingly flexible, practical education. During a curriculum overhaul at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute - AMFI, for example, almost all theoretical reflection in the areas of fashion history, fashion theory and business has disappeared, because it is assumed that today's student is able to find information and make connections on their own. This does not appear to be the case. In addition, fashion industry and education remain focussed upon enhancement of the individual, shopping for subjectivity, and the admirable start status of many designers. In contrast and aimed at fundamentally changing the way we relate to our garments, a view upon fashion inspired by Object-Oriented-Ontology is suggested to function as a basis for Object-based Learning. By questioning the hierarchic relation most often present in the way we relate to our clothes, it is attempted to open up a different perspective upon learning centred around historic garments.
Hence, starting with one of the items of clothing in the institute's library collection, the available literature, magazines, and images present are used to design curricula that convey the desired basic knowledge about fashion as a socio-historical and cultural phenomenon, but which can also be expanded in all directions by students, teachers or interested outsiders. In this way, a form of Garment Based Learning is created that not only engages the senses, but also enables a dynamic theoretical canon that can extend to all conceivable disciplines related to fashion and clothing. In this article we examine the philosophical foundation, the original plan and pilot for Garment Based Learning and its underpinnings and starting points. Consequently, we reflect upon the actual execution of the pilot, and lastly, we offer advice and ideas for improvements for future implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024


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