The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art
(023) 8059 6949

Professor Jonathan Faiers BA (Hons.), P.G.Dip, MA (Dist.), PhD.

Professor of Fashion Thinking, Co-Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group

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Jonathan Faiers is Professor of Fashion Thinking at Winchester School of Art, teaching across a number of arts and design courses on the history of dress and textiles and fashion as material culture. He supervises a number of PhD students working in the fields of fashion and textiles and is engaged in a number of on-going research projects centred on luxury, fur and the significance of colour in fashion and textile history.

In all societies the body is ‘dressed’, and everywhere dress and adornment play symbolic, communicative and aesthetic roles. Dress is always ‘unspeakably meaningful.’ From Elizabeth Wilson. Adorned in Dreams

Jonathan’s research examines the interface between popular culture, textiles and dress. Mainstream cinema is an abiding source of inspiration for much of Jonathan’s work and he has published widely on the relationship between film, fashion and textiles culminating in his book Dressing Dangerously: Dysfunctional Fashion in Film (Yale University Press, 2013), which investigates cinema’s utilisation of clothing to create discourses centred on themes such as loss, vulnerability and replication. His critically acclaimed work Tartan (Berg, 2008) interrogated the myth of clanship and established tartan as a ‘textile transporter’, a cloth of opposition whose troubled history has made it uniquely capable of expressing both subversion and conformity, innovation and tradition; a concept which Jonathan has lectured and spoken about widely on television and radio. Jonathan’s early training as a fashion and theatre designer and his subsequent career as a visual artist has been fundamental to his interdisciplinary approach to teaching, writing and curation. Recently he has written essays for Alexander McQueen (V&A. 2015), Developing Dress History: New Directions in Method and Practice (Bloomsbury. 2015), London Couture 1923-1975: British Luxury (V&A. 2015) and Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design and Media (Edinburgh University Press. 2016) He lectures widely on textiles and dress and is a member of the organising committee for the Costume Colloquium, Florence. In 2014 Jonathan launched Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption (Taylor & Francis Routledge); the first peer-reviewed, academic journal to investigate this globally contested term and is a founder member and co-director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group. His current research is focused on fashion’s relationship to colour and to the natural world, which will include a major new socio-cultural study of fur.



Research interests

My research interests include the interface between popular culture, textile and dress. Film and television’s construction of a shared understanding of fashion is fundamental to my work and informs my teaching, writing and curatorial projects. Accepting that fashion and textile theory is fundamentally interdisciplinary I have become increasingly interested in the concept of ‘fashion thinking’ and how we need to strive for indisciplinarity, by that I mean being simultaneously amongst disciplines, yet challenging the limits of those same disciplines. This is necessary in order to fully engage with textiles and dress as material culture, as representation, and as a uniquely social phenomenon. To that end I welcome research projects that will test the limits of how we currently think about clothing and textiles.

Research group(s)

Winchester Luxury Research Group

Affiliate research group(s)

Design Innovations

Professor Jonathan Faiers
Winchester School of Art University of Southampton Park Avenue Winchester Hampshire SO23 8DL

Room Number: 63K/1187

Telephone: (023) 8059 6949

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