Sustainable Fashion

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Barts is a Brand from the Netherlands but this knitted beanie was made in China. It is very typical of companies to manufacture in countries like China because it is cheaper because labour costs are much lower. Workers conditions are controversial with children usually being the ones working in the sweat shops and their wages would probably be lower. Its made of 70% Acrylic and 30% Wool.The lining is 100% polyester. This particular hat is hand knitted which is more time consuming for workers but would definitely use less oil than heavy machinery.

wool. land has been cleared, trees have been cut down to graze sheep. Leads to reduced biodiversity and soil erosion. Insecticides administered to sheep can lead to water pollution. The wool that has been sheared from countries such as New Zealand would have to shipped to the factories for dyeing and manufacturing which would use a lot of crude oil. This oil would come from the middle east. Oil is a non-sustainable product. It leads to Co2 emissions when burnt