September 2021 – May 2023
Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council

Principal Investigator: Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd (Nottingham Trent University)

Project partner: Atlas of the Future
Fashion Fictions brings people together to generate, experience and reflect on engaging fictional visions of alternative fashion cultures and systems.

The initiative takes fashion design from its usual commercial context to instead explore speculative scenarios with diverse groups of participants through written outlines, visual and material prototypes and ‘everyday dress’ projects.

The fictions, or Worlds, are framed as parallel presents, rather than speculative futures, and are guided by some loose parameters. These parameters specify that the fictions should describe sustainable and satisfying cultures and systems; explore social and cultural factors, rather than technological change; and focus attention on use and associated practices such as loaning and sharing, rather than production and conventional consumption.

In research terms, the aim is to understand how alternative fashion cultures and systems might be imagined and experienced, and discover which historical or contemporary real-world examples we can draw on in the process of exploring them.

As a form of activism, the initiative aims to contribute to the emergent post-growth fashion movement – which seeks a fashion system that fully acknowledges the Earth’s capacity to support life – by supporting people to imagine alternative ways of living with clothes and take action to bring them into being.