Archive for March, 2012

Where shall I begin? I brought you an interesting creation by Suzanne Lee with fermented fashion, now I am compelled to bring you yet another innovative thought of fabric; it was only fair to post about both of these women whom share a unique story behind their attempt to enhance the quality of life for everyone. I wonder sometimes exactly how the mind could gather so many intriguing ideas to end up with one astonishing finished, yet tangible result. So I am excited to introduce designer Helen Storey along with chemist Tony Ryan that collaborated to proliferate apparel that filters pollution from the air, known as Catalytic Clothing. No, it has nothing to do with vehicles. Trust me, when I first came across the name of this brand, I seriously thought it was about a car part, you know the catalytic converter.  The whole reason why we are charged the $40 fee for a State Inspection, if you live in Texas, or like some other states such as, Tennessee you have a $10 emission fee just to ensure your vehicle does less harm in polluting the quality of the air.  The two main sources of pollutants in urban areas are transportation (predominantly automobiles) and fuel combustion in stationary sources, including residential, commercial, and industrial heating and cooling and coal-burning power plants (Socha, 2007). So hopefully, you have a mental impression of exactly where we are headed from here.  If not, I was going to tell you anyway.

Inhale

Helen Storey and Tony Ryan state that Catalytic Clothing is a radical partnership bringing together the worlds of fashion and chemistry with the potential to clean the air we breathe (Dezeen Magazine, 2011). I will try not to lose you with all the compositions and terminology of chemistry. For the fabric that is being developed by Catalytic Clothing, photo catalysts are delivered to the surface of the clothing during the traditional laundry procedure as an additive within a standard product such as a fabric conditioner. The active agent is packaged within a shell that is attracted towards, and subsequently binds to, the surface of the clothing during the washing cycle. In the final product, when the fabric comes in contact with air or water, the photo catalysts break down the pollutants they encounter, thus purifying the medium. Pollutants that are not immediately broken down are, like normal clothing, washed off during subsequent laundering (Meryn, 2011).

If the entire campus at the University of North Texas wore clothing that was able to filter pollution, just imagine how great it would feel to know the air consumed could add to your life. Scientists at Brigham Young University and the Harvard School of Public Health found that life expectancy in 51 U.S. cities had increased by about three years in recent decades and that at least five months of that time could be attributed to better air quality (McKinnon, 2012).  In the meantime, I guess we will be waiting to exhale all the pollutants that we are sometimes oblivious to, and for the next best fabric that could truly be the fabric of our lives.

MB

References:

Meryn, Richard. (2011, August 17). Fabric that Purifies Air: Green Fashion with Catalytic Clothing. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.industryleadersmagazine.com/fabric-that-purifies-air-green-fashion-with-catalytic-clothing/

Socha, Tom. ( 2007, September 9). Air Polltion Causes and Effects. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://healthandenergy.com/air_pollution_causes.htm

 McKinnon, Shaun. (2012, January 29). A battle to breathe. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/Nation/World/2012-01-29-PNI0122met-air-risks_ST_U.htm

Catalytic Clothing by Helen Story and Tony Ryan. (2011, June 15). Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.dezeen.com/2011/06/15/catalytic-clothing-by-helen-storey-and-tony-ryan/

Timex TX54 disposable nail watch design concept

Time flies when you are busy creating an idea built from technology and wise experimentation. The world was introduced to this concept named, “Timex 2154,” in 2004 with collaborated help from Core77 (Core77 Army, 2012). Core77 held a global design competition and surprisingly everyone, Timex was only the runner-up. Timex may only be the honorable mention, but still a winner for staying power since renamed in the 1960s (Timex History, 2007). I had a Timex many, many, many, well not that many years ago, that I could only wear for a short period of time since the watch always knew when to pull the hair from my wrist.

Timex, one of the best known watch companies in the world, reached its milestone 150th Anniversary this year. Throughout its long and rich history, Timex has remained at the forefront of advanced technology, developing iconic and internationally recognized timepieces. From the first mass-produced, affordable pocket watches to Indiglo night-light, the company’s propriety watch illumination technology, has been driven by the advancement of state-of-the-art timekeeping (Timex TX54, 2008).

Timex was also known for completely dominating the low-price market, with designing for women first, then in 1961 established men’s wristwatches (Jamaluddin, 2008). There is no update as of yet, if this will even come into fruition, but I surely hope so, perhaps year 2154? I am not into the nail polish phenomenon. No O.P.I. bandwagon sponsor here. However, I am sure Nicki Minaj, Justin Beiber or even Zoya would love to add their name to this disposable look, and create quite the stir in the streets. I would not be surprised if you see men “rocking” this cool concept, since some may think nail polish is a bit extreme. Have you ever thought about the price of such a design? No publication yet found on the price for the TX2154. If I had a hand in deciding the price point, I would probably sell the watches like contacts, a box of 6 for about $39.99. Maybe one day, we can truly see this wearable technology manufactured and produced for the masses. In the meantime, I give it two thumbs up!!

