Jonathan Faiers is Professor of Fashion Thinking at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, U.K. Teaching on the history of dress and textiles, and fashion as material culture. Jonathan’s early training as a fashion and theatre designer and his subsequent career as a visual artist have been fundamental to his interdisciplinary approach to teaching, writing and curation.
Jonathan’s research examines the interface between popular culture, textiles and dress. His critically acclaimed work Tartan (Berg and V&A, 2008) interrogated the myth of clanship and established tartan as a ‘textile transporter’, a cloth of opposition whose troubled history has made it uniquely capable of expressing both subversion and conformity, innovation and tradition. Jonathan was invited to be consultant curator for the major new exhibition Tartan based on his book for V&A Dundee which has received universal critical acclaim and runs until January 14th 2024.
Mainstream cinema is an abiding source of inspiration for much of Jonathan’s work and he has published widely on the relationship between film, fashion and textiles culminating in his book Dressing Dangerously: Dysfunctional Fashion in Film (Yale University Press, 2013). More recently he published Fur: A Sensitive History (Yale University Press 2021) a groundbreaking and definitive study of fur, that has been enthusiastically received and described as ‘The first and only book of its kind’.
In addition to these single authored works Jonathan lectures and publishes internationally on a wide variety of subjects and has written for numerous publications including essays for Alexander McQueen (V&A. 2015), London Couture 1923-1975: British Luxury (V&A. 2015) Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme (F.I.T./Thames & Hudson 2017) and Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion (Yale/F.I.T. 2020).