Philip Clarke is the programme leader of Fashion Communication and Styling. Trained as a textile designer at Winchester School of Art, he worked for more than ten years as a freelance stylist and writer prior to taking a full-time lecturing post as programme leader of the new Media and Fashion Styling courses at Southampton Solent University. Over the years his teaching has predominantly been linked to his industry experience; he has taught on specialist fashion photography and fashion styling modules, across both theory and practice-based programmes.
Philip's doctoral research is centered on the role of the fashion stylist, focusing on changing attitudes to the role and intellectual property rights within the discipline. Despite increased public recognition in recent years, it could be suggested that within the industry itself the fashion stylist's position in the image-making process continues to be considered secondary to that of the photographer, designer or other creative roles. Research output relating to the practice of fashion styling has led to participation in Fashion Colloquia conferences at l'Institut Francais de la Mode, Paris, Domus Academy, Milan and London College of Fashion. He curated the Black Dress exhibition at the Concourse Gallery in Southampton, which explored the research process of stylists and photographers.
Collaboration with Caryn Franklin and Debra Bourne's All Walks Beyond the Catwalk campaign has resulted in a number of projects concerned with challenging the representation of diversity within the fashion industry. Further research activity over the past few years has linked to interest in internationalisation of fashion curricula and collaboration with Chinese partner institutions. Philip has hosted a number of intensive workshop sessions and summer school projects with Chinese students, both in the UK and at the Zhejiang Fashion and Textiles College, Ningbo and Shanghai Institute of Design.
Currently enrolled on the MPhil/PhD programme at Middlesex University, my research focuses on the, relatively unacknowledged, role of the fashion stylist. Demand for the stylist or for those fulfilling similar roles i.e. acting as intermediaries between the fields of fashion, commerce and image-making, is arguably greater than ever before. However, within the profession itself the stylist's place in the creative process is often not clearly defined and there is very little published coverage of the role.
The research will be conducted within a sociological theoretical framework and will draw on sociological and fashion studies sources while building a body of empirical research through interviews with stylists and those who work closely with them.
Black in Fashion, Solent Stylist/Black History Month collaborative project, Concourse Gallery, Southampton, October 2009 - January 2010.
Black Dress, curated exhibition exploring the role of the fashion stylist, Concourse Gallery, January – April 2012.
Philip Clarke and Jennifer Anyan, The Role of the Stylist in Hypermodern Image-Making, Fashion Colloquia, London College of Fashion. September 2011.
Philip Clarke, The Complex Art of Dressing Up: Teaching and Learning Fashion Styling, pecha kucha, Fashion Colloquia, Domus Academy, Milan. February 2012.
Philip Clarke and Paolo Volonte. Reinventing the Paris of the East: How to Fabricate a Fashion Capital, Fashion Colloquia, Institut Français de la Mode. September 2012.
Philip Clarke and Paolo Volonte. Inquiring into Fashion Styling. London College of Fashion, January 2013
Research and Enterprise-funded projects
Development of e-Learning material for Fashion (practice and theory) units, to include alternative assessment strategies and online submission procedures; a collaboration with Solent Learning and Technology Unit.
Teaching fashion research process to Chinese students: Week-long workshop sessions conducted in Zhejiang Fashion and Textile College, October 2011 and January 2013.
Teaching visit to China Academy of Art, Shanghai, October 2011 and January 2013
The project culminated in curriculum development for a summer school programme for Chinese students and the production of online teaching resources.