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26-05-2013
  346
Stitch:the Hand
 
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you know,this whole tragedy in bangladesh actually got me thinking about this subject very deeply and profoundly. you said it earlier in the thread softie about consumption/shopping....it isn't about designers specifically but it's often equated to that desire to have as much and as many as possible. the way that our culture has sadly been programmed in the last couple decades....that need to have everything rather than that special one or two things etc. to sustain oneself has really got out of hand.

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27-05-2013
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I think it's about context and balance.

I am materialistic. But I'm not consumed by material things. I don't live, breath and dream designer things and high fashion. It's a part of my life, but I'm also aware of the world around me and contribute my time and work to certain organizations when I can. And if I let the unfortunate events and tragedies in the world consume me, then that would be easily as destructive to my wellbeing as being consumed by designer clothes, or any material possessions.

Now that I'm in my 30s and no longer 21, I try to live my life in a productive manner. I'd rather give at this point in my life than spend spend spend all my income on myself. Experiences and relationships are much more important to me now than a designer coat or watch or a nice car could ever be. I still pine away for some things, and if I'm able to afford it then that's great-- if not, so what? I think we're more interesting as individuals if we allow ourselves to be multi-fauceted-- and that includes a materialistic, hedonistic and shallow side... as along as we're able to compensate with a side of ourselves that's compassionate, self-aware and productive.

That's the balance I'm always aiming for in my life that makes it all worthwhile.


Last edited by Phuel; 27-05-2013 at 12:12 PM.
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27-05-2013
  348
flaunt the imperfection
 
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excerpt from an article/interview with Isabel Marant on telegraph.co.uk

Quote:
she's disgusted at the increased pressure on designers to provide two extra mid-season collections per year. 'I feel like a machine to vomit garments,' she says, rather vividly. But given that she tells me she starts every collection from a feeling of 'disgust and frustration', perhaps this is a motivating state for her. 'I always think, "OK, again another collection. Why new clothes, when we have so many, I know we don't need it. What is going to be the difference?" It's always rejection, love and hate. Then I [go through] a psychological healing.' She laughs. 'From that, the excitation comes again. I go, "Yeah, that's a good idea, I must do it, I didn't do that properly before." Then it's a bit like a puzzle; there's a shoulder [shape] coming, a length is coming, a kind of fabric... I'm very instinctive, actually. I'm not very intellectual.'
it amuses me that even the person designing and selling the stuff thinks we already have enough stuff...
especially now that the majority of her customers are the kinds of fashionistas and rich b*tches who live to consume and show off their material posessions...

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Last edited by softgrey; 27-05-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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28-05-2013
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^^^ She's "disgusted"?

Seems a tad dramatic and ungrateful of her for protesting that women actually want more of her sh*t, wouldn't you say? Talk about biting the hand that feeds your big tacky mouth, Isabel.

Excess in fashion is nothing new, nor is it contained to a certain type, or lifestyle, etc. I just think it's tacky for Morant I adore Rei, but I'm so sick of her millions of labels in the CdG universe, with what seems like a new one popping up every year. The fact I don't care for anything of them, and that these other sublabels are just created to fill the demands of materialism and consumerism doesn't detract from the fact that she remains high fashion's visionary with her mainline women's collections. Once again, I just take these things within their context: CdG mainline is her pure, artistic vision. The other lines are created to ensure a steady profit. And despite her business-sauvy pursuits, Rei isn't less of a credible designer and visionary. I never would call her a sell-out. She's a smart businesswoman and a committed visionary designer. I think these two can coexist perfectly. Just like you can be materialistic and be critical of materialism it at the same time. It's all about a healthy balance for me.

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30-05-2013
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This story really exemplifies just how complicated the sweatshop debate is: On bail for 19 years, son born in jail works to raise $172 bond for mother.

Ideally, I would never support sweatshops in any form. But, when such unimaginable poverty exists and lack of social aids is non-existent, the level of security that sweatshops provide-- no mater how disgusting the working/living condition may be to our western standards, it may be the only means of an existence for many.

I worked with a journalist-photographer who travelled 6 months of the year to remote villages and tribes in Africa, India and the Middle-East. He worked closely with humanitarian organizations that particularly help women and children, since they are the most vulnerable individuals in these countries. There are villages in India where the only livelihood women and girls have is in prostitution. So girls under the age of 10 are sold and become prostitutes. Sweatshops may not be an ideal option, but it is a better option than to become a prostitute. Take away that option, then what steady income-- no matter how meager, would they people have? It's so much more complicated than for us to demand a higher standard for sweatshops or force their existence to be banned from these countries.

