Build Your Own Bag

The bYOB concept was the creation of the Object-Based Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, Gauri Nanda, Adrian Cable and V. Michael Bove Jr (2004)

“envisioning a conversation between a handbag, a scarf and a dress”

The intelligent fabric patches/swatches can be assembled to create a handbag (or any fashion ensemble). Each patch contains different technology functions that allow the creation to perform once connected. The video explains the process, function and use…

Its a fantastic example of interactive customisation, allowing the user/ wearer / co-designer to adapt the pieces to new scenarios. Its also a cleverly engineered concept for transformable fashion as it has been designed for assembly and disassembly.


Pretty In Pink


I just watched “Pretty in Pink” at 1980’s movie starring Molly Ringwald, who playing Andie Walsh a poor fashion conscious ‘New Wave” girl, with a crush on one of the rich boys at school. Ringwald’s character can’t afford to buy into designer clothing like her school peers and has to be creative and resourceful by customising her clothing.

I have attached some screen shots of my favourite scene from the movie, where she deconstructs two ‘pink’ dresses to make her prom dress. The movie captures the characters design process in action – the sketching, cutting, pinning, tucking and sewing …

Watching the movie has motivated me to be more inventive with my old clothing and the 1980’s fashion provided lots of source for inspiration. This is a retro example of upcycling in action. DIY

Harahuku Girls

Image Illustrated by Joy Nevada
Well they inspired the words for Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music Baby and some even accompanied her on tour.  “Harajuku Girls” can be found in the Harajuku district in Tokyo, Japan and are legendary for their style. They epitomise street style and are inspired by things like manga anime, video games and pop culture. There are many different styles from Gothic Lolita, Gothics Maid, Wamono, Decora, Second Hand Clothing and Cyber Fashion.
I first heard about them when I subscribed to the Japanese publication Fruits – a fashion magazine that catalogued the Harajuku Culture and fashion. The magazine was later edited into two books with little words – just beautiful photography of these bold ensembles.
What I like about Harajuku girls is their bold fashion choices and freedom of expression. They are creative and resourceful in seeking out key pieces and trinkets to create new looks. These fashion parades also represent emerging trends inspired by new technology. Inspired by computer games – they utilise technology to adapt their looks.
As they gather in groups – texting, blogging and playing digital games they remind me of the show Gossip Girl. Their relationships between fashion and technology are similar only its a different kind of fashion and they are using technology to communicate different messages.
The harajuku girls are also experts at DIY fashion – everything is customised to create a unique, bespoke look. Their bold self expression makes them iconic – style is style and fashion may be fashion.

Harajuku Girl – you got style!

Paper Fashion

Thinking about mass production and the volume of textile waste that is disposed of annually (approx 2million tones!). I began reading about nontraditional production methods that use alternative materials and are designed for disposing.

If we cant satisfy our fashion consumption – should we manufacture a process designed for throwaway culture?
In the 1960’s the Paper Dress was introduced by the Scott Paper company as a marketing tool. The $1.25 paper dress was purchased accompanied by coupons for Scott’s toilet paper, paper towels and napkins. When orders reach 500,000 the company pulled the campaign as it was becoming more notorious for the dresses rather than the product.
Currently exhibiting in Athens, a Paper Fashion exhibit – RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion explores the paper fashion phenomenon of the 60’s. The curator Vassillis Zidanakis, asked fashion designers to design something of their own inspired by the collection. The exhibition presents creations by John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Hussein Chalyan, Walter Van Beirendonck and lots more…
Showing in Athens until April, 2009 and moving onto the Design Museum, London in October 2009.
I think this is a fun way to proto-type fashion creations without fear of error. Some of my earliest fashion design memories are of creating garments using paper and tissue for my barbie doll as a child – no sewing required! As technology evolves could this lead us into a period where we download garments to our computer and we only have to push the print button to create?
There is lots of scope to explore these ideas further and by visiting this exhibition we can take note and draw inspiration from examples by some of the greatest designers of our generation.
To try out creating your own DIY paper dress follow the link.paper fashion