Making and writing; writing and making: co-constructing experiential knowledge in and through ‘doing’ fashion

2017-03-20T15:07:26Z (GMT) by RTD Conference Ania Sadkowska
This paper stems from my doctoral project in which my aim was to develop an in-depth understanding of how a small sample of mature men has experienced fashion and ageing. Working with such an open-ended aim allowed me to develop a fit-for-purpose methodology that accommodated two components: the topic of the investigation and the theoretical perspectives that, as a creative practitioner, I brought into it. A particular research mechanism, which was based on the integration of fashion theory and practice, synthesised to activities of interpretative making and writing, was implemented to suit my epistemological constructivist stance, my particular way of being in the world and conducting research-through design. In this paper, I focus on two artefacts I created in response to empirical data gathered via in-depth interviews and personal inventories with the study participants. The making processes of the Dis-Comforting suit jacket and film, involved de-construction of a second-hand garment, a scenario-based reflective performance, and practical experimentations with materials and objects. ‘Making’, as a means of embodied, visual enquiry became a highly metaphorical analytical tool that afforded the advanced insights into older men’s lived experiences. Consequently, I argue that through my embodied interactions with objects and materials, as the creative practitioner, I co-constructed new experiential understandings and offered fresh perspectives of the phenomenon under study.