Consulting with an Expert: Fashion and FIlm Capstone

Here is a link to the audio recording of my interview:

The purpose of my interview and this post is to further delve into my topic at a face to face level, where I was free to ask questions and even offer feedback to my interviewee. This assignment made my topic feel much more material to me, and seeing in real life a place and a person who has made her life’s work the subject of my study was very rewarding to me. Also, my purpose through this assignment was to validate my own findings from someone who has been deemed an expert on this specific topic by the University of Kansas.

I found my source, Dr. Catherine Preston, through the KU Department of Film and Media Studies faculty list. Here is her bio and her contact information: I initially chose Film and Media Studies because KU does not have a proper fashion design major, so Film and Media Studies was most relevant to my topic of fashion and film. I did not know Dr. Preston prior to the interview.

A few major points I gained from my interview with Dr. Preston are as follows. Within film, more than just clothing conveys meaning or significance. Other ways to express meaning include movement and gesture, sound, and camera angles. Also, people are drawn to film, even in the era of more advanced media, because film freely accesses and explores the issue of identification. The more people who identify with the film, the more successful it is. Relating to this logic, niche marketed fashion films are not healthy for the film and fashion industries alike because they aren’t identifying with the largest possible population of viewers.

It is my belief that Dr. Preston is a credible source because she has studied and worked professionally across many different mediums. She is formally educated in Visual Communication, with an emphasis upon media studies and visual culture, and has since combined all of this knowledge to teach Film and Media Studies courses. Her career has spanned through many periods of the portrayal of women in film. She is spectacularly knowledgeable in fields concerning advertising, marketing, and images and society. One medium that I would not believe her to be a credible source about is social media, as she has confessed to not being as “up to date” on this medium.

As you can hear on my digital recording, the interview I conducted with Dr. Preston was fairly conversational and included quite a bit of back and forth dialogue. She answered questions in a way that could easily navigate to my next question, and even inadvertently answered a few of my questions before I had the chance to ask them. The story I got from my interviewee was one of a long and successful career spanning many decades and many different fields and areas of study. Dr. Preston is very open minded in reaction to the new media through which fashion is being presented in the digital age. Dr. Preston’s interests mirror my own, so it is my opinion that our rapport reflects that.



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