Excuse me, but do you have the time?

References:

Timex History. (2007,  May). Retrieved March 8, 2012, from http://www.pmwf.com/TimexOnlineMuseum/TimexHistory.htm

The Core77 Army. (n.d).  Retrieved March 7, 2012, from  http://www.core77.com/about/

Timex TX54 Disposable Nail Watch Timex 2154. ( 2008, July 22). Retrieved March 7, 2012, from  http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=867334

Jamaluddin, A. Nail watch: The future of telling time? (2008, July 18). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9993957-1.html

The pendulum wo(man) of fashion, is a expression I created that classifies a woman or a man that dresses freely, without the external identity set by a social norm of gender roles whom is distinguished by choice of style. Fashion cannot be described or restricted to one in particular. If you look for a synonym for the word “fashion, “ you will see related terms such as, behavior, personal manner, and even cultivate. Are you a fashion follower, a fashion leader, or just fashionable? There have been many rebels with a cause whether it’s inspired by music, art, or culture. The pendulum of fashion, in my opinion, resonates solely on the individual meaning of freedom. Freedom can be individuality, freedom of the mind, body, and soul, freedom from constraints of the world that places gender roles on what is expected of male and female. In this case does apparel consider gender for the woman or for the man. As we are in the 21st century, social influence still remains vital to the fashion industry.  But let’s take a step back into time and see that this extreme swing wasn’t just a trend rather influence from those individuals that expressed freedom through fashion from generations then and generations to come.

The male “mod”

     Let’s time travel to the late 1950s, a time where I did not exist, but modernist did, a subculture that originated in London, England and grew well into the early-to-mid 1960s (Childs, 2000). Color played a big role in defining the look. The muted and pastel palette of Fifties fashions gave way to bright, bold color often splayed in geometric patterns from daywear to the day glow in less than a decade (Rich, 2008). See how the swing can happen over a few years but in the fashion world only seem like change overnight. As we arrive in the early-to-mid-1960s, boutique clothing stores emerged as “the happening place to shop.” The 1960s ushered in an attitude of “anything goes and do your own thing (Fogg, 2003).”  This is a clear reference to individualizing apparel by way of personal manner. Female “mods” dressed androgynously, with short haircuts, men’s trousers or shirts (sometimes their boyfriend’s), flat shoes, and little makeup. As female mod fashion went from an underground style to a more commercialized fashion, with slender icon models like Twiggy which began to exemplify the high-fashion mod look (Temperley, 2000). I remember watching America’s Next Top Model, and immediately hearing the word, “tomboy” and “model” in the same sentence for description of Lesley Hornby, but immediately thinking was that her way of life or means for living?  The mod subculture eventually lost its vitality when it became commercialized and made artificial and stylized, to the point that new mod clothing styles were being manufactured “from above” by clothing companies and by TV shows (Baker, 2009). So we all know hippies were next in line from the mid-60s to arguably into the 1980s for the mock of culture. I still think hippies are “in” while maybe not trending, hippies are in for the long-haul. Remember, it’s a freedom of being, and how can that die, well unless one stops breathing of course.

    

     Moving right along into the 1980s to present day, and some of you reading this may faintly remember Boy George, if at all, but I can truly say singer-songwriter, Boy George placed the androgynous look in the fashion forefront with his fanciful make-up and his influential garb, adored by women. Now that we are in the 21st century, we have a word called, “metrosexual.” This word has absolutely no bearings on sexuality, however, appearance may make one judge otherwise. Metrosexual, was coined by Mark Simpson, in an article published in the Independent in 1994. Do you know what or who a metrosexual is? According to Simpson, a metrosexual is the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. The promotion of metrosexuality was left to the men’s style press, magazines such as The FaceGQEsquireArena and FHM, and the new media which took off in the Eighties and is still growing (GQ gains 10,000 new readers every month) (Simpson, 2006).  Guess you can say dandies reinvented, huh? Generations then, generations now, and generations yet to come will all have some significant influence because in the fashion industry-style has no gender.

     We all have influence on cultivating our society, we all must understand that there is no limit to freedom of expression unless one limits themselves from expressing. –Mekia Black

Fashion is fair game

MB

References:

Childs, Peter Modernism (Routledge, 2000). ISBN 0-415-19647-7. p. 17. Accessed on 2 March 2012.

The 60s: Mods and Hippies (20th Century Fashion) by Kitty Powe-Temperley, Heinemann Educational Books, 2000.

Boutique: A 60’s Cultural Phenomenon by Marnie Fogg, Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 2003.

Ernest B. (2009, January 11). Mod Squad [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://newbornrodeo.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/mod-squad/

Simpson, Mark (1994). “Here come the mirror men”. The Independent. Retrieved 2 March, 2012 from http://www.marksimpson.com/pages/journalism/mirror_men.html

Rich, Micheal (2008). Fifties fashion. Retrieved 2 March, 2012 from http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fashion/mod-fashion.htm