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08-08-2013
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I think we have become increasingly materialistic, but the heart wants what it wants. In some peoples case it's fashion...some cases it's food...then you get into obesity.

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08-08-2013
  352
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^ Hmm, is it the heart wanting these things? Also feel rather obligated to point out, as a food lover, that loving food does not go hand in hand with obesity. It's quite possible to love anything in moderation.

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09-08-2013
  353
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^ Highly agree with this.

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28-08-2013
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Tom Ford Is Against Materialism In The Fashion World

He may have made millions dressing some of the most famous men and women in the world, but Tom Ford has spoken out against the fashion industry's overemphasis on "materialism".

In a conversation with sports star Tom Brady - husband of supermodel Gisele Bundchen - for VMan magazine, the designer admitted to finding certain aspects of the industry "strange", and implied that he's not always a huge fan of the often-fickle world of fashion.

"On the one hand, I want to go off and live in the desert with my dog and sculpt things out of adobe," he said. "But then on the other, I'm part of this industry that creates insecurity and focuses on materialism and things that aren't actually, for me, the most important things in life."

Speaking specifically about the annual Costume Institute Gala, Ford told of how it can be hard to see so many people "wearing a million dollars-worth of jewellery, and dressed in $30,000 dresses that are only good this season - because next season it's all going to look out of date".

"[It's] funny because it's this industry, of course, that makes people feel like they have to change," he adds.

Source: vogue.co.uk


Last edited by Bernadette; 28-08-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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28-08-2013
  355
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Great subject!
This is such an important subject to discuss. A professor of mine who's a brilliant sociologist brings this up constantly, and it always makes more than one person in the class visibly uncomfortable and shaken (including myself).

Today it's so easy to access images depicting a certain lifestyle, which then becomes seemingly easy to access as well. I may not have the income to get the whole package- the beautiful apartment, furniture, beauty products, clothing, vacations in luxury hotels... But there's a Sephora 10 blocks from my house where for 30-50 dollars I can obtain a small part of it. We search for identity by looking to feel included in something we aspire to.

There's a book called Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster that I highly recommend for you to read on the subject. The reason this is all happening now has many more factors than just globalization, for instance, the rise of companies such as PPR and LVMH and their intentions to make luxury seemingly and truly accessible to lower classes. Luxury has been democratized in a way, in favor not of those who can now access a small part of it but of those who profit from this enormous new market.
Also, No Logo is a great book on the subject of brands and the new generation consuming them.

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28-08-2013
  356
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Tom Ford sounds like he's getting to a more thoughtful stage in life, suddenly being able to communicate us some slightly thoughtful facts. Unfortunately some patterns never change, the cross-eyed viewed on fashion for example... way too much credit in the last line, it's not that industry, that's such an urban myth, unless we're really talking about the tangible (literal, hold-in-your-hand rags), it's the economic system and the specific stage we've been on for the past 30 years that the fashion industry, just like many others, have to adjust to. At least he's keeping it real by not venturing into possible solutions and mentioning isolation as an option to escape it, because that's really all there is... *end of the world music*

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28-08-2013
  357
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I don't see Suzy Menke's critique of the same things Marant talks about here, so I'll copy it below:

I think a lot of this raises the art / commerce debate too. If things are about speed and profit above all, creative merit can be lost in the process.

People have often wondered what happened to Marant. Maybe now we know.

As for Tom Ford, perhaps his last collection contrasts his critique of materialism since it was over-the-top-80s-maximalism. Perhaps not. In any case, it was ugly! Maybe he's trying to deter people from buying it?


Quote:
AUGUST 23, 2013, 9:00 AM
Sign of the Times | The New Speed of Fashion

By SUZY MENKES
The fashion industry is broken in more ways than one: runway shows don’t match retail expectations; designers can’t keep up with demand; and customers can’t buy a coat in winter. So who’s to blame?

I WAS CHATTING WITH THE HOT young London designer Jonathan Anderson, marveling at how in just three years he had matched his transgender frilly men’s wear with the addition of his intriguing women’s collections.

“What’s that?” I asked, looking at a spread of drawings on the wall of his studio-cum-workroom in London’s down-at-the-heels Dalston neighborhood. (Think: East Village.)

