Centre for Sustainable Fashion – Better Lives

We are pleased to announce an exciting series of talks planned from February to June 2012, on diverse subjects related to the theme of Better Lives, subjects will include ‘ageing and self esteem’, ‘is the fashion industry contributing to the low self-esteem of the nation as well as to mental health problems’ and ‘self-esteem and the modern trend towards surgical/cosmetic procedures’.  These talks are organised in collaboration with Dr Paul Matts of Procter & Gamble visiting Professor at London College of Fashion.

Part 1:

Lecture 1:  Ageing and Self-Esteem: Healthy Activity or Frivolous Vanity? with Dr Julian Mason, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Tuesday 21st February

Time: 6 -7 pm

Location: London College of Fashion, RHS East Space, 20 John Princes St, London, W1G 0BJ. (Please contact us in advance if you have access requirements)

Nearly 30% of the adult population are over the age of 60 and have more disposable income than any other age group in the UK. People over the age of 60 are post-reproductive and their motivation to maintain their appearance is different from the young. Yet the serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine-driven neuropsychological processes within the frontal lobes, limbic system and corpus striatum are the same. Older people should consider themselves worth cosmetic and fashion expenditure and allow themselves to take better behavioural control of their appearance. Indeed, we know this to be beneficial to their self esteem, helping them face the existential challenge of ageing and sustaining mental health in old age. The apparent exclusion of the elderly from fashion and cosmetics in preference to the young is a negative experience which is driving away potential revenue. Attracting the elderly to fashion / cosmetic services and products is a unique challenge because of established preferences and expectations; it depends on meeting their life experience and psychological need. Beneficial attitude change sees fashion / cosmetics for the elderly as a healthy activity rather than a frivolous vanity. However, it is important to avoid offering the deception that ageing can be avoided, rather a process that can be experienced differently. The fashion and cosmetics industry can tap into a lucrative market and be socially responsible by engaging with the elderly.

Please RSVP to z.beck@fashion.arts.ac.uk


Lecture 2: Dress to Impress! with Lucy Beresford, Psychotherapist (The Priory and Private Practice) and Broadcaster.

Tuesday 13th March

Time: 6 -7 pm

Location: London College of Fashion, RHS East Space, 20 John Princes St, London, W1G 0BJ. (Please contact us in advance if you have access requirements)

Lately the fashion industry has been criticised repeatedly for having a negative impact on people’s lives. From Size Zero models on the catwalk to air-brushing in magazines, critics have accused the fashion industry of contributing to the low self-esteem of the nation as well as to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. So, what is the powerful link between fashion and self-esteem? What lies behind a person’s interest in fashion? Can we ever be too obsessed with it? And how does fashion impact on body image? Lucy Beresford, Psychotherapist and Agony Aunt explores the role of fashion in society and offers her view as to how the fashion industry could combat some of the criticisms laid against it.

Please RSVP to z.beck@fashion.arts.ac.uk

Dates for your diary:

Lecture 3 – Thursday 19th April, 6-7pm

Lecture 4 – Tuesday 29th May, 6-7pm

Lecture 5 – Tuesday 12th June, 6-7pm

Details to be confirmed