Music and Fashion

CREAM has established departments in both Fashion and Music whose International research reflects on the professional and creative knowledge required by these sectors. Led by key figures in their field, with emerging and established projects, both are creating societal impact across broad areas of popular culture, the arts and the creative industries in the UK and beyond.

Music research is multidisciplinary, investigating all aspects of music, from classical to the commercial music industries. songwriting, production and creative practice, to sound technology and innovation in music business. Music research is led by Professor Shirley Thompson and coordinated by Kerstin Hermes. The Black Music Research Unit is led by Mykaell Riley.

Research staff (see People) are experienced academics and industry practitioners, who are at the forefront of cutting edge practice in music, connecting closely with University of Westminster’s established music industry think tank MusicTank ( The Music research team also support a growing cohort of postgraduate PhD students in all areas of sound and music creativity, and music industry studies.

Particular specialist areas include:

  • Songwriting, Composition and Sound Design
  • Music Production (including Recording, Mixing, Mastering)
  • Studio and Performance Technology
  • Black British Music
  • Gender, Equality and Diversity in Music
  • Music Health and Wellbeing
  • Music Marketing and Economics
  • Intellectual Property
  • Live Music & Event Management
  • Music Education and Pedagogy
  • Music Culture and Sociology
  • Psychoacoustics and Listening Test Analysis
  • Hi-Resolution Audio
  • Mobile Music Applications
  • Music for Games, Interactivity and Virtual Reality

Music research staff have a track record of delivering projects funded by, for example, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Arts Council England, Innovate UK and the British Academy. Academics are also experienced industry practitioners and have collaborated substantially with audio and music industry partners (including, for example, Warner Music Group, Ticketmaster, Help Musicians) on projects related to creative practice, arts policy, product development and audience analysis. CREAM’s music specialism also incorporates the Black Music Research Unit, which is delivering the prestigious AHRC funded Bass Music project. Additionally, our recent research into the connection between music and mental health brought new understanding to complex arts-wellbeing issues, and has enabled new support services to be launched as a result of the project findings (

CREAM’s music research also links directly with the taught music courses at University of Westminster, which are BA Music: Production, Performance and Enterprise, MA Audio Production and MA Music Business Management, bringing opportunities for students to engage in cutting edge projects and to benefit directly from project findings.

Fashion research at Westminster is centred on our ground-breaking practice-based courses.  They are informed and contextualised by our links with the international fashion industry, its cultural institutions, and related partners. Fashion research is co-ordinated by Professor Andrew Groves.

Central to Westminster’s approach to research, teaching, and knowledge exchange is the creation of spaces and places for the convergence of these activities. This is exemplified by the Westminster Menswear Archive. Founded in 2016 by Professor Andrew Groves, it  houses over 2000 pieces  covering 140 years of menswear from 1880 to the present day, with a strength in British design. It functions as a resource for industry, academics, and students, to undertake object-based research to inform the development of new design outcomes, enabling us to observe and interrogate these processes within an academic environment.

Though focussed on clothing-based objects , we take a broad interpretation of menswear.   The curatorial approach of the WMA rejects a hierarchy of design and challenges the orthodoxy of traditional dress and fashion collections by advocating a parity of objects that intersperses  workwear with uniforms and designer garments.

Our research focuses on the design, production, and consumption of fashion, and areas of interest include materiality, technical innovation, wearable technology, the fashioned body, gender, curation, masculinities, queer theory, sportswear,  subcultural style and the history of British menswear

Our research is disseminated through exhibitions, books, websites, designs, curation, papers, and practice. Outputs include the ground-breaking Invisible Men, at Ambika P3, which was the largest exhibition of menswear to be staged in the UK and drew exclusively on the Westminster Menswear Archive.