“Resort!” said the 28-year-old Northern Irishman whose label is known as J. W. Anderson.

Resort? Already! This guy has been in business only five years and has just 12 people in his studio. Does he really have to join the fashion treadmill, churning out more than four collections a year? A treadmill it is, as Alber Elbaz of Lanvin said with a sigh recently, before his men’s-wear show: he used to go on exploratory trips and hang out in downtown galleries, trawling for inspiration for his shows. But with the number of collections now doubled, there is no time to do much travel beyond the virtual kind.

If we accept that the pace of fashion today was part of the problem behind the decline of John Galliano, the demise of Alexander McQueen and the cause of other well-known rehab cleanups, nonstop shows seem a high price to pay for the endless “newness” demanded of fashion now.

The strain on both budgets and designers is heavy. And only the fat-cat corporations can really afford to put on two mega ready-to-wear shows a year, or four if you add two haute couture shows, or six if you count men’s wear. Resort and prefall push the number up to eight. A couple of promotional shows in Asia, Brazil, Dubai or Moscow can bring the count to 10.

Ten shows a year! If you knock off the holiday season and the summer break, that means a show nearly every month.

But who needs more fashion and is gagging for yet another show? And how can designers cope, given that even the prolific Picasso did not churn out work like factory-baked cookies?

It is not just creatives who are under pressure. We editors might love, love, love! a fall collection, but before it is even delivered to American stores in August for our readers to savor, fashion is on to the next big thing. (Retail shipping dates vary in different international cities.) A round of resort shows starts during the early summer months, over a six-week period. There might be new ideas, simpler, more wearable styles or even a negation of what went before. But not to worry! The fall collection will be gone from the stores in approximately two months, with unsold pieces we had raved about hanging forlornly as markdowns.

For all the promotional excitement attached to the international collections, it is the resort or prefall lines that are on the shelves for close to six months, while the so-called main line is in and out in about eight brief weeks.

How to make sense of this endless rush for the new when there are no longer any simple markers, like seasons? During the summer, when you are looking for a breezy maxi dress, the fall wool coats are hanging on the rails. Come early November, they will have vanished in favor of resort, which used to be called cruise, as if everyone hopped on a boat to the Caribbean with the first autumn chill.

Who are the crazy ones? The buying public demanding fashion now!, clicking online to buy during Burberry’s live-stream runway show months before the clothes are produced for the stores? The online shoppers hitting on special delivery pieces from Net-a-Porter that no one else will have — at least for the next two weeks?

Or has fashion itself gone mad, gathering speed so ferociously that it seems as if the only true luxury today is the ability to buy new and exclusive clothes every microsecond?

There is no doubt that online shopping has fed the craze for speed, because when you can’t touch the fabric or try on the outfit, the only emotion you experience is the excitement of the purchase and the thrill of beating everyone else to it.

Then there is a further, phony current of desire and longing, stage-managed by e-tailers and stores. They whip up excitement with their so-called limited editions, with the waiting list to buy a bag or the mapping out of objects to specific countries. I will never forget an oligarch’s wife telling everyone at a Ralph Lauren event in Moscow that she had taken a private plane to Cannes, in the South of France, to be the first in her country to get one of the designer’s “Ricky” alligator bags.

With the world’s press gathering in New York for the spring 2014 season’s official September kickoff — followed by London, Milan, Paris and then shortly thereafter for prefall — who can define the purpose of these different shows? Do we take the current international spring and fall presentations as an expression of pure creative imagination, as opposed to the more commercial collections that customers are likely to buy? When I started my editor’s job, so many moons ago, haute couture had just stopped being a one-to-one with wealthy clients and had become a laboratory of ideas. That now seems to be the role of international ready-to-wear.

Being a lover of fashion that stretches the outer limits of a designer’s imagination, I always favor powerful runway shows. But — full disclosure now — I don’t actually know or write much about the resort collections, other than when Karl Lagerfeld offered a midseason Chanel show at the Château de Versailles, or Dior was presented in Monaco. Since I already spend five weeks at a time hopping between fashion capitals, there is no way that I can spend an extra month in New York — even if that is where the majority of salable designer clothes are seen.

Chief executives mutter privately about the high cost of maintaining “freshness,” yet they know that showing resort in New York has become a second and vital tool in worldwide promotion and that those sales can make up around three-quarters of a brand’s annual income. The story here is also about control, with the work of the big fashion houses increasingly unfiltered by journalistic critiques or magazine spreads. The clothes most worn by people are the clothes least commented on by the press. The images now go directly to customers via online shows with advertising campaigns as a backup.

