Arts-Informed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: ‘Making’, as a means of embodied fashion enquiry into older men’s lived experiences

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This article draws on a practice-based project, in which I proposed a novel fashion research methodology, Arts-Informed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The methodology highlights the central role of a creative practitioner within research settings and processes. The aim of the project was to develop an in-depth understanding of how a small sample of mature men has experienced fashion and ageing. Working with such an open-ended aim allowed to develop a fit-for-purpose methodology that accommodated two components: the topic of the investigation and the theoretical perspectives that the creative practitioner brought into it. A particular research mechanism, which was based on the integration of fashion theory and practice, synthesized to activities of interpretative making and writing, was implemented to suit my epistemological stance, my particular way of being in the world and conducting research as a creative practitioner.

In this article, I focus on a series of three fashion artefacts I created in response to empirical data gathered via in-depth interviews and personal inventories with the five study participants. The making processes of the Mirroring, Dis-Comforting, and Peacocking suit jackets, involved de-construction of a series of second-hand garments, a scenario-based reflective performance, visiting clothing archives, and various practical experimentations. ‘Making’, as a means of embodied, visual enquiry became an analytical tool that afforded the advanced insights into older men’s lived experiences. Consequently, I argue that through my embodied interactions with objects and materials, as the creative practitioner, I co-constructed new experiential understandings and offered fresh perspectives of the phenomenon under study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-432
Number of pages28
JournalFashion Practice
Issue number3
Early online date29 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • fashion research methodology
  • making and writing
  • creative practitioner
  • embodiment
  • knowledge co-construction
  • mature men


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