Credits: 5

Schedule: 29.05.2019 - 14.06.2019

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students expand or deepen their professional skills by participating international workshops in Finland or abroad.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The content of the workshop varies according the theme. The workshop usually includes pre-assignment, an intensive teaching period, assignments in team or individually and critic session.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

Are you an MA- or a PhD-student with some background or interest in fashion and a desire to gain more informed perspectives on fashion? Or are you a professional working in the field in need of updating your knowledge? If so, we invite you to join the first-ever Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar ‘Fashion – Places and Spaces’ organized by Aalto University, the leading Finnish university in fashion design.

This exciting new course provides a unique focus on fashion and Helsinki. Led by two professors of fashion studies with international knowledge, the course will dive into global and local geographies, and specific places and spaces of fashion, aided by texts, images, discussions and field trips to Helsinki-based fashion brands, retail spaces, museums and galleries. You will be encouraged to observe and critique fashion and consider its relationship to time, geography, national identity, gender, and museums, amongst other topics.

After completing the Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar, you will understand fashion as a global phenomenon viewed through a local lens. You will know the key concepts and paradigm shifts in the field, key scholars who have influenced fashion studies and key disciplines that have informed them. You will gain appreciation of Finnish fashion and how Aalto Fashion has become an international phenomenon. You will be required to contribute to class discussions and presentations, participate in field trips and to complete the course with a presentation at the end of the course.

Dates: 3.6.–14.6.2019, optional kick-off seminar in Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland, 29.5. at 16 -18

Prices: Aalto University Master and Doctoral students: 0 EUR, students from other universities and professionals: 400 EUR.

Venue: Aalto University campus, Espoo, Finland: Otakaari1, M-wing, seminar room M205. Movie in Väre, Q103.

Language: English

Criteria for selection: Previous knowledge on fashion studies is desirable but not mandatory. Selection is made on the basis of your background knowledge and your motivation which you will explain in the application form. Please note that the number of attendants is limited to 15.

Responsible teachers: Adjunct Professor Annamari Vänskä (Aalto University) and Professor Hazel Clark (Parsons School of Design, New York)

Deadline for applying: 22 April 2019

Fill in the registration form (Word)* and send to

Aalto University students should additionally enrol in WebOodi, course code MUO-E1015 (click on the code and choose 'SUMMER SCHOOL: Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar: Fashion - Places and Spaces' from the list of workshops). Aalto students do not need to fill in the parts 3.-15. of the application form. The selection criteria are based on the professional background and the motivation letter.


* Cannot be filled in on a mobile device


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Lectures, excursions, tutoring, individual and team work, assignments, learning diary, Evaluation: To be defined according the theme and the content.

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

Previous knowledge on fashion studies is desirable but not mandatory. Selection is made on the basis of your background knowledge and your motivation which you will explain in the application form. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 15

The course consists of lectures, seminars and visits.  


To complete the course, you will:

- Read texts and discuss them in class

- Participate actively in classroom discussions

- Prepare a presentation

- Prepare a written and visual assignment 


Students are expected to attend at least 80 % of the total number of classes. 

Assessment: 0-5

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Depends from the workload, e.g.

2 cr = 54 h

10 cr = 270 h

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

135 h (5 cr):

- Lectures, seminars and visits: 40 h

- Personal learning time: 40 h (assigned for reading, observation & preparing presentation)

- Assignment: discussions, observations, presentation, written and visual assignment: 55 h


This intensive course consists of lectures, seminars, visits and individual and group work. We will have lectures and seminars every weekday combined with four field trips on select days to meet local professionals working in different places and spaces of fashion. During the weekend, you will prepare a small ethnography about Helsinki-fashions from a specific perspective. We will unwrap the weekend task at the beginning of the following week. The course will end with presentations that you will prepare on Wednesday, tutored by the responsible teachers. The course will end with a two-day seminar with presentations and a summary of the course. 

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

Reading package will be posted electronically in the course’s MyCourses-website.

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

TBA; workshop might have specific prerequisites (previous studies, experience, skills etc.)

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0-5 or pass-fail

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In WebOodi, or directly to the planning officer



Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

 Workshop information will be announced in INTO on by e-mail (only

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 


Week 0: Optional kick-off seminar

Wed 29 May Fashion Wednesday in Kiasma

16–18 Discussion on the meanings of materiality in fashion

Further information about the event:

21–     Aalto University fashion show - Näytös 19 - at Merikaapelihalli (Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki), Aalto Fashion Studies Seminar -students will be provided with the tickets free of charge 

Week 1 – Contexts – places/spaces

Mon 3 June

13-16 Fashion Studies: Introduction & Methods (seminar room M205, Otakaari 1)

17–18.30 Film viewing  (room Q103, Väre)

Wenders, Wim 1991. Notebooks on Cities and Clothes. Film, 81 minutes, featuring Yohji Yamamoto – to be
viewed in class.

Tues 4 June

10–12 Places – Fashion – Cities 

13:30-16 Field trip

Design Museum & exhibition by Aamu Song & Johan Olin (COMPANY): Secret Universe

Address: Korkeavuorenkatu 23

Wed 5 June

10-12 Spaces of Fashion – Retail

13:30–15 Field trip: Kämp Garden

13-13.30 Kämp Garden concept
13:45-14:15 Samuji
14:30-15:00 Nomen Nescio

Thurs 6 June

10-13 Spaces of Fashion – Production

13:30–16 Field trip

  • 13:30-15:00 Finlayson, address: Porkkalankatu 13

  • 15:30-17:00 Miltton Studios, address: Uudenmaankatu 4-6

  • 18:00 Social event (optional): Attending the opening party of the exhibition ‘Future Delay’
    at Helsinki Contemporary gallery, address: Bulevardi 10.

Fri 7 June

10-12 Spaces of Fashion – Helsinki – Public vs. Virtual

13–16 Preparing for the weekend assignment: Fashion in Helsinki

Researching fashion in Helsinki. You will explore fashion in Helsinki in a small-group. Your group will collect
data in the city center or in a chosen suburb, e.g. Kallio or Punavuori, as well as from online platforms. The
relevant data can consist of photographs, videos, observations, interviews etc. collected in the area.

Guiding questions:

a) Examine boutiques in the area. What are their local characteristics? What kind of clothes do they sell?

b)Observe street styles in the area. How do people dress? Are there recognizable dress codes or fashions?

c) Compare your findings with fashions represented on online platforms (blogs, Instagram, online
stores). Analyze the characteristics of “Finnish fashion” based on your observations in both places.

    Preliminary findings of the weekend assignment will be presented in class on Monday 10 June e.g. as a
    PowerPoint presentation.

    Week 2 – Practices – in places/spaces

    Mon 10 June

    10–16 Spaces of fashion: Unwrapping the weekend assignment (seminar room M205, Otakaari 1)

    Each group will present their findings as a PowerPoint-presentation. The time allocated to each group is 30
    minutes. After each presentation, you will be given feedback which you can use in preparing the final

    Tues 11 June

    10–12 Fashion – Exhibitions

    13:30–16 Field trip

    EMMA Museum, the exhibition Interwoven,

    Address: Ahertajantie 5

    Wed 12 June

    10–16 Project preparation

    This day will be dedicated to preparing the second assignment: an academic poster. The final assignment
    will demonstrate a response to Fashion – Places and Spaces, based on the weekend research and course
    reading. The poster will be developed on the basis of Monday’s class and feedback you have been given as
    well as tutorials during the day. The aim is to further analyze your research findings and contextualize them
    with the help of literature you have read during the course. You have access to a computer class where you
    can design the poster with guidance from Professors Clark and Vänskä.

    In the poster you will include a discussion of chosen examples, exploration of a chosen concept, presented
    visually and with text, and include some key readings.

    Each poster will include a title, author’s name, 3-4 keywords, aims and/or a hypothesis, a project
    description, relevant images, references/citations. For background for creating an academic poster – see
    for example:

    Guiding questions to think about:

    • What are the characteristics of Helsinki as a fashion city? What are characteristics of Finnish fashion
      in the global context?

    • OR: Who creates fashion (consumers, marketers, environment and space (including retail)?

    • OR: How is fashion created in specific places/space?

    Thurs 13 June

    10–16 Student poster production & presentations
    Finalizing the posters, printing them and presenting them in class. Final feedback and end discussion.

    10–12 Finalizing and printing the posters

    13–16 Final presentation of the posters and feedback

    Fri 14 June 

    Poster exhibition

    10-12 Exhibiting the posters in Väre and summing up the course


      Registration and further information