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Researcher profile for Rekha Shailaj

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Rekha Shailaj

Rekha.Rana@op.ac.nz

Rekha is an Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Design (Fashion) graduate and is now employed as a Senior Lecturer in Fashion, teaching in areas such as fashion design projects, digital pattern making, and textiles. She finished her Masters of Fine Art (Design) from Otago Polytechnic in 2011 with distinction. Rekha practices design in a multicultural environment, working with concepts such as subjectivities and identities created through different fashion systems, drawing on both Eastern and Western sensibilities. Rekha's research is based on reflective studio practice incorporating critical making, writing and analysing. This is informed through reflection on both current fashion issues and how they relate to Eastern and Western methodologies and aesthetics. She aims to understand clothing as an extension of the wearer and its semiotic signification in the field of fashion and textiles. Rekha has experience working with international students. As a postgraduate supervisor with multicultural experience, she provides a wide perspective, to guide students on practice and theory, helping them to develop conceptual ideas into commercially viable projects. Ethnographic clothing is an area of special interest, especially from India where she was born and raised. Her current research is directed towards exploring methods used in designing ethnographic clothing and further developing and extending them to create near zero-waste fashion outcomes. She has actively assisted Dunedin Public Art Gallery with cultural events.

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