Archive for the ‘Fashion First’ Category

Bespoke tailoring

Can we say it’s true that Simon Spurr is a hauterfly.  For those new to this British word, its means a fashion industry insider or a person heavily involved in the industry’s social scene. Guess you can say I find interesting terms especially from doubledtongued.org. A rad site to learn different sayings or slang words commonly used abroad. Simon Spurr, a British designer that has caused quite the stur with his craft and highly-acclaimed fashion. High-end of course.

Simon Spurr born in Kent, England somehow had a natural talent for the craft it takes to become a fashion designer. I say it must come natural, if you are able to cut out fabric into a pant without a pattern, sew them, and the fit come out precisely. This was the exact actions of Simon Spurr, and quite the precision needed for quality tailoring. It’s quite amazing how some fashion designers set out first in a different direction, in this case Simon pursued art first from Kent Institute of Art and Design. Simon then went on to graduate in 1996 from Middlesex University in London (Cohen, 2010).

Simon Spurr, after graduation landed jobs in New York at Nautica, CK Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Then, in 2006, Spurr left to go solo and launch Spurr, a denim-centric line of mostly casual clothing (Underwood, 2011). After five years past, the name was created and high-end suits and sportswear became branded in 2009. Simon Spurr, was on the rise and his undeniable label of tailored pieces, such as the raincoat with leather sleeves, the blazer with laminate lapels, and his choices of color and texture.  I am sure women can appreciate the confidence of his collections.  Simon Spurr, brings confidence back in menswear again with these tailored, more colorful tones. Why play it safe, when you can play it sexy.

As a newly recent star in the fashion industry, Simon Spurr, has achieved much success and although he is not under his own fashion house at this time, however as Tommy Hilfiger’s creative consultant for the men’s runway collection, he has greatly had an effect on how men are dressing and what styles are being purchased.

In January 2012, Spurr merged his two lines, SPURR and SIMON SPURR, to create a more expansive collection under the SIMON SPURR moniker (Palmieri, 2011).  Not to mention, the winner of Rising Star Award, menswear by Fashion Group International (Karimzadeh, 2012). While we await the winner, Simon Spurr is also currently nominated by CFDA for Menswear Designer of the Year (Cowles, 2012).

I am very excited to see such appreciated construction as I too love menswear. I am starting to see my interest which continues to show variants of the modernized, classic approach found in menswear.  Simon Spurr, a designer, I find highly favorable.

Simon Spurr

MB

References:

Karimzadeh, Marc (2012). “FGI Honors Young Designers”. WWD (January 26). Retrieved on April 5, 2012, from http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/fashion-group-honors-young-designers-5575346

 Palmieri, Jean E. (2011). “Simpler Spurr”. WWD (January 13): 11.

Cohen, Michael (2010). “Future Stars of Fashion: Simon Spurr”. SOMA Magazine (November). Retrieved on April, 5 2012, from http://www.somamagazine.com/simon-spurr/

Underwood, Paul (2011). “Tough Swagger Confident: What Simon Spurr and his suits can do for you”. Esquire Magazine (November): 78–79.  Retrieved on April 5, 2012, from http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/simon-spurr-bio-1111.

Cowles, Charlotte (2012). “Simon Spurr Exits His Label Under Mysterious Circumstances.” Nymag.com (March 19.) Retrieved on April 5, 2012 from http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2012/03/simon-spurr-exits-under-mysterious-circumstances.html

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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/

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

All things living

Fashion innovators are commonly known by name such as Alexander McQueen, CoCo Chanel, Beau Brummel, and many others that have shaped fashion through an artistic view through contoured structures, colors, and style. I extend this invitation to learn about a new extreme fashion innovator, Suzanne Lee and the story behind why her perspective is astonishing to the fashion industry.

Suzanne Lee, Director of a project & Senior Research Fellow at the Central Saint Martins University of the Arts of London also author of a book titled, “Fashioning the Future: tomorrow’s wardrobe,” (“A Conversation with Suzanne Lee, Sustainable Fashion Innovator”,  2011)  has worked along side scientist to create a craft like none other, extreme fashion, to say the least.

Suzanne’s concepts remind me of memories of my dog’s infamous ear dog chews. The reminisced fact of stepping on what feels like a wet noodle after hours of my Chihuahua’s chewing and gnawing at his attempt to completely devour this morsel of what seems to be delicious. Or visions of the movie, “Silence of the Lambs,” where Buffalo Bill, the creepy killer that configures a woman’s suit made out of his victim skin. Are you visualizing where I am headed yet? Let the journey begin.

