Aurora Paillard

Aurora Paillard is Course Leader for BSc Psychology of Fashion, which is a new course commencing in 2017. It will teach undergraduate students about how psychological theory can be applied to the fashion industry.

Tell us about your professional experience and background?

After two BSc degrees in Sport Sciences and Psychology, I undertook a Masters in Cognitive Psychology. I started a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Grenoble (France, PhD funded by the French Army) and was awarded a Swiss postdoctoral fellowship at the Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). After a second postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester, I became Course Leader and Lecturer in Psychology at Open University, Newham University Centre and then joined LCF as Senior Lecturer on the Msc and MA and will be the Course Leader of the BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion. I am also a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society and a HEA Senior Fellow.

How did you become Course Leader?

I have always been intrigued by the new and innovative concept of psychology in fashion and had read a lot about Dr Carolyn Mair’s work and achievements. I feel incredibly lucky and grateful that I got this job as I am now able to work in an amazing subject, with successful colleagues and in such great institution.

What do you think your course offers LCF students?

The BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion breaks new ground. Students will learn how to apply psychological science in the context of fashion to enable an evidence-based understanding of human behaviour across the broad spectrum of the fashion industry. The scientific discipline of Psychology equips graduates with an extremely rich and diverse portfolio of skills and knowledge that gives them a distinct edge in the employment and entrepreneurial markets of the fashion and related industries. The curriculum sits at the forefront of knowledge demanded by the fashion industry, which is increasingly concerned with enhancing the human aspects of its provision.

The course content is aligned with the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) core areas, with the intent of being awarded BPS accreditation.

The BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion will also offer LCF students diverse extra-curricular activities at LCF and UAL and the opportunity to contribute to the Psychology of Fashion Student Conference.

And what do you think you'll learn from them?

I am amazed to see the different views and applications that my students can make to psychology of fashion. Some students prefer to get more experience in Consumer Psychology, other students are assessing fashion as a potential art-therapy tool, some students prefer to focus their work on well-being and diversity in Fashion, etc. Every single student I have met has put an innovative spin on the psychology of fashion. This is why teaching this subject is so engaging and fascinating.

What, if anything, have you found surprising about teaching psychology so far?

That the fascination from the students about the topic never comes to an end!

What is unique about the Bsc?

BSc courses focus more on the scientific aspect of a topic. As part of the BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion, the students will not be taught Fashion but how they can apply psychological science to Fashion.

Is the course structure suited to different types of students with different goals?

Psychology of fashion is still at a pioneering, but prolific, stage. Students will be able to study a large number of topics:

  • Consumer Psychology is the most known concept used in Fashion Psychology, however fashion psychology also uses Cognitive Psychology to assess cognition and creativity, embodied and enclothed cognition, personality and emotions underlining in Fashion. 
  • Biological Psychology evaluate the underpinnings of sensory integration, cognition and creativity and decision-making.
  • Social Psychology assess attraction, development of the Self, Self in the society, attitudes, beliefs and attribution in Fashion. 
  • Positive Psychology explores the individual, societal and global issues, including identity and body image, appearance and judgement, fashion and the environment, and the impact of technology. 
  • Finally, Lifespan and Inter-individual differences are key concepts used to improve Inclusive Fashion.

What do you think graduates of the course will go on to do?

All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of students’ personal and professional skills. On the course, you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker, capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at a postgraduate level are encouraged and able to apply seamlessly for the MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion or the MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals.

And briefly, how would you sum up the LCF experience to prospective students.

BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion students will be able to attend an unique programme of events and opportunities in a top rated University. Besides this, students will be able to learn about Psychology of Fashion in one of the most fashionable and diverse cities.

LCF offers great support for your future career, job opportunities and professional skills development. LCF and the Psychology department will also offer the students a chance to be involved in extra-curriculum activities. As LCF students, they will be able to take advantage of LCF business links, use great facilities and be taught by expert and passionate tutors.