Simon Thorogood

Senior Research Fellow Digital Anthropology Lab

London College of Fashion

Biography

Simon Thorogood is a research-led fashion designer whose work is concerned with finding novel ways of conceiving and communicating design.

He is distinguished as being one of the very earliest designers to integrate digital technology into fashion practice as a means to augment and extend a design story. His interactive projects playfully invite an audience to determine the course or outcome of a fashion product or experience, examining how people engage with ideas and how they can continue and expand creative methods and questions through an active blend of innovation and event. 

His pioneering ‘Digital Runway’ installation from 1999, was arguably the world’s first digitally interactive catwalk presentation, where ‘real’ people took to the catwalk and through their physical actions were able to variously orchestrate digital projections and thereby become, in part, spectator, participator and co-designer.

He has exhibited his work extensively in museums, galleries and institutions internationally and he was awarded the very first Fashion Designer in Residence appointment at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Simon continues to seek surprising yet compelling research landscapes that compliment and enrich more established or conventional methods of fashion education and practice.

Research interests

Fashion and technology - the development of novel forms of fashion presentation and communication; interactive fashion experiences and events; the application of co-authorship or co-design within fashion; design created through digital systems and processes.

Research statement

Simon's research is principally about finding novel ways of creating, presenting and communicating fashion design. It is correspondingly concerned with a notion of interactivity and the role of an audience in determining the course or outcome of a fashion product or experience. 

This approach questions how people engage with fashion ideas and how they continue and expand creative methods through an active blend of invention and event and where they can 'discover' design through systems and processes. How can design evolve using new technologies and tactics and how might subsequent understandings complement yet extend traditional forms of fashion education and practice?

Students

Naomi Bailey Cooper, Fur and exotic alternatives; designing a biodegradable and sustainable luxury textile. Can an ethical alternative textile to fur and exotics be created which is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly?

Elizabeth Ciokajlo Squire, The Future Form of Design - Evolving design forms for future manufacturing.

Emile Denichaud, "An investigation and exploration of the narrative {internal and external including sens  aesthetic taste and affected by the environment} created by the relationship that Japanese fashionistas, fashion icons, trendsetters and designers have with fashion."

Zhirui (Kiwy) Huang, Computational Fashion - Digitising Fashion Design and Pattern Making Process.

Jennifer Millspaugh, Global Branding For Fashion Entrepreneurs: How Womenswear SMEs Design Their Firms to Grow Internationally.

Catherine Smith, Disability, identity, fashion & clothing choice for women with mobility impairments.

 

Selected research outputs