Friday, 17 January 2014

George Childrenswear Competition 2014

I have just submitted my collection of 6 outfits for the George at Asda Childrenswear competition. The category I chose to design for was girlswear aged 8-9 yrs. It has been really difficult to balance working on my submission alongside my studio modules. I have spent a many hours on photoshop (creating print designs, scanning in and editing swatch samples and technical drawings) to produce some professional looking range pages.

Although there was another competition to design a mens t-shirt which would have taken much less time to complete, I really wanted to design a girlswear collection - my daughter is 10 yrs old and I feel like I have a good idea of the target customer, as it is mostly mothers like myself who will be buying clothes for their younger children. My daughter loved the designs so much, she has asked if I can make her some of the outfits too. Maybe during in the summer break when I have a bit more time on my hands!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Voice of fashion & Textiles

It is often implied that fashion is a conspiracy to distract women from more important issues such as politics and society, therefore confining females to a more inferior social order than males. This suggests that fashion is frivolous and unimportant. What this opinion fails to recognise, is the the important role that fashion has to play in social an cultural order.

I while back I watched an interesting programme on channel 4 with Greyson Perry called In the Best Possible Taste . It explored the 'taste' of the different social classes in Britain and how they dressed and decorated their homes 'spoke' and betrayed their social status. Similarly, I found the book Watching the English by, anthropologist, Kate Fox very interesting. It explores the behaviour of the English and identifies the 'tell signs' of social class not only through behaviour and language, but through what a person chooses to buy or wear or drive.

What we wear says so much about us before we even open our mouths to speak our views or believes, quiet often someone has already formed an opinion of us. For this reason fashion has often led cultural change. From the 1920s 'flapper' to 1990s 'rapper'. Sub-cultural groups have often made a point of moving away from mainstream fashion and trying to dress differently- to identify themselves as different from the mainstream society, only for their style to be copied by followers, and then, ironically, by the mainstream fashion.

We also dress for different occasions, it is widely accepted in the UK that you would wear a suit to an interview, particularly if you are a man, or something smart if you are a woman. If you are attending a funeral, it is usual to wear black, and if you were attending a wedding as a guest, it would be a faux-pas to wear white. However, these codes of fashion are different depending on what country or culture you are from. In india, a bride would wear red traditionally, and white is the colour for mourning.

Fashion is not only important socially, but politically too. Josiah Wedgewood designed an anti-slavery medallion that could be worn as a pendant or ring, or set into a snuff box.  "At length the taste for wearing them became general, and thus fashion…was seen for once in the honourable office of promoting the cause of justice and, humanity and freedom" Thomas Clarkson, founder of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Wedgewood had exploited fashion as vehicle for political change.