Panel: Unravelling Threads: Tracing and Transforming Violence and Trauma through Fashion @ London College of Fashion & The Courtauld Institute of Art

Sat, May 7, 2022

Fashion sits intimately upon the skin, functioning as a barrier between the self and the outside world, with the ability to offer notions of both physical and psychological protection. Yet it is also inherently revelatory, and can express our feelings and experiences – or mould them, and communicate how we would like to be perceived.  

Fashion also has an unrelenting relationship with the contexts in which it occurs. It reflects, responds to, and contributes towards wider events, from cultural to political and beyond. In this way, fashion operates as a phenomenon that is deeply personal yet simultaneously inseparable from wider society.  

This places fashion as uniquely able to express trauma and violence, whether on an individual or collective scale, and it can function as a site upon which they can manifest. Yet, at the same time, fashion also offers a powerful vehicle for deflection, protection, and healing from those very same notions. 

This two-day conference, hosted by London College of Fashion and The Courtauld Institute of Art, seeks to explore the wide-ranging and nuanced relationships between fashion, violence, and trauma. It aims to understand how violence and trauma manifest upon the body, as well as how fashion offers the prospect of processing, resolving, and overcoming violent and traumatic experiences.  

From 1940s Germany to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in 2022, the conference will take an international, interdisciplinary, and cross-temporal approach. We will hear how these themes impact and inspire subjects such as fashion design, fashion education, personal narratives, and more. The conference will present a varied range of formats, including academic papers, industry panels, an interview with practicing psychologists, and film. 

This conference is organised by Dr Rebecca Arnold (The Courtauld) and Dr Lucy Moyse Ferreira (London College of Fashion) as a collaboration between London College of Fashion and The Courtauld Institute. The first day will be hosted by LCF as part of the School of Media and Communication Hub, and the second by The Courtauld as part of the Documenting Fashion group. 

Contact Dr. Pritchard