I introduce a mixture comprised of sugar, green tea, and microorganisms-called microbes, joined together in a bathtub to soak, ferment, and left to grow into a raw material that is actually wearable. This is quite unbelievable; you can close your mouth now. I had the same reaction after reviewing this astounding creation myself. The grasp of this possibility still has me puzzled like mahjong.

Microbes: The material that grows

I am almost 100% positive many would feel “grossed out” by the thought of wearing a living germ for the sake of being fashion forward. Imagine, your favorite jacket made from epidermis-not your skin but someone else’s. What type of hanger would you use? Maybe something made out of bones. Did you know toothpaste is made out of animal bones (“9 Surprising Items Made With Animal Ingredients,” 2011)?  Would you consider owning a “meat dress” designed by Franc Fernandez? Interesting to know that clothing can came from all things living. Gross, but extremely innovative.

                                                         

  


Make it yourself tote bag

 Suzanne Lee, takes top honors for not only attempting to create sustainable clothes but for thinking way beyond the outside of the box and inside of what we know is “alive and well”. The picturesque scenes are presented through this story to understand exactly what has been conceptualized. Enjoy the videos below-as it is much harder to explain this excogitation in words.

Suzanne Lee discusses how you can grow your own clothes:

Still not convinced on “bio couture”!

MB

          References:

A Conversation with Suzanne Lee, Sustainable Fashion Innovator.  (2011, July 27). Samantha Micheals: The Atlantic.com. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/a-conversation-with-suzanne-lee-sustainable-fashion-innovator/242644/

Chua, Jasmin Malik (2010, July 10). BioCouture: U.K. Designer “Grows” and Entire Wardrobe from Bacteria. Retrieved from http://www.ecouterre.com/u-k-designer-grows-an-entire-wardrobe-from-tea-fermenting-bacteria/

TED. (2011, May).  Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_lee_grow_your_own_clothes.html

Suzanne Lee: Biocouture-growing textiles [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/8/view/11565/suzanne-lee-biocouture-growing-textiles.html

9 Surprising Items Made with Animal Ingredients. (2011). Retrieved February 14, 2012 from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-surprising-items-made-with-animal-ingredients.html?page=10

Social networking can be the vital key to profitability for retailers

What a wonderful world-wide web our Nation has become! You no longer have to be social and outgoing by meeting others in public places like bookstores, bars/restaurants, or even shopping malls; you can express your personality and presence by literally one click of a button. Early social networking websites started in the form of generalized online communities such as The WELL (1985), Theglobe.com (1994), Geocities (1994) and Tripod.com (1995). These early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with each other through chat rooms, and share personal information and ideas around any topics via personal homepage publishing tools which were a precursor to the blogging phenomenon (Boyd & Ellison 2007, p. 3).

As we reached this new millennium, the occurrence of social networking has inspired the idea of marketing for profitability.  Facebook, the largest social networking site to date, launched in 2004, has created retailers the opportunity to market their products, events, and inclusion of banners for all to see, and for all to feed into impulse shopping. Many of us, have hit the “like” button on facebook, whether it’s for a pair of shoes, a handbag, a watch, a jacket, you name it, and if the price is right-We buy.

Click here

Stephany Moore, research analyst, provides a report from NPD which also looked into the effect of social media on shoppers’ buying patterns, and found 25% of survey respondents follow a retailer or brand on a social network. When asked if they ever shopped for a product online as a result of something they had seen on a social media site, 27% said yes. Women were significantly more likely than men to report such behavior, the survey found.

However, there is no real proof of retailers gaining more profit from a visit to its store or from down-time from facebook followers. Generally, we all find interest because we simply know the brand or the retailer. Retailers understand this marketing scheme can provide the possibility of exchange rates of purchasing power through advertising on social networking sites. This promotion can potentially provide a win-win solution for retailers and provide consumers with a three-dimensional way of shopping through social networking. Question is shop or not?

Online or In-store?

Do you have purchasing power?

References:

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.

http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html    

Facebook-The Complete Biography. (2006). Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/

Books, clothes, and electronics are the most shopped categories online. (2012). Retrieved February 10, 2012 from http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/01/24/books-clothes-and-electronics-are-most-shopped-categories