Associate Director of the LCF Centre for Fashion Science, MA and Ph.D. Coordinator, London College of Fashion
My interest is in 3D freeform object orientated design and application, integrating craft skills with science and new technologies, from body scanning to virtual CAD. My Ph.D. research aimed at developing a new model for block pattern construction. The variety of body contour shapes is infinite, but it is not just the static body that interests me. Rather, it is how a garment fits and moves with the body that I find deeply fascinating. Transferring the ability to move freely within the constraints of a flat pattern is complex, given the multiple factors to take into account: how closely the garment is expected to contour the body, the movement envisaged, the fabric parameters and personal fit preferences.
Drawing is vital in helping to shape and materialise my ideas for developing 2D pattern profiling for different body shape fits. The interaction occurring between the mind’s eye and the corresponding hand movement helps me while transferring the undulations of body’s shape. I then form the pattern pieces with regard to the implications for fit, and reverse the process forming a 3D garment.
Education and background
- 1996 MA in Design and Manufacture (Fashion & Textiles), DeMontfort University Leicester.
- 2000 Ph.D. in the Faculty of Computing Sciences and Engineering: Textile, Engineering and Materials Research (TEAM), DeMontfort University Leicester
Penelope Watkins possesses a thorough experience of research and development in all the aspects of clothing design and production. From 2006 to 2008 she was part of the Fashion Science Research group, working on personalised fashion products designed for the individual body shape, in the context of sustainability. The project was funded by the EPSRC /AHRC Designing for the 21st Century scheme (PI Prof. Sandy Black), in collaboration with the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre. Penelope has received the DfES UK/Hong Kong Fellowships for Excellence, and a Research Fellowship in The Department of Automated and Mechanical Engineering at The Chinese University Hong Kong. From 2007 to 2009, she was researcher within EPSRC / AHRC Designing for the 21st Century scheme, working on considerate design. In 2008 and 2009, in co-collaboration with University of East London (UEL), she worked to develop Fabric Formworks, 3D fabric structures for concrete and earth construction. She is currently working on Mass-Customisation, a multidisciplinary and collaborative project, with partners spanning 11 European academic and business organizations. A parallel research is Digital Sensoria: Design through digital perceptual experience. The aim of this twoyear feasibility study (2009 -2011) is to give people a new language to communicate their sensory perceptions of real products in the digital world.
- 2010 Trash Fashion, Science Museum, London.
- 2010 Considerate Design, launch event at the London College of Fashion.
- 2010 Made In Future, Milan, organised by the UK Governments Foreign and Commonwealth Office in collaboration with the Materials KTN.
- 2007 “Brands ignore special qualities of stretch-garments”, WSA the international magazine for performance & Sports Materials, July-August 2007.
- 2009 “Considerate Design for Personalised Fashion”, in Interdisciplinary Methods & Findings, Prof. Tom Inns, Gower Publishing, London, book chapter.
- 2010 “Designing compressive stretch garments for improved comfort”, in Medical and healthcare textiles, edited by S.C.Anand, J.F.Kennedy, M. Miraftab, S. Rajendran, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, book chapter.
- 2011 “Improving comfort through garment pattern design”, in Improving comfort in clothing, edited by G.Song, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, book chapter.
Conferences and talks
- 2007 Nip ‘N’ Tuck Pattern Profiling, MEDTEX Fourth international conference and exhibition on healthcare and medical textiles, in association with Tampere University of Technology, Finland, Bolton, UK.
- 2007 Stretching Performance, 9th IFFTI Conference Extreme Fashion, Ryerson University Toronto, Canada.
- 2007 Improved Performance Under Pressure, 4th International Avantex - Symposium for Innovative Apparel Textiles, Messe Frankfurt.
- 2008 The Fit Revolution: Is it to remain a virtual reality?, The Textile Institute 86th World Conference Fashion and Textiles: Heading towards New Horizons, Hong Kong.
- 2009 Considerate Design for Personalised Fashion: towards sustainable production, MCPC Conference Mass Customisation and Personalisation, Helsinki.
- 2007 – 2009 EPSRC /AHRC Designing for the 21st Century scheme, researcher.
- 2007 – 2008 DfES UK/Hong Kong Research Fellowship.
- 2008 – 2009 Seed Funding to develop Fabric Formworks, co-collaborator with the University of East London (UEL).
- 2008 – 2010 (SHIAE) Research fund, Chinese University of Hong Kong Pattern Computation for Compression and Performance Garments, co-investigator.
- 2008 – 2011 EU FP7 funded SERVIVE, Mass-Customisation: user orientated web based co-design for networked manufacturing, consultant.
- 2009 – 2011 EPSRC feasibility study, Digital Sensoria: Design through digital perceptual experience, co-investigator.