An academic at a British fashion college recently published a research paper on the “lived experience” of wearing shoes and walking.
Ellen Sampson, an academic at the Chelsea College of Art in the United Kingdon, published an academic research piece in April about the complex act of wearing shoes. The article’s summary explains that Sampson’s research was conducted simply by her putting on shoes and then walking around.
Wearing is fundamental to our experience of cloth and of clothing; though we experience our garments through other senses it is a relationship predicated on touch. It is through the tactile experience of our garments that we come to know them; to comprehend texture, fit and form. Drawing upon both a phenomenological and a psychoanalytic approach to touch and wear this article examines the possibility of wearing as a methodology for practice and performance based research, wearing as a means of ‘doing’ research.
The article explores the “embodied experience” of walking while wearing shoes.
This article presents the act of wearing, the embodied experience of clothing and the body together, as a tool for developing knowledge, of ‘being in’ or ‘being with’ rather than observing from outside. Building on the work of phenomenologists Schilder and Merleau-Ponty, it proposes a methodology of entanglement – a methodology that draws upon and abstracts the idea of participant observation. This article explores the possibility of a wearing-based research, as an addendum or adjunct to the more widely understood practice and performance based research. It asks if wearing as a research practice might open up new avenues in fashion and textile knowledge, uncovering different aspects of our lived experience of cloth and clothes. What might the parameters of wearing as performance practice be and how might it differ from wearing as a habitual embodied experience.
The article, which costs $18 to read, is 22 pages long. Sampson’s research is another piece in a string of convoluted, meaningless research papers coming out of academia. Earlier this week, Breitbart News covered a research paper that condemned an Internet talk show about buffalo wings because it lacked a sufficient number of female guests.