Background

Sara Skillen is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Fashion Studies, Department of Media Studies. In 2011 she completed an MA in History of Design and Material Culture at Brighton University. Before starting her PhD research at Stockholm University, Sara worked in the London fashion business at Elle and Wallpaper magazines, and for milliners Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones.

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Research Interests

Particular areas of research interest include mid-late twentieth century design, particularly history of dress and costume, and the material culture of fashion, as well as fashion dissemination and consumption, fashion media and image making, and the construction of dress history narratives through personal memory and identity.

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Ongoing Research

Fashion designers are increasingly expected to feature in the public domain as the face of the brand, and their image has now become a commodity in itself. Using the House of Dior as a case study, this PhD research project is concerned with the symbolic production of the fashion designer, and how the construction of identity is used as a business tool in the world of high fashion. The research also examines the dissemination of the fashion designer’s constructed public persona, through image, text and film in the media. This project studies fashion as an economic and cultural practice, and investigates the inner workings of the networks and actors who help shape the fashion industry.

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