irritation of the oyster, creates the pearl

first year fashion design student blogging about things….

Month: January, 2012

Group presentations – 60s to the 00s

This week’s lesson started off with some group presentations from the class, each covering a different decade between 1960-2010. I was part of a group that covered the 1970s, below are the slides from our presentation with notes on each slide.

It was interesting to hear the rest of the classes interpretation of some significant periods in time and below I have documented the information that stood out to me and provoked further thought.

Group 2 covered the 1960s and mentioned a subculture (Tropicalia) that emerged in the latter part of the decade, mainly in parts of Brazil. The movement was primarily art based and expressed through music, poetry and theatre and was adopted by musicians of the time such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Torquato Neto. Further research presented me with knowledge that music pioneers of today are still citing elements of Tropicalia in their own music including one of my all time favourites, Devendra Banhart. Expression today is not only displayed through music but clothing, hair and mind which is evidence of previous cultures having a lasting impression on society.

Group 5 covered the 1980s and touched on hip hop culture was interesting and refreshing to hear because normally when asked about 80s culture there is an abundance of information on new romantics and Vivienne Westwood. Hip hop began developing in the south Bronx area of New York and is now a cultural that spans across the globe. Known as the “Godfather” of hip hop, Afrika Bambaataa founded the subculture Zulu Nation as a means to channel violence and aggression into creativity energy. As a result a new type of fashion arose also, gang members adorning a mass of gold jewellery (now dubbed as bling), wearing clothes several sizes too big creating a loose baggy silhouette and a rise in trainers. Hip hop fashion also gave birth to the term “ghetto fabulous” which can be seen as a type of look embraced by followers today.


Vexed Generation

This week we were given a presentation on Joe’s label ‘Vexed Generation’. Some prior research into the brand gave me a glimpse into Joe’s work however, it was great to hear ‘The Story’ from a designer perspective.

Vexed facts

  • Established in 1993
  • Founders – Joe Hunter and Adam Thorpe
  • Used innovative designs to promote positive social change
  • Produced the first Teflon treated denim in 1997
  • First store opened in 1995 on Newbury St (parallel to Carnaby St)
  • Went onto open three other stores including one on Berwick St
  • Flooring in the ‘Grow Room’ store was covered entirely in one pence pieces which amounted to ¬£750
  • Currently collaborating with Louis Vuitton and Nokia, separately.

Some really interesting information was shared which again provided us with a backdrop to begin relevant research. Joe explained the rationale behind various decisions made with regards to store fixtures and layouts which was truly inspiring. My understanding of Vexed Generation’s values is to create a new type of streetwear that is innovative in design, incorporates a level of security, serves more than one purpose but also represents a positive backlash to crime. Vexed have a clear mission of creating awareness into the lives of civilians in the UK and I think they have definitely surpassed in delivering just that through their clothes.

A short video here shows my tutor and co founder of Vexed Generation speaking about his hometown and the Vexed label.

Introduction to the module

To kick start Semester B Joe gave the class an overview of the module – Professional Contexts – a flavour of information which we will then dig beneath the surface and blog our own research/interests here.

Week by week we will explore a different period in time focussing on LE PEST C factors. LE PEST C standing for Legal, Economic, Political, Environmental, Socio-cultural, Technological and Competitive forces are all macro factors that in one way or another influence change. Designers and trend forecasters will look to LE PEST C for inspiration on future collections, society and culture will be effected in their own way too.

The objective will be to “explore the parameters that define fashion” and from this perform our own contextual research which will then go on to support our own vision of influence.

I found the lecture very inspiring and engaging. Joe encouraged debate and highlighted interesting points which triggered the basis of my research. We touched on a few things that were covered in our previous marketing lectures, which proved helpful because Joe just emphasised what we had already learnt. It also offered us an opportunity to express our own understanding into the context.