Monday, 29 November 2010

Fashion Babylon

Our Class were given the task of reviewing the book Fashion Babylon by the British author Imogen Edwards-Jones and anonymous sources.

'What is fashion? What is fashionable? Who decides what's in and what's out? Why is it green one year and blue the next? Why is one little black dress worth £3000 and another thirty quid? Is the catwalk really that catty? Is everyone high on drugs and full of champagne? What makes a supermodel so super? And a designer too hot to touch? Who is making the money? Who owns who? Who hates who? And who's in each other's pockets?'
Fashion Babylon comes across as a bit of a tabloid with gossiping and cliché stories i.e models on drugs, but beneath the shallow stories there is some truth about how the Fashion industry works. Imogen Edward-Jones gives the public an insightful look into the very secretive fashion world, she writes about controversial issues like why big designers don't do large sizes.
'Firstly, it comes down to cost. Simply in material terms, it costs me twice as much to make a size 16 as it does to make the same garment in a size 8....Secondly there just isn't the demand for big designer clothes. Maybe it is a viscious circle : we don't make them large, therefore large girls feel too fat for fashion and aren't even tempted to go designer shopping. But all I know is that at the end of the season I am left with more 14's than any other size.'
As well as the jargon used in the industry, for instance the term 'Cabbage' is the leftover stock that goes missing and ends up in a market, buyers will think how good a replica the item is simply because it is the real thing.
  The central character is a struggling designer, who has just received news that her last collection was a flop. The book is all about her trying to make a comeback by showing her next collection in New York. You want to like the character, especially as the you learn how cut-throat the industry is, however she is in on the game to, and rips off a vintage garment as her on. The novel is really fiction, in disguise as all her information is sourced from credible people in the industry, with names changed to protect identities. This makes the book a more interesting read, as you wonder who the characters really are and how much truth there is in the events that occurred.
  If anyone is interested about how the Fashion industry really works you will no doubt enjoy the book. Edwards-Jones will enlighten anyone under the illusion that the business is all glamour, as she depicts the brutal reality.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Harvey Nichols VS. Topshop

well my comparison between Harvey Nichols and Topshop is finished, I was influenced by the magazine Dazed and Confused in doing my layout.


Today in class we watched a documentary about Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of Biba. Barbara's first Biba shop opened in 1964, which was the start of high street fashion boutiques.
  As well as influencing London, Barbara also took part in the regeneration of Miami Beach, where she became an interior designer. Her transition in becoming an interior designer was easy, as she was not often asked for sketches, she could just describe the way she wanted something.
  BIBA closed in 1975, as Barbara did not agree how a department store was branding the company, the last straw was when they said they needed neon signs to direct customers around the store. Barbara said she would design them, however they went behind her back and produced them how they wanted. In the last meeting Barbara saw the hideous signs, picked one up and threw it across the room walking out for good. Her brand was about luxury and she left as it was at it's prime.
  It's now 2010 and BIBA is back exclusively to House Of Frasers with Brit-Model Dasiy Lowe as the new face. I do like the new collection, it looks glamourous by keeping the famous leopard prints and there is a hint of 60's and 70's style. However I do think they have made the garments too expensive, it has become a designer label, whereas BIBA started out as being affordable to most of the public, which generated it's original success.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Surrealist Shirt Fashion Show

Our first project in our women's wear class was to design an upper body garment inspired by surrealism. We were to buy 3 mens shirts and take them apart and reconstruct them into something completely different. My design had large structured shoulders made from the shirt cuffs. I used the collar as a belt round the waist and cut the strip of buttons off an made that into braces at the back of the top. Most people modeled the garments themselves, I went down a catwalk for the first time, it was a great feeling as I was pleased with how my shirt turned out, after hours of struggling (as we were only given 4 classes to make it in).
  We had to organize the show ourselves and it went smoothly apart from one glitch when the music turned off halfway through the show! It was turned back on after about 30 awkward seconds. I will post the video of the runway soon.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A £900 dress and £2 plimsolls

When I heard our class were given the task to go to Harvey Nichols and Topshop to compare marketing styles I didn't believe it, they might well have said take a day of to go shopping.
  It was my first time in Harey Nichols, and I have to say I was impressed, the window displays were great and the clothes looked exclusive and luxurious. I was determined to try something on, I decided on a green sequin dress costing £900, it was the most expensive item I have ever worn. It was heavy from all the sequins, but fit me perfectly. The shop assistant offered me a pair of heels to try on with the dress, looking down at my £2 plimsolles from Primark, but i refused, I didn't want to give him false hope that I was going to buy the dress.

Thank Fawkes It's Fashion Friday

On the 5th of November I attended a Fashion Show which displayed work from previous years and from fashion graduates.  The clothes were modeled by the students of Heriot-Watt, each collection had three looks from their collection.
  The Geisha Collection, was one of my favorites, where the models had typical geisha make-up and wore stunning floor length kimonos in beautiful silk, some had metallic patterns which looked great under the bright spotlights on the runway.
My favorite trend on the runway was shear trousers or jumpsuits over black shorts, I think it looks very chic and sophisticated.