Trendy Workshop is co-founded by Tristan de Montebello, a french fashion platform designed to allow users to design their own clothing and share their designs with other users within the trendy workshop community forum.

I think a lot of retailers are beginning to realise the potential in mass innovation v mass production. As consumers begin to use these co-creation methods, will we see a trend toward more personalised goods and services? I think so. I also think that the clothing will be regarded with deeper consideration as the consumer has invested time and effort into the design process…
However, as the clothing is being produced  China its makes me questions some elements of the supply chain?

The Handmade’s Tale

I love this video – its captures the essence of Etsy by showing the makers, the workshops, and the products.

I find their discussion around craft and technology really exciting, as they talk about the web creating new opportunities to connect people globally. This allows makers to produce bespoke goods that are an alternative to mass production.
They also talk about a “new movement” of young people engaging in craft and one maker says she finds it exciting that young people know how to sew! I find it inspiring that people are applying handcraft on such a large scale…

Learning to Love You More

Digital media is changing the consumer experience. No longer are we led by super brands telling us what we need and when we need it. We are becoming more educated about the reasoning behind the goods and services we buy into – allowing us to make informed decisions.

The way we engage with goods or services is changing as technology advances. We now have many more opportunities to connect with others on a global scale to share skills, ideas and experiences.

I came across an interesting project called “Learning to Love you More” by artists Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July. They have created a web platform which present a series of 70 assignments and member’s of the public are invited to complete any/all of the assignments using film, photography or text. The submissions are curated and posted on the “learning to love you more” website. Since the launch of the project in 2002, over 8,000 people have participated and some of their work has been included in exhibitions which have been shown in venues all over the world. A book has also been written and curated by July and Harrell, presenting some of the content.

Some of the assignments are open to interpretation and prompt thinking about relationships, society, our environment, memories, feelings, experiences, people… This is a lovely example of participatory practice, allowing the public to creatively engage and collaborate. The project presents beautiful insights into human experience and interactions showcasing how people think, act and love.

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

My Research

My research aims to re-think traditional fashion design methods by seeking opportunities fo designer/consumer collaboration.

A series of co-design workshops will be used to explore fashion concepts allowing the consumers to become a partner in the design process adding value and an emotional connection with the end outputs to promote a more sustainable relationships to clothing, The design of an online digital platform will evolve parallel to the workshops to network users globally and present further opportunities to share ideas and expertise.
My research is sponsored by Neal’s Yard Remedies and I am linked to the Textile Futures Research Group and TED Research.

Make Do and Mend

As the credit crunch hits and the recession is in full swing, we are reminded of the importance of being frugal. No longer can we return home guilt free with our arms full of shopping bags are we are reminded of job cuts, companies closing down and the depreciating value of our houses.

It has made me think about my clothing history. When I was a child my mum used to dress my sister and I identically, the unfortunate result of being the youngest she had to endure the wretched outfit longer as everything was handed down. (The role has since¬†reversed and as I take up my never ending student status I live in her “cast offs”).
As things were in limited supply or cost more people used to be more considerate about re-using and keeping things that little big longer. With the introduction of stores like Primark fashion becomes more accessible and it encourages us to participate in a “throw away” culture. I think it is fantastic that it presents an opportunity for everyone to participate in fashion but as the quality reduces, clothing can’t be re-used or handed down – the majority of charity shops reject this clothing.
I recently had a chat with a fashion historian who has the luxury of deconstructing historic garments to record how they were made. She told me that as she deconstructed a corset it was visible that is used to be a dress and had been re-made.
This brings me to the Make Do & Mend movement introduced during the war effort when clothing was rationed. The booklet was produced by the government and provided step by step guides to make clothing last as long as possible. To make children’s clothes, larger items were cut down and re-styled. It even shows the reader how to make a shirt from an old bed sheet.
As clothing was so expensive people become more creative and made their own. As this was what the majority of people did think about the skills and experience that was shared. The majority of us don’t know how to hem our trousers, mend a zip or sew on a button – never mind create a complete garment.
We can take note and learn from these resourceful methods. We don’t need to enrol in sewing master classes or resort to cutting up our bedsheets (just yet) but was can be more considerate by valuing out clothing. make & mend