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Unlearning Fashion

Just as it is important to learn the ins and outs of traditional product development, it is equally crucial to unlearn.
Woman with icy blond hair facing the camera, wearing a fully black outfit
© David Pattinson

Just as it is important to learn the ins and outs of traditional product development (whatever it is for you), it is equally crucial to unlearn the old ways in order to advance your craft and industry forward. The Art Comes First product development ideology asks the designers to look at tailoring in vastly different ways with an eye to break the rules. Instead of just extending the sleeve, why not change the sleeve altogether? Instead of combining the fabrics, why not create a new fabric? Thus far, the ACF studio has rethought the patternmaking, reworked the contouring, recalculated measurements and reengineered the balance of its signature silhouette.

If you can be radically creative, be. Here is an inspiring example of how to challenge your production routine. In 2013, the ACF collective teamed with denim-makers Liam and Jennifer Maher as well as milliner Matteo Gioli for a fascinating collaboration at Copenhagen International Fashion Fair.


The idea was to apply DJ techniques to menswear, to put classic knowhow through a process of hybridization, grafting, sampling, and mixology. Like a DJ digging through vinyl, they attempt to harmonize the most potent sartorial and workwear influences from their vintage research within a hybrid contemporary concept: Scratching with Sewing Needles. You can check out the process and the results in this video:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

What traditional art practice can you apply to your work to unlearn it?!

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Art Comes First: Exploring the Intersection of Style and Identity

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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