Centre for Fashion Science – Skin Deep

We are pleased to announce an exciting series of Fashion Science talks by eminent scientists, planned from January – June 2011, on diverse subjects related to human skin, including a modern view of the cosmetics industry, the psychology of perception of ageing, the emerging science of biomimetics, the truth around the efficacy of botanical extracts and skin care in the developing world. These talks are organised in collaboration with Dr Paul Matts of Procter & Gamble, who has recently been appointed Visiting Professor at LCF.

Part 1

Lecture 1, 18th January 2011, 5.30 – 6.30pm Rootstein Hopkins East Space; London College of Fashion, followed by drinks on the terrace.
Amazing Science, Applied Daily!
Dr Chris Flower, Director General of CTPA*; and Dr Emma Meredith, Head of Scientific and Technical Services at CTPA 
Have you ever stopped to wonder how the cosmetics and toiletries you use each day are put together, who was involved and how it all comes about? Or, like most of us, do you take it for granted that they will be of good quality, effective and safe and only choose products based on whether you like them or not, whether the colour or perfume is nice, or who made them or who advertises them? The truth is that a diverse team of scientists develop, manufacture and market these products and that, from concept to final product, every step involves many different scientific disciplines. So, join us on a whistle-stop tour of this amazing industry that includes a look at the legal framework ensuring safe products for all, an examination of the science behind the latest claims, myth-busting with credible reference sources and an insight into how our daily lives and self-esteem are improved by these technologies.
* The CTPA (the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association) is the voice of the cosmetic and personal care product industry in the UK and one of its major roles is to promote good working practice to ensure that consumers are provided with the very best products.

Lecture 2, 15th February, 5.30 – 6.30pm Rootstein Hopkins Centre Space; London College of Fashion, followed by drinks on the terrace.
What’s the Attraction?
Dr Paul Matts, Research Fellow, Procter & Gamble and Visiting Professor, London College of Fashion, and Dr Bernhard Fink, Department of Sociobiology / Anthropology and Courant Research Centre “Evolution of Social Behaviour”, University of Goettingen
Our skin speaks long before we open our mouths and, whether we like it not, helps drive others’ perception of our apparent age, health and attractiveness. That somewhat controversial statement will be explored in this lecture through the dual lenses of dermatological research and Evolutionary Psychology (the science of how evolution has shaped the human mind and our behaviour). We will try and deconstruct human facial appearance into its component parts, show how and why these change with age and environmental exposure and then examine our latest research which relates these features to perception and judgement. We will also explore various questions raised by these findings…  is there any value to so-called “anti-ageing” products, can we give our faces to aestheticians and plastic surgeons with confidence, how can we best ensure that we “grow old gracefully”…?

Lecture 3, 16th March, 5.30 – 6.30pm Rootstein Hopkins East Space; London College of Fashion, followed by drinks on the terrace.

Nature’s Variety of Colour
Prof Andrew Parker, The Natural History Museum, London and Green Templeton College, Oxford University
Charles Darwin’s concerns that the eye, as a ‘perfect’ detector, could not have been the result of evolution were ill-conceived – his problem was that he had underestimated colour. Nature’s palette is far more miraculous than he had imagined – so miraculous, in fact, that it fools and misleads eyes all the time, of both animal predators and their prey. The different ways that colour is produced in nature will be presented, including pigments, fluorescence, bioluminescence and structural colour. Some unusual cases of structural colour will be used to show the potential to learn from evolution as a means to produce novel coloured effects. Some of these cases could not have been conceived by mathematical theory or spectrometers – the eye and all its eccentricities cannot be calculated.

Everyone is welcome to each talk but please do RSVP to Zoe at z.beck@fashion.arts.ac.uk