University of Technology Sydney

83231 Fashion Cultures

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject encourages students to further investigate fashion practice through design investigation while integrating individual research into studio activities. A lecture series provides an overview of the relationship between cultural innovation and the fashioned body in relation to a emerging perspectives and approaches in sustainable fashion. This subject addresses issues of value and meaning in relation to everyday dress practices, sustainable fashion and future fashion practice. Weekly activites provide a practical context for the exploration of fashion practice in relation to alternative garment-making methodologies, creative process, process documentation, reflective practice and image-making. The subject culminates in the creation of an original fashion design project enabling the student to position fashion design practice as a form of future oriented cultural research.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Understand how the design process is applied and practiced in fashion
2. Carry out independent research to inform the design process
3. Conceptualise and articulate knowledge of the significance of fashion in culture and society during the 20th century, through both visual and theoretical research
4. Analyse and evaluate the relationship of clothing design to the human form
5. Demonstrate competency in communicating visual and oral concepts.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the social and ethical responsibilities of a fashion and textile designer (A.2)
  • Demonstrated understanding of appropriate academic and professional practice in the acknowledgement of others' work and ideas (A.3)
  • Effectively communicate concepts in fashion and textiles in performative, oral, visual and written forms (C.2)
  • Develop an original aesthetic sensibility (I.1)
  • Demonstrate an ability to speculate, experiment, challenge boundaries and take risks (I.2)
  • Accuracy, rigour and care (P.5)
  • Analyse and synthesise knowledge in both visual and written forms to undertake in-depth research. (R.1)
  • Ability to reflect on practice and research (R.3)
  • Interpret complex ideas and connect them to fashion and textile practice. (R.4)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject involves weekly sessions including a zoom lectures/presentations and a 2 hour 30 minute design studio. The subject is facilitated through a combination of lectures, design studio and student presentations. Lectures promote theoretical inquiry and observation of case studies and pre-empt design studio. They provide forums for explanation and contextualisation of briefs. Zoom sessions incorporate a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures and presentations, critique, group work and student presentations. These are complemented by independent student studio work, research, reading and reflection on studio based work.

Regular collaborative feedback and critique sessions are integrated into weekly zoom design studios that support Task 1 and Task 2. Informal feedback will be given to students weekly in the zoom sessions by the Design Tutor which will help students progress within the subject. Lecture and studio activities include: note taking, reflective writing, undertaking readings, visual and conceptual research, web research and iterative design work in the form of 2D and 3D visual and material based exploration. Students will record iterative design development process in an A4 journal to document their work process, visual and written research and design development in Task 1, 2 and 3. This will be available to screen share in zoom sessions each week. Assessment Items are due throughout the semester and will be submitted on Canvas as well as presented via Zoom Studio. The rationale for zoom studio is to simulate discussion and crtique employed by fashion design professionals in industry practice. Please note Weekly program content is subject to change.

There are a number of online resources used to support the learning objectives of this subject. A detailed overview of the pedagogy and associated tasks and assessment items are included in the subject documents. There is also an essential and recommended reading list. The readings Assessment Task 1 & 2 as well as complement the lectures and studio sessions.

Feedback is provided weekly by the design studio teacher in response to student's iterative design development work. It is the student's responsibility to record and to respond this verbal feedback given during feedback sessions, which will assist how iterative development is accessed and assessed. Students are also expected to provide critical feedback on each others work in zoom sessions via the chat tool. These are to be recorded and integrated into projects interative development.

Assessment feedback is provided via RE:View. Students are notified via email once feedback and assessment has been completed and is available via Re:View.

Content (topics)

The subject covers the following topic areas:

  1. The evolution of fashion in the 20th century: analysis of the historical, technological, cultural and socio-political factors that have influenced fashion.
  2. Further study of the principles of the design process in the context of fashion and textile design.
  3. The critical analysis of design and own practice.
  4. The importance of theory to underpin design practice.


Assessment task 1: Fashion Design and Research Project


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 3, 4 and 5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.2, A.3, C.2, I.2, P.5, R.3 and R.4

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Garment - Accuracy, rigour and care in documentation process in journal 13 1 P.5
Garment - Accuracy, rigour and care in finished outcome evidence in garment 13 1 P.5
Garment - Ability to challenge boundaries and take risks in creation of garment 13 4 I.2
Garment - Ability to reflect on practice and research as demonstrated in oral presentation 13 5 R.3
Research and writing task - Quality and clarity of writing - Effective written communication skills 13 5 C.2
Research and writing task - Demonstrated use of academic referencing skills evidenced in essay 13 5 A.3
Research and writing task Demonstrated ability to interpret and examine complex ideas 11 3 R.4
Attendance , participaton and preparation for weekly class 11 1 A.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Fashion Design and Research Project


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 5

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.2, C.2, I.1, P.5, R.1 and R.4

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Quality of Future research as evidenced in scenario and persona 14 2 R.1
Clarity of vision of a future communicated via aesthetic concepts in moodbook 14 1 R.1
Accuracy, rigour and care in evidenced in capsule garment design and textiles 14 1 P.5
Conceptual rigour evidenced in capsule collection 14 1 R.4
Degree of aesthetic resolution in capsule collection 14 2 I.1
Attendance, participation and week to week progress 14 1 A.2
Quality and clarity capsule documentation and presentation 16 5 C.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.
Please note students are expected to attend their allocated Zoom studio on Friday plus a lecture. Students are expected to attend for all contact hours. Attendence is recorded in lectures and studio. Week to week attendence and particiation for all studios will be recorded and is an assessable component of the subject.

Required texts

see Canvas for subject resources

Recommended texts

See Canvas for subject resources

Other resources

WGSN - access through UTS library