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.

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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

Build Your Own Dress

Studio 28 Couture offers a bespoke dress service allowing customers to co-create their own clothing via a “build your own application”.
This easy to use application allows the user to select dress shape, fit and apply colour or pattern via swatches provided, the fabric swatches change seasonally. The options presented provide lots of variations regardless of opting for either cotton or jersey fabrics.
Their service is marketed to provide affordable clothing that is unique and invites the consumer to participate in the design process. All dresses are made by hand in NYC and take approx 3 weeks to arrive.
I think it would be interesting if there were more fashion experiences presented this way. Studio 28 Couture are offering a similar solution to style|shake another bespoke dress creator website which I blogged about a while back…
A Style|Shake Creation
Style|Shake are evolving rapidly and have integrated a wedding service into their service! They offer affordable personalised fashion and their dresses retail between £35-65.
I have uploaded a youtube video of the Style|Shake process:
Both are a fantastic add on to traditional online shopping and a great way to personalise your wardrobe or even create that dress you have wanted for a long time but haven’t been able to find or don’t feel confident or skilled enough to produce independently.
But, how could these services be expanded upon to allow consumers to participate further in the design process? Can such services support upskilling or integrate upcycling into their business models?
I think it’s fantastic that both solutions are affordable and easy to use and cant wait to see how they evolve.

Junky Styling “Wardrobe Surgery”

Junky Styling “Wardrobe Surgery” by Kerry Seager and Annika Sanders is available to purchase via their website. Junky Styling are a fashion brand who upcycle clothing to create new wearables and they offer a wardrobe surgery consultancy service that allows consumers to update their wardrobe using existing garments.

Working with used and already constructed clothing can be restricting but they have engineered this element into their design aesthetic and the overall look of the transformed garment is both stylish and wearable. A must have book for any fashion DIY enthusiast or any fashion consumer. Wouldn’t a few tips and tricks to update our wardrobe be valuable?

Fashioning Now

Fashioning Now, changing the way we make and use clothes is an exhibition and symposium at University of Technology, Sydney 28 July – 28 August 2009. The exhibit features innovative research projects from Australian and International practitioners including three members of staff and research from LCF Prof Helen Storey MBE, Dr Kate Fletcher and Jennifer Shellard.

Fashioning Now addresses all stages of the clothing lifecycle exploring the production and use of garments and addressing how and why they become discarded. The work has been submitted in an array of different mediums from garments,textile objects, time based art, photography and fashion illustration. The designers have used upcycling techniques, zero waste production, slow fashion, bespoke services, traditional craft and many more methods to present a series of sustainable solutions and poise scenarios for further research and development.

Visit the Fashioning Now website which hosts information about the event, the exhibitors and their work. Case studies are available to download and the website will be updated regularly making is a valuable resource for those with in an interest in sustainable fashion and textiles.

Pa++ern “Twitter your T”

Pa++ern is a project (launched by Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi) which allows users to customise a t-shirt via twitter. 
It’s an interesting mode of interaction which combines digital media and an existing social networking platform to captivate an audience. Syncing twitter with their digital sewing tool is fitting as it has been ranked the 3rd most popular social networking site and 50Th most popular website in the world!