Professor Richard Sorger

School: Design School
Position: Associate Professor and Course Leader MA Fashion


Richard Sorger is the Associate Professor and Course Leader for MA Fashion at Kingston University. He has taught at all levels of fashion education from undergraduate to postgraduate for institutions such as Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Middlesex University, and Nottingham Trent University.

Between 2006 and 2011, Richard Sorger designed and produced his eponymous fashion label of ready-to-wear womenswear, selling in the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Celebrity clients included Courtney Love, Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford, Kate Beckinsale, Florence Welch, Kelis, Sienna Miller, Diamanda Galas, and Heidi Klum. He exhibited his collections in London, Paris and Milan twice-yearly (during fashion weeks), and showed his work on the catwalk during London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2008 to Spring/Summer 2011. In 2011 Richard stopped producing collections, deciding instead to concentrate on teaching, freelance design consultancy, and academic research.

His work has been exhibited in various exhibitions worldwide: Dangerous and Divine - The Secret of the Snake, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands (April 2012–October 2012); Couture Beside the Catwalk, Amsterdam Fashion Week (January 2012); Browns: 40 years of Fashion Innovation, London (March 2010); Telling Tales; Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (July – October 2009); Unbridaled- The Marriage of Tradition and Avant Garde, various venues worldwide (2008-2009).

Richard has been commissioned to produce work by Swarovski, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Andaz Hotel. The Victoria and Albert Museum acquired his The Garden of Eden Dress (Spring/Summer 2007) for its permanent fashion collection in 2009. He has collaborated with Meadham Kirchhoff (Autumn/Winter 2009), Manolo Blahnik (for Meadham Kirchhoff) and ASOS.

He is the co-author of the third editions of Basics Fashion Design; Research and Design for Fashion and The Fundamentals of Fashion Design, both for Bloomsbury Publishing. The Fundamentals has been translated into six languages and has sold sixteen thousand plus copies worldwide.

His work has been published in the following books: Isabella Blow, Rink, M. (Thames & Hudson, 2010); Basic Fashion Design: Textiles and Fashion, Udale, J. (AVA Books, 2008); Basic Fashion Design: Research and Design, Seivewright, S. (AVA Books, 2007, 2nd Edition 2012); Unbridaled - The Marriage of Tradition and Avant Garde, (Swarovski AG, 2007).

Richard's work has also featured in magazines and newspapers including Vogue UK, American Vogue, OK! Magazine, Grazia, i-D Magazine, The Sunday Times Style Magazine, The Independent, The Times, LA TIMES, Dazed Digital, Observer Magazine.

Research expertise

I am an early researcher and my current practice-based PhD is concerned with what constitutes a fashion embellishment and how new materials, techniques and technologies can be used for fashion embellishment.

I am developing theories about what it means to embellish a fabric, how it relates to the body and fashion, and linking this to my current practice. I am interested in Jacques Derrida's notions of supplementarity and grafts, Malcolm Barnard's theories of fashion as prosthesis, Joanne Entwistle's theories of the decorated body, and Edward T. Hall's notions of proxemics, and how they can apply to my subject specialism.

My practical work draws together these theories and incorporates Kenneth Snelson's tensegrity technique as well as Naum Gabo's stereometric principle of sculpture.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

Course Leader MA Fashion

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 1991BA (Hons) Fashion (First Class) Middlesex Polytechnic

Conferences & events

  • 5th International Conference on Global Fashion; Supplementarity, Embellishment and The Decorated Body (paper) University of Stockholm, 20-21 Oct 2016

  • Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues 8th Global Meeting; Exploring the Meaning of Fashion Embelishhment and Developing a new Technique (paper) Mansfield College, Oxford 5-7 Sept 2016

  • The Body + Space; The Proxemic Dress (paper) Middlesex University, London, 18 Sept 2014

Research and Design for Fashion, Third Edition
Designed by Richard Sorger
Design, in detail