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Professor Frances Corner: Don’t tell me fashion is frivolous

Frances TED
Frances TED

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Published date
25 October 2016


The average woman spends 287 days of her life deciding what to wear.

Head of College Professor Frances Corner recently did a TEDx talk as part of TEDx Whitehall  entitled ‘Don’t tell me fashion is frivolous.’ An important topic challenging the myth that fashion is just ‘champagne and fashion shows’ or for ‘ready-made beautiful people to drape themselves stylishly across the terraces,’ comments made by the Guardian‘s Oliver Wainwright when LCF released images of its new building in the Olympic Park.

Professor Corner talked about how all fashion is political, from the hoodie to the burkini, and how it is an important expression of individuality. She championed LCF’s Better Lives agenda, using fashion and clothes to  make positive changes to people’s lives, siting LCF Professor Helen Storey’s work Catalytic Clothing; clothes that can be used as a surface to purify the air around them.

I’m on a mission. You could say I’m a fashion activist.

The talk presented a positive image of the future, highlighting changes being made and fashion-science-tech collaborations already influencing the environment, society and our health. In advance of moving to Stratford in 2021, London College of Fashion is already teaming up with other partners in the area such as UCL on science and tech projects, and joint research such as the newly launched Global Disability Innovation Hub, designed to make lives better.

Watch the video of the talk on the TedX YouTube Channel and view the transcript on Professor Corner’s blog.