The Art and Design of Creating Dress: The Act of Self-Expression and Cultural Exploration

By Lindsey Shirley.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

At Utah State University, students pursuing undergraduate degrees in programs across campus have the opportunity to take a general education course entitled: “Dress and Humanity”. In this course, students are challenged to think about dress as a product and process that distinguishes human beings from other animals. Specifically, dress is the intentional modification of the body of the design and/or shape of the body. Everyday individuals dress their body to maintain, manage, and alter personal appearance. Overtime, our dress practices change and norms for a society or culture evolve based on trends in technology, the economy, religion, the arts, notions of morality, social organization, and patterns of everyday living. This paper will illustrate methods for teaching students in a multidisciplinary course the basic design principles and practices used everyday through dress and fashion. Throughout the course, students are assessed based on critical thinking skills, problem solving, and teamwork. The course focuses on topics such as: why study dress, the environment and dress, dress and culture, the art of creating dress, and the future of dress. Due to the increased interdependence of our world, there is a great need to understand and appreciate cultures other than our own.

Keywords: Dress, Culture, Fashion Design, Education

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.161-166. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 577.656KB).

Dr. Lindsey Shirley

Assistant Professor, Agricultural Systems Technology and Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Cooperative Extension, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

Lindsey Shirley is an assistant professor of Family and Consumer Sciences Education and an Extension Specialist for Clothing and Textiles in Utah in the Departments of Agricultural Systems Technology and Education and Family, Consumer and Human Development at Utah State University. She began her career as a junior high family and consumer sciences teacher in Lewiston, Idaho. She holds a B.S. from Iowa State University and a M.Ed. from the University of Minnesota in Family Education. She obtained a Ph.D. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Iowa State University in 2007. While working on her Ph.D., she taught junior high for three years and served two years as a lecturer at the University of Idaho in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Her research interests include global perspectives of clothing and textiles, public policy and family and consumer sciences, family and consumer sciences education teaching, and sustainable human sciences.


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