Pattern Cutting conference attracts 150 delegates

Dr Kevin Almond, Professor Shelley Fox and Dr Timo Rissanen Huddersfield conference organiser Dr Kevin Almond, with Parsons keynote speakers Professor Shelley Fox and Dr Timo Rissanen.

Wed, 02 Mar 2016 13:28:00 GMT

Third conference definitely on the cards, say organisers

logo ‌THE creativity of skilled pattern cutters is vital to a fashion industry that awards most of the plaudits to designers.  Now, after a highly successful second international conference devoted to the subject, the University of Huddersfield is confirmed as a global leader in the study and research of pattern cutting.

Dr Timo Rissanen Taking place over two days, the event attracted 150 delegates who heard and discussed talks from some of the leading figures in the field.  Keynote speakers included two experts based at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York.  They were Dr Timo Rissanen (pictured), whose paper emphasised the creativity of pattern cutting, and Professor Shelley Fox, who joined lecturer Juliana Sissons, who has taught at universities globally, for an address on “cutting as design”.

The Second International Conference for Creative Pattern Cutting was chaired by the University of Huddersfield’s Head of Fashion and Textiles, Dr Kevin Almond.  His key role in making the University a major centre for the subject originated in 2010 when he published an article in an international journal which argued that “creative pattern cutting really pushes the boundaries of design”, but that there was a perceived lack of glamour in pursuing it as a career. 

Lectra logo Dr Almond decided to organise a conference on the subject.  It took place at the University of Huddersfield in 2013 and was hailed a major success.  Now, after allowing time for a fresh body of research to develop, its successor has taken place.

When a call for papers was issued, there was a massive response, with 40 proposals being selected for presentation, covering a wide range of subjects and themes that included new technology, sustainability, pedagogy and fashion.  One of the closing papers was titled The Progress of Creative Pattern Cutting, presented by Dr Almond himself, in tandem with textiles specialist Dr Jess Power, who is Director of Teaching and Learning for the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture

garment Dr Almond said that the quality of presentations at the conference and the discussions that followed them had been “amazing”.

‌“Also, the development of new research partnerships and networks has been phenomenal,” he added, confirming that a third conference would almost certainly take place.

Dr Power said that the conference “provided a mirage of ideas and novel concepts in creative pattern cutting”.  In terms of theoretical rigour and innovative practice, it had even managed to upstage the previous conference.

Summing up the lessons of the 2016 conference, Dr Power said that practitioners and researchers needed time to create, space to network and collaborate and the vision to inspire learners to explore.

As with the 2013 event, a special edition of the journal International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education will be devoted to the papers presented at the 2016 International Conference for Creative Pattern Cutting, which was sponsored by fashion technology specialists Lectra.  Mark Powell and Anne-Laure Frizon from the company gave a keynote address on A new era in fashion and apparel product development.

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