The 2nd LCF Psychology of Fashion Postgraduate Conference took place on 25 April at John Prince’s Street, the event was opened by keynote speaker Professor Caryn Franklin MBE.
Students from MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion and MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals presented their postgraduate research concepts to an audience of industry experts and students ahead of developing their work for Final Major Projects.
The conference was organised by Course Leader Professor Carolyn Mair, who is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist with a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Philippa Diedrichs and Dr. Phil Sams were also invited to the conference as keynote speakers, Dr. Diedrichs was the closing speaker of the day.
Caryn Franklin, an alumna from the first cohort of LCF Fashion Psychologists, spoke about her time on the course and her next book Disruptive Fashion Lovers Everywhere.
She spoke about addressing things that need to be changed within fashion. “I don’t believe the fashion industry has any idea what sort of power it has to make people feel about themselves,” explained Caryn. She wanted to look at fashion from a new perspective and lens, with new vocabulary and expertise, that’s why she wanted to study on the course.
The British Fashion Commentator and former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D started her career in a pre-digital landscape. She explained how the industry back then was about individuality and identity, but the growth of brands and the way they try to dictate their perception is a major issue within the industry.
Brand image has changed the way fashion is communicated. She cited how frequency and reputation are now used by brands to construct messaging, cutting out Editorial and objective journalists. The power of advertising now determines Editorial content. Caryn explained how brands expect multiple pages dedicated to them because they place adverts within that particular magazine.
Caryn explained how the course helped her get a deeper understanding of the industry and CEO culture. Conglomerates and multinational companies value brand profile over people and making customers feel good. This is evident in the objectification of women in campaigns like American Apparel’s spread legs.This culture is contributing to unhealthy weight and controlling human behaviour, amongst many other influences. She finished by saying psychology helps the creative industry and corporations challenge the current setup. This is the inspiration for her next book and forthcoming research.
The conference was a detailed event in human behaviour within the context of fashion. The audience were invited to contribute to the discussions, including in new ways to make meaningful and measurable improvements to health within fashion.
Topics discussed at the conference included, Who are the fashion influencers on social media, Correlates of objectification measures in an office workplace environment and Dress as potential embodied cognition practice in mid-adult women.
Student research and concepts were judged once the conference and discussion finished. Judith Achumba-Wollenstein, MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion, received a £500 donation from Whitespace and Dr. Phil Sams after she was awarded 1st Prize. Marit Eisses and Pak Chui were joint runners up.
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