Before I started working at London College of Fashion, I’d not really thought much about fashion in a broader social context. I’d never considered how people engage with fashion and how it can be used as a ‘way in’ to discuss more complex topics. Fashion touches our minds, bodies and environment – often without us realising – and so it is a great tool to utilise in order to make our lives and world better. The Better Lives philosophy encompasses sustainability, diversity and wellbeing across the curriculum and through LCF’s connections with communities, and is a firm part of Professor Frances Corner‘s vision for the future of fashion education at the College. The website explains it thus: “Better Lives is a term we use here at London College of Fashion to describe the work we do that uses fashion, as a discipline, to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live.”
Although I attended some of the 2013 Better Lives lecture series, put together by Dr Carolyn Mair, the first Better Lives event I collated tweets from was a conference entitled Mirror Mirror: Representations and Reflections on Age and Ageing in October 2013. The 2014 lecture series focused on diversity and ‘…isms in fashion‘. This year, the link with psychology has continued and the 2015 Better Lives lecture series had a theme of positive psychology and was organised by students on the new MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion courses at LCF. I missed one of these sessions but collated tweets from all four: Flourishing, Thriving, Growing and the final Panel discussion.
I’m already looking forward to further exploration of the topics covered by Better Lives and will continue to share them with you. Hopefully we won’t have too long to wait until the next event.