When recycling your old fashion magazines think of cut and paste, it's fun, reduces stress and is good for gifts....well maybe.
This blog is about the refashion aesthetic that considers issues of sustainability, ethics, environment, health, street up credit, neo-economics, collaborative infrastructures, beauty, fun and whatever else is of real value. In choosing to design with respect and responsibility, I am choosing to design for the possible world..the world I want for my child and his 2 children.
Okay, I am a harpy when it comes to fashion I abhor the fast fashists. I realize that Godot isn’t coming, Uncle Sam is lunching with Big Brother and sorry, yes, Oz was faked. So let’s embrace the truth for denial is absurd and boring.
I read “The Waste Makers”: by Vance Packard (1960) over summer. This book showed up when I made a wrong turn. I flipped it open and read “In the fifties, designers in a great many fields earnestly studied the obsolescence-creating techniques pioneered in the field of clothing and accessories, particularly those for women,” Then, later “Every industry tries to emulate the women’s fashion industry. This is the key to modern marketing.” (page 71 ) The universe spoke and I was paying attention.
So now I am angry. I feel used, manipulated, disrespected even and yet I can’t just un-love “fashion”. Style, good design and change are part of the best of being human; we are drawn to beauty, novelty, fresh ideas. The question is how to navigate the balance between desire and need? What is style lust and what is the longer, loving relationship that is considerate to the unity of life and planet. and is it possible to have both?
Perhaps the answer is in the natural progression that evolves from street expressions as culture and art combine. New Wave, Punk, Goth and Grunge with Hip Hop opening the door for Rap; all names that evoke the power and influence of Street Up Style. It’s the music, clothing and expression of change, the voices for alternatives. The Beats of the 50’s influenced Givenchy. The spare simple lines of the black Capri pants and turtleneck sweater he designed for Audrey Hepburn was plucked from the coffee houses. The look became fashion news when it appeared on the big screen The cycle constantly repeats as ideas are snagged and then sold by those with the means to exploit them
Sustainable style is the antidote to the fashion pushers. It embraces the heart and mind, is ethical and wholistic, it is the alternative to madness. It is recycouture and organic cottons. It is repurposing and hemp. It is about taking responsibility and taking care of a great place called earth in a great venture called life. Sustainable style is about empowerment and saying no to being used and it is up to each one of us.
Privatizers and pillagers are cracking the Wall of Denial in many sectors; yet consumer habits are hard to break. Stay tuned……
Thanks for the fun, inspiring, good-to-be-alive article ["The Cosby Effect," Dec. 13]. One little thing bothered me: " Or, says Seattle Central Community College apparel design instructor Hisako Nakaya, maybe it's just a telltale sign that the days of a top-down, monolithic fashion industry determining what's in or out are over."
I think we need to back up her point by a few decades. The top-down fashion dictates were smashed by Brando's white tee, leather jacket, and jeans in the '50s On the Waterfront; when the '60s popped, so did minis and boutiques—rock inspired—while the top designers were doing Jackie O. suits and pillbox hats, until they realized the huge market they were missing. Enter the bohemian look of the '70s, and Yves Saint Laurent made news with his rich hippie looks. Lagerfield tried doing $2,000 grunge; it was short-lived but obviously street up. My last example is the skull of '70s punk making its way to the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog ('06) along with the Juicy label doing their version of skull and wings on the back of a hoodie. No, the great ideas from the street have been snagged by designers for quite some time, and the creatives who inspire don't often get the rewards.
Alright, so why did I feel the need to respond over a little misconception? I reacted to the illusion that constructs and maintains a paradigm that is repeated in most walks of life (wearing Manolo's) It is a classic hierarchal concept that certain people deserve a position in society because they are worthier than others. It supports the illusion that talent and hard work will be recognized and rewarded with steps up the ladder; therefore the ladder is worthy of maintenance by all.
But wait a minute:
Design stars are needed to generate profits throughout a fashion industry and a star must produce and when ideas are RIPE they are copped from the streets-then repackaged to support the top down mythology. Why?
I think it goes back to a time when only the wealthy were educated and then they could use the public for menial labor and say things like "the lower classes, women, slaves, immigrants etc are so ignorant," which stroked their egos and kept competition limited to those who played by the rules they of course got to write! That changed with public education or did it? A good education was to get a good job....working to create even more wealth for those in power. Funny thing is they need us way more than we need them; which probably explains all the historical edits. Wow, you'd think after that much arrogance and face saving of a paradigm we would get over it and grow. It's hard to evolve, create dynamic change and listen to the voice of being when conditioned to fear loss...of face, position, status, power and all the other facades we humans have erected to live in denial of mortality.
So let's move along and ask all of life to the party. Let's see what we can learn and how very possible we can be; lets embrace the life we have and recognize the place we share in the whole: now that sounds like fun!
And fashion, fashion will evolve to embrace personal and sustainable ethos. Yeah I have faith in art, design, intellect and life -and all the other contributing elements of good style. I still love fashion, its just been transformed.
Hey it's only a shirt, but is it? It's also a process of many elements both physical and mental. It is an expression, a product and a choice. Yeah, it's also just a shirt!
I am a fashion devotee, a professional clothier, and a sustainability harpy that wants the world to know how much fun there is in designing with a re-purpose in mind. The clothes we wear impact social, environmental and economic issues. With this in mind we can choose to create personal styles that enhance who we really are and not some marketing professionals interpretation of who "we" are. We can recreate what fashion is and what style means and we will be able to look our children in the face instead of apologizing for all the damage left in our wake.