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

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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.

ISEA 2009

I am off to Belfast, Ireland this week to the International Symposium of Electronic Art 09 where I will be presenting my first academic paper! The ISEA is a non profit organisation promoting interdisciplinary action through academic discourse and promoting a dialogue through the disciplines of art, design, science and emerging technologies.

I will be presenting in the third Interactive Textiles category which explores collaboration, cross-disciplinarity and consumption. My paper reviews participatory design methods for fashion support by digital media and sustainability will be a central theme throughout my presentation.

I’m really excited to be attending this event as they have some really amazing key note speakers lined up. Clive van Heerden , the Senior Director of Design-Led Innovation at Philips and responsible for leading the Philips Design Probes program will be presenting on Wednesday and Thursday will host Moritz Waldemeyer, the engineer behind Hussein Chalayan’s futuristic fashion creations.

The are a series of Fashion and Textiles sessions exploring time and form, materiality and wearability and lastly, adoption and collaboration, cross disciplinarity and consumption.And that’s just a summary of the Textile categories, there are many more presentations and workshops within other disciplines.



I cant wait to experience this action packed week! Running parallel to this digital exploration I am going to try out another digital experience – twitter! I will try my hand at some micro blogging photos and comments live from ISEA09 for the duration of the week… Bye, bye and tweet to you later!

Mary Queen of Charity Shops











Mary with the volunteers from Save The Children

I watched the finale of Mary Queen of Charity Shops last night and am really impressed with Mary’s efforts. She collaborated with the charity Save the Children and took on the challenge of making charity shops profitable and desirable. When I watched the first episode I thought what a challenge!

I love vintage and thrift shop fashion so shopping in charity shops really appeals to me. But as they explained the effort they have to invest in sorting through soiled clothing to find the rare gem… I was shocked. I carefully select what I donate to a charity shop and though everything was donated lovingly! I liked the given with love campaign but it did make me feel slightly embarrassed as I should be donating more than I do…

I love the people who volunteered and really felt for them at times. Last nights episode showed the volunteers pitched D-Day (Donate, don’t dump) to big corporations like Google… The finale showed what a journey Mary and the volunteers have taken and I think it’s going to make people think about charity shops differently. The also visited Ravensbourne College and invited the students to sell their designs. One student was upcyling bags through reclaimed materials…

I visited Mary’s “Living and Giving” Charity shop in Westfield’s last Saturday… and I thought it was fab! There was a really friendly, welcoming atmosphere and lots of fashion treasures! Apparently the store has raised £60,ooo so far!

 Its open until the 27th June head down to Westfields Shopping Centre and check it out…