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Fiona Kitchman

Senior Lecturer

Department: Northumbria School of Design

I have over 25 years of experience as a design practitioner, in a variety of industry contexts. These range from a high-end menswear brand, to a commercial studio designing for a major high street chain, to technical performance wear for a leading outdoor clothing company. I became a Senior Lecturer on the Fashion Design and Marketing Programme as I am passionate about passing on the skills I have acquired to the next generation of designers and pattern cutters. I teach mainly concept development, translating 2D design ideas to 3D, pattern cutting and garment construction in a creative studio environment. To prepare students for future employment many of our design projects are live industry briefs.  

Fiona Kitchman

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research interests lie in the historical development of performance clothing and textiles. This developed during my years of industry practice, through collaborating with mountaineers and climbers to solve garment design issues encountered in challenging environments. My research aims to synthesise this experience as a designer with the knowledge gained engaging with historical artefacts and sources to document how and why these types of garment and textiles have evolved over the last two centuries. Focusing on the clothing worn by female mountaineers, my aim is to achieve a clearer understanding of how they overcame the physical challenges of the environment and the social challenges of a male-dominated society. A paper entitled Women Climbers and Their Clothing was presented at Futurescan 2019, Bolton University.

My research has developed and involves experimenting with the methods of pattern cutting, aiming to discover if period garments were cut and constructed to facilitate movement in active use, and if, functionality and choice of textile was a consideration in the design.

Key Publications

Qualifications

  • Educational Development Other Qualification February 06 2015
  • Fashion Design BA (Hons) June 30 1979
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015


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