With the traditional six-month lead time on the delivery of international show content, designer collections can be outpaced by the so-called fast fashion chains. H&M, Topshop and Zara, or even Target and J. Crew, would have their versions for sale before the designer looks hit the stores.

So the pace of high fashion had to become equally frenetic. Both the management and the creatives are under constant, year-round pressure, especially the European designers who are obliged to show in New York, bringing in their teams, chasing the best models and replaying the tension and drama of yet another runway show. And this additional pressure is not just for one extra season, but twice a year — after resort comes spring and after that prefall — in a whirligig that seems to be spinning out of control.

Does this nonstop parade of what’s new have an upside? With global warming upsetting traditional summer and winter climates, and with a global market expecting clothes at once suitable to a warm and humid Singapore, the deep freeze of Russia and the upside-down seasons in Australia, all these fresh fashion shows each month could be seen as logical for customers.

But whoever said that logic and fashion make a good fit? As the fashion carousel spins ever faster, the concern is that, while the stream of newness never runs out, there’s going to be a good deal more crash and burn among designers in the future.

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28-08-2013
  358
Power to the 99%
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post
Tom Ford sounds like he's getting to a more thoughtful stage in life, suddenly being able to communicate us some slightly thoughtful facts. Unfortunately some patterns never change, the cross-eyed viewed on fashion for example... way too much credit in the last line, it's not that industry, that's such an urban myth, unless we're really talking about the tangible (literal, hold-in-your-hand rags), it's the economic system and the specific stage we've been on for the past 30 years that the fashion industry, just like many others, have to adjust to. At least he's keeping it real by not venturing into possible solutions and mentioning isolation as an option to escape it, because that's really all there is... *end of the world music*
I wonder why Tom's new-found 'depth' doesn't seem to be reflected in his clothes

I think it's perfectly possible to be interested in fashion, even to design fashion or otherwise work in the industry and not be materialistic ... all it requires is for the things that are most important to you, that really drive your life, not to be material things, and to realize that just because some business people, politicians, etc. want your primary identity and function to be a ravenous, addicted consumer, doesn't mean you don't have plenty of other choices ... and to choose something else.

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28-08-2013
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Thanks Bernadette for the article!

There's a very easy solution to this supposed "conflict" of yours Tom: Be a generous individual and use some of your millions to help those that need it most. There are impoverished villages in China, India and South America and Eastern Europe which only need things like clean drinking water, roads and the very basics to make their lives better. Rather than set up shop and appeal to the Chinese and Russian nouveau riche (which is exactly what his designs target towards), how about contributing to the less fortunate of those countries? And it wouldn't even take anywhere close to a million dollars to give them these improvements that are potentially lifesaving. These countries and its people are not the fashionable charities for the super rich and super famous to donate to. Now Tom, how about you become a humanitarian leader and give them a helping hand?

How many luxury homes and coveted artworks does one need before coming to the realization that helping others is equally, if not, more satisfying? You know, Tom is talented and very intelligent, and quite a visionary designer-- in a way, so I do like him. But he's so full of it when he criticizes the material world he's also contributed so heavily to. The brand Tom Ford is nothing if not about proudly flaunting your wealth in excess. I'm sorry to be a party-pooer, but the image of Tom Brady and Tom Ford having a conversation about/ against materialism just made me go cross-eyed: It's like an episode of French and Saunders. Oh the irony...

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01-09-2013
  360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post
Tom Ford sounds like he's getting to a more thoughtful stage in life, suddenly being able to communicate us some slightly thoughtful facts. Unfortunately some patterns never change, the cross-eyed viewed on fashion for example... way too much credit in the last line, it's not that industry, that's such an urban myth, unless we're really talking about the tangible (literal, hold-in-your-hand rags), it's the economic system and the specific stage we've been on for the past 30 years that the fashion industry, just like many others, have to adjust to. At least he's keeping it real by not venturing into possible solutions and mentioning isolation as an option to escape it, because that's really all there is... *end of the world music*
I'm betting he just realized grunge is here for an extended stay.

I do think that the online social networks tend to make us more shallow and materialistic - we assess other people at a glance...and that is rarely a good idea for any kind of meaningful relationship/growth. It has been great for fashion for about a decade...but that is probably about to change.

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