Double Exposure


Claire Ferguson
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice Based, fashion design, Renaissance, contemporary


The output is a garment, designed and made by Claire Ferguson. The research used fashion design to explore how fashion silhouettes signify accepted notions of female beauty within the Renaissance and contemporary eras. It was initiated in response to current issues relating to body image in fashion and contemporary culture. Ferguson’s aim was to raise awareness of these issues and explore historic trends and fashions and ideal body types. The garment is composed of two dresses layered over one another. The under dress is made from fine lace in a minimal, modern form. The outer is a knitted dress combining innovative knit structures and contemporary yarn, to create an accentuated Renaissance silhouette. In contrasting the theatrical dress of the Renaissance period with the simplicity of contemporary design, the garment invites us to reflect on the changing meaning of beauty. Double Exposure was created for ‘Beauty By Design’, an exhibition of contemporary fashion design and Renaissance painting at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 14 November 2014 – 3 May 2015. A collaboration with the fashion designer Malcolm Burkinshaw and the art historian Jill Burke, ‘Beauty By Design’ explored relations between contemporary fashion design and historic portraiture to interrogate changing ideals of body shapes and beauty from the Renaissance to the present day. Visitor numbers for the exhibition were in excess of 146,000. A range of associated events were attended by audiences of 1,166 in total.

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30 May 2024


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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.