The training of fashion designers in Singapore : with special reference to the School of Fashion Studies, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Theng, G 2001, The training of fashion designers in Singapore : with special reference to the School of Fashion Studies, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts , MPhil thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This thesis traces the development of the training of fashion designers in Singapore from early days to the present. While the training of fashion designers in the modern sense of the word did not begin in Singapore until the late nineteen-eighties, its origins must be traced back to the importance attached to the learning of sewing and embroidery in oriental societies. This learning began in the home where girls were taught the skill from an early age with almost religious zeal. This learning continued in the schools where sewing or needlework lessons were made compulsory for girls. After they left school, they could further their study in the privately set up sewing schools. In the sewing schools the girls could learn techniques which enabled them to become seamstresses - a vocation which was popular before the advent of the garment manufacturing industries in the sixties. The Multi-fibre Agreement stimulated the growth of huge garment manufacturing industries in the developing countries of which Singapore was one. The sewing schools were no longer able to meet the more exacting skills demanded by these industries, nor could they cope with the numbers. The government had to step in to provide the necessary manpower by setting up sewing classes in the Vocational Training Institutes to support the industry. By the late nineteen-eighties, a new development took place which was instrumental in sponsoring the rise of modern fashion schools. This development was the consequence of: -
1 Singapore reached a stage of socio-economic development when affluence and life-style changes created a design-conscious and cosmopolitan people.
2 The return of overseas-trained graduates of fashion departments in universities in the UK, USA and Europe who were ready to help set up fashion departments in the existing colleges of art.
Thus, within a short space of a few years, four modern fashion schools were established. Typical and representative of these fashion schools is the School of Fashion Studies of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The remaining part of this thesis examines in detail this Case Study, discussing in particular its history, challenges and responses, the changes in the curriculum, the approach to teaching and research in the pursuit of excellence, and the overall strategy for its future development. A comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the four fashion schools is also attempted. The future of Singapore fashion schools appears to be bright, as the government has belatedly recognised the importance of design in contributing to Singapore's economic growth. The fashion schools have to train the necessary manpower to make Singapore a fashion business hub and eventually a fashion Capital of the East. Research and development have therefore to be an important focus of the fashion schools to meet the challenges of the new millennium.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Contributors: Cooper, R (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 14:20
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:54
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/60959

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