Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar: Fashion – Places and Spaces (5 ECTS-credits)

Are you an MA- or a PhD-student with some background or interest in fashion and a desire to gain more informed perspectives on fashion? Or are you a professional working in the field in need of updating your knowledge? If so, we invite you to join the first-ever Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar ‘Fashion – Places and Spaces’ organized by Aalto University, the leading Finnish university in fashion design.
Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar 2019
Photo: Sofia Olkkonen, collection by Emilia Kuurila

This exciting new course provides a unique focus on fashion and Helsinki. Led by two professors of fashion studies with international knowledge, the course will dive into global and local geographies, and specific places and spaces of fashion, aided by texts, images, discussions and field trips to Helsinki-based fashion brands, retail spaces, museums and galleries. You will be encouraged to observe and critique fashion and consider its relationship to time, geography, national identity, gender, and museums, amongst other topics.

After completing the Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar, you will understand fashion as a global phenomenon viewed through a local lens. You will know the key concepts and paradigm shifts in the field, key scholars who have influenced fashion studies and key disciplines that have informed them. You will gain appreciation of Finnish fashion and how Aalto Fashion has become an international phenomenon. You will be required to contribute to class discussions and presentations, participate in field trips and to complete the course with a presentation at the end of the course.

Dates: 3.6.–14.6.2019, optional kick-off seminar in Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland, 29.5. at 16 -18

Prices: Aalto University Master and Doctoral students: 0 EUR, students from other universities and professionals: 400 EUR.

Venue: Aalto University campus, Espoo, Finland

Language: English

Criteria for selection: Previous knowledge on fashion studies is desirable but not mandatory. Selection is made on the basis of your background knowledge and your motivation which you will explain in the application form. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 15.

Responsible teachers: Adjunct Professor Annamari Vänskä (Aalto University) and Professor Hazel Clark (Parsons School of Design, New York)

Deadline for applying: 22 April 2019

Fill in the registration form (Word)* and send to [email protected]

Aalto University students should additionally enrol in WebOodi, course code MUO-E1015 (click on the code and choose 'SUMMER SCHOOL: Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar: Fashion - Places and Spaces' from the list of workshops). More info in MyCourses.

Practical information:

* Cannot be filled in on a mobile device


This intensive course consists of lectures, seminars, visits and individual and group work. We will have lectures and seminars every weekday combined with four field trips on select days to meet local professionals working in different places and spaces of fashion. During the weekend, you will prepare a small ethnography about Helsinki-fashions from a specific perspective. We will unwrap the weekend task at the beginning of the following week. The course will end with presentations that you will prepare on Wednesday, tutored by the responsible teachers. The course will end with a two-day seminar with presentations and a summary of the course. Passing the course requires active participation in class and the field trips as well as doing the course work.


Week 0: Optional kick-off seminar

Wed 29 May Fashion Wednesday in Kiasma & Näytös 19

16–18 Discussion on the meanings of materiality in fashion

Further information about the event:

21–     Aalto University fashion show - Näytös 19 - at Merikaapelihalli (Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki). Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar -students will be provided with the tickets free of charge

Week 1: Spaces and places of fashion

Mon 3 June Fashion Studies: Introduction & Methods

13–16 Introduction to the course

16–18.30 Movie in room Q103 (Väre)

Tues 4 June Places – Fashion – Cities

9.30–12 Seminar

12–13 Lunch break

13–16 Field trip

Wed 5 June Spaces of Fashion – Retail

9.30–12 Seminar

12–13 Lunch break

13–16 Field trip

Thurs 6 June Spaces of Fashion – Production

9.30–12 Seminar

12–13 Lunch break

13–16 Field trip

Fri 7 June Spaces of Fashion – Public, Intimate and Virtual

9.30–12 Seminar

12–13 Lunch break

13–16 Presentation discussion, assignment for the weekend: Helsinki street styles 

Weekend at 8 and Sun 9 June Observing Helsinki-fashion and preparing a presentation on it

Week 2: Practices of fashion in places and spaces

Mon 10 June Spaces of fashion

9.30–16 Unwrapping the weekend assignment

Tues 11 June Fashion – Exhibitions

9.30–12 Seminar

12–13 Lunch break

13–16: Field trip

Wed 12 June Project preparation

9.30–16 Preparing the final presentation

Thurs 13 June Student presentations

9.30–16 Preparing the final presentation 

Fri 14 June Student presentations and Summing up

9.30–16 Presentations and summing up the course

Fashion Wednesday
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