Fast Fashion & Co-Design: Working Together

I designed and facilitated a workshop last Friday for MA Textile students at Chelsea College of Art & Design. The workshop was part of a piece I am working on for TED’S Ever & Again publication on upcycling textiles. It is an outcome of an AHRC funded research project directed by RebeccaEarley .

The workshop was titled Fast Fashion & Co-Design: working together

I used co-design to “orchestrate creative conversations” a term coined by Leadbeater (2009) to inspire collaborative concepts. We borrowed IDEO ‘s 3 core concept of design thinking to structure the workshop… It was divided into 3 sections… empathy, prototyping and storytelling.

I really enjoyed working with the students to explore these concepts and they presented some really interesting ideas and exciting solutions.

The F Factory – LIMITED EDITION experiences

Fendi will be playing quite a role in the event this year, introducing the F Factory, a limited-edition retail project in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building (home to Zaha Hadid’s “Elastica” permanent exhibition), starting November 30 2009 and running until Christmas.

 

The shop will feature the brand’s most coveted bags, complete with Fendi’s Roman craftsmen on-site to personalize each one. But in true Basel form, art and culture will infuse the retail. Graffiti artist Andre is creating three needlepoint panels live in three 60-minute “performances” in the space, which will then be stitched into a unique Fendi bag.

You can buy your own Fendi Baguette Needlepoint Stitch Kit, designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi for $995!

Other collaborations include Moritz Waldemeyer’s collaboration with Fendi to create six custom-made Gibson guitars with Silvia Venturini Fendi, which will project lights on the walls when played by American band OK Go.

The Limited Edition Experiences program in the Miami Design District. Launched by Dacra, a real estate company that owns 80% of the 18-block area that constitutes the Miami Design District, Miami’s Limited Edition Experiences program brings together designers like Cynthia Rowley,Duncan QuinnChristopher RossMaison Martin Margiela, and Marni, all of whom engage consumers with a series of initiatives ranging from pop-up stores to limited-edition wares, in-store events, documentary screenings, and more.

Luxury fashion engaging in experiential goods and services… could this be the new Eco Luxury market of the future? I can’t wait to see how these pop up projects proceed!

For more info visit website

Make Do & Mend

Rags to Riches to Rags

Marc Levin’s HBO documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags  was backed by, supporters of NYC’s shrinking Garment District who gathered  for a Save the Garment Center rally. T

here was a sizable turnout for the event at the corner of 39th Street and Seventh Avenue, which was organized by a mix of cit

y officials and led by designers Nanette Lepore and Yeohlee Teng . The crowd spanned the entire northeast side of the block reaching to 40th Street. “The Garment Center is the lifeblood of New York City…and we need to preserve it,” said Lepore, standing on a small stage, to the assembled fashion students, designers, and Garment District workers.

 

“The city has already lost enough of what keeps us unique,” she added.

Designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg turned up to lend her considerable support, as did Michael Kors, Victoria Bartlett, Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wa

inwright and Chris Benz. “I produce my entire collection here,” said Benz. “For a young designer, the quantities for production lots overseas are enormous. They ask for 1,000 pieces at a time.” Erin Fetherston, who was part of the cause but was out of tow

n filming a broadcast for her line with QVC, had similar thoughts. “The Garment District is so important to New York and New York fashion,” said Fetherston, before the rally. “Big American brands and young designers alike all have access to the same gre

at resources for making clothing.” Or as one of the posters cheekily but effectively summarized, “It’s Sew N.Y.”
—Bee-Shyuan Chang via Style.com

Documentary Preview


Re-Conceptualizing Fashion Shows 2

 Gareth Pugh Spring/ Summer 2010

 A fashion film produced in collaboration with Ruth Hogben. It was a prequel of his Paris runway show which took inspiration from the four elements, earth, wind, fire and water.

Is this format a new way to present such conceptual creations? The collection really lends itself to this format… it sets the atmosphere and the aesthetic is celebrated through the moving image. Real time fashion shows present a certain ambience but can digital media enhance the conceptualization and perfomability of a collection? 

I think it’s an interesting add-on and can’t wait to see other designers adopting such a process.

Cherish Your Wardrobe (Event Report)

I attended the ‘Cherish your Wardrobe’ event at Central Saint Martins yesterday, an event hosting a range of speakers who tackle sustainability from different angles. 
Designers from Gieves and Hawkes, From Somewhere, Pachacuti and TRAID presented their work and design journey. Their ‘sustainable stories’ connected them and really animated the cause. It was inspiring that every designer began with a limitation and designed this into their process and practice.
If innovation can be inspired from limitation: how can we push the boundaries and challenge the fashion industry? Over consumption is a huge problem and how do we make sense of an industry that has somehow lost control?
The designers urged the audience and consumers to emotionally engage with their clothing, to invest in fashion that will be cherished and loved. Quality was also an important issue, for clothing to be durable and with stand the test of time it needs to be well crafted and really beautiful. But are we as consumers willing to pay more?
Over consumption was addressed and TRAID stated that the average fashion consumer buys 35 garments per year. But if we explore fast fashion culture that teenagers are buying into, the number of annual garments consumed is significantly more. They asked the audience to think about how much they consume per year… how much do you consume?
So where do the answers lie? 
The Q & A session was really animated and the audience challenged sustainable fashion from their perspective. 
    * How do you convince consumers to buy into ethical fashion if it costs more?
    * How do we influence the fashion industry at mass?
    * Are trends important? Should we be buying into trend-less fashion?
    * Is fast fashion necessarily a bad thing? It’s democratic and allows everyone to participate…
    * Do the answers lie in current sustainable business models… can we explore, reflect and expand upon?
One audience member flagged up that she loves how everyone can express themselves through fast fashion… She felt that DIY fashion puts pressure on woman to return to the sewing machine and the whole stitch and bitch concept is possibly a step backwards? 
There was also a lot of discussion about the onus being put onto the consumer… the speakers responded that is because the power of the purse has a significant impact! Do retailers supply to meet demand? The urge for Government support for local production was also stressed as an important issue… new legislation and initiatives are required to urge designers, suppliers and businesses to work towards sustainable standards.
I think consideration needs to be applied to all viewpoints… its a complicated area and there is no complete solution or answer which will resolve everything. But lots of work has already been done and this can be expanded upon… 
The stereo-type of sustainable fashion is changing, new materials and process are delivering a better aesthetic and this could enable us to work towards challenging preconceptions. 

Re-Conceptualising Fashion Shows

 

“A perfect storm of fashion, art, technology and sound captured by dancing robotic cameras who fed the whole thing live to the Internet….”
Alexander McQueen: Spring 2010 RTW 

“A perfect storm of fashion, art, technology and sound captured by dancing robotic cameras who fed the whole thing live to the Internet….”
Alexander McQueen: Spring 2010 RTW 

 

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