Gok’s Fashion Fix How To’s

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I watched Gok’s Fashion Fix again the other evening. I like some of the ideas which the show explored as it presented lots of ways to update and adapt clothing to create new looks.  Gok turns to DIY sewing, stitching, nipping and tucking to adjust high street fashion to compete against high end fashion. 

The shows format has evolved from the last series with lots of new topics being explored like the “capsule wardrobe concept”. Gok helps style a woman each episode and begins by hanging her complete wardrobe on a washing line. He then interrogates her wardrobe and offers style tips to create the perfect capsule wardrobe – a collection of interchangeable garments selected to mix and match.

This promotes considerate consumption and forces us to question will I wear it? do I need it? does this co-ordinate with everything else in my wardrobe? All of these questions not only promote sustainable consumption but also promote sustainable relationships with our clothing.

Shopping can be a really personal experience and not one complete set of rules can resolve everything as we all have different fashion needs and wants, different budgets and available time. The tips and tricks offered are affordable and require minimal skill and little time therefore I think it will appeal to a larger audience. 

 The channel 4 website has a great resource section and it is updated weekly with lots of how to’s…

The “Google Generation” of Today

The Guardian posted an interesting article on their website today about the use of virtual technologies within Universities.

The article stated that 75% of students are subscribed to a least one social network and spend at least four hours a day online. As technology is evolving rapidly and students are becoming more web savvy – will universities struggle to keep up?

With an increase in blogging, social networking and the phenomenon of new micro blogging site twitter, people are becoming better connected. This peer to peer exchange encourages a dialogue between people, allowing them to form communities to share knowledge, skills and expertise.

“Students aren’t just passive consumers of content. They need to be able to evaluate it and should be creating it themselves,” Brian Kelly, University of Bath
The article makes some interesting points and presents some example’s of digital media being used within universities in the UK.  There is also a link to a report on higher education by Sir David Melville. 

Design In Alternative Futures

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This free event was hosted by the Public Services team within the Design Council, London. Designers were invited to participate in a discussion about the future of the economy, society and government. As 2009 will be remembered as the year of global economic durntown – what does this mean to our future?

Dr Alex King, project leader in the governments Horizon Scanning Centre – presented “Economy and Society 2030”

He used scenario mapping to present 4 possible future scenarios to illustrate portraits of the future of Britain. All scenarios were speculative and addressed themes such as social values, behaviour, technology, community, resources, innovation, economics…

Dr King talked about 4 different worlds, these scenarios projected people uniting together and regarding collaboration more important than competition, with a strong sense of community. Or a different competitive society where people become isolated with lots of small closed communities…

Discussion was gauged around the scenario methods and I found the discussion as interesting as the presentation. The method of scenario mapping could be used to engage people, prompting discussion and debate. But, there are lots of variables that could impact each scenario differently and this creates a lot of complexity around the method.

Some interested points were highlighted throughout the discussion such as using designers to create visual scenarios/ storyboards to communicate to participants and multiple stakeholders. Therefore could we create roles for designers when creating government policy?

I found this event was really interesting and thought provoking and think it’s a create platform to bring designers together.

Alternative Fashion Week 20-24 April

Spitalfield market hosted Alternative Fashion Week from 20-24 April. The event is organised by the alternative arts organisation and is free to participate. Welcoming a host of  designers, showcasing up to 15 per day and attracting an audience of aprox 10,000 people!

With sponsorship this year  from Rescue Cream, Hammerson and the Spitalfields Estate the event supported designers and models. The models take part in a modeling course prior to the event and are trained by a top choreographer – allowing them to gain some valuable experience.

I attended the event on the Thursday and Friday and was amazed by the quantity and quality of the creations hitting the catwalk. A number of different themes were explored by the designers such as sustainability through recycling, upcycling and ethical sourcing. New techniques were tried and tested through material exploration, fabric manipulation, volume, colour and scale… And new contexts were addressed through traditional, historical and futuristic ensembles. 

I think the Friday was a fantastic finale which showcased work from TRAID, London Printworks Trust and closed with work from Chelsea College of Art and Designfashion show


Burda Style’s New Projects

The open source sewing community  Burda Style are dividing the “How To” section on their platform under two new categories – projects and techniques.

They have blogged a sneak peak of the new “projects” section. The projects area will allow creations to be easily categorised under a number of different descriptions such as season, material, garment type and style…

All  techniques will be filed under a “learning” category.

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I love the open source element of Burda Style as it networks  a global community of sewing enthusiasts ( with over 200,000 members)allowing them to share skills and expertise. The platform supports the novice through to the expert and allows users to communicate amongst themselves to support, critique and compliment each others creations. 

The new sections under construction look to improve the navigation and usability and Im excited to see the developments.