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Date 24.09.2015
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Jure Purgaj


Dr. Jure Purgaj, MA, lecturer for Fashion design and Fashion theory, University for teacher education Vienna, Institute for Fashion and Design Pedagogics, Vienna – Austria

The purpose of this study was to investigate students’ understanding of the design process in fashion, to identify stages and methods they use while dealing with design problems; solutions they applied to such problems and to determine if and when they understand fashion design as a form of research. The sample for this study included 29 undergraduate fashion design students from Singapore and 23 students from Slovenia completing their final year. Both groups of students had to write an essay with the title “Describe the design process in fashion” for which they had 45 minutes. In qualitatively analyzing students’ short essays, it was noted that booth groups of students understand the design process in fashion as something very intimate, personal and individual, as something that they developed during education and as something that is hard to describe. It was also noted that the students describe the design process as a linear process that mostly consists of inspiration and production.

In addition, it was noted that most of the students in Singapore describe their designed object as clothes or dresses for women, while the students in Slovenia described their designed objects as products or objects without connections to gender. Further it was noted that students in Singapore relay on the perceptions and opinions of the lecturer in fashion design throughout the whole design process, while the students in Slovenia mentioned the lecturer only in combination with technical questions such as pattern making and sewing.

Moreover it was noted that both groups of students understand the design process in fashion mostly as an artistic activity where design results depend on the point of departure, inspiration and time and not on investigation, research or methods used for solving problems. Although the presented results are specific to a particular case they show that the understanding of the design process in fashion plays a significant part in the development of a fashion design student and his/her practice in fashion.

Keywords: Fashion Practice, Fashion Learning, Fashion Education.


Jure PurgajJure Purgaj works as a designer, design researcher and lecturer. Currently he is based at the University of Teacher Education Vienna, at the Institute for Fashion and Design Pedagogics.

In 2005 he graduated in Fashion design at the University for Applied Arts Vienna under Raf Simons and received the Diesel Support Award for his master collection. In 2008 he received the award Perspective Fashion Designer during The Month of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. From 2007 till 2009 he was working as a senior graphic designer in 3line, where he was designing user interfaces for mobile applications.

In 2012 he got a research grand from the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD, for a research stay at the Design Research Lab at the Berlin University of Arts, Germany. In 2013 he received his PhD at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in Textile Design.

He has taught Fashion Design, Foundations of Fashion and Video in Design on a regular basis since 2008 among others at the Academy of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Raffles University Iskandar, Malaysia. His main research interests are in the field of fashion practice, fashion theory and fashion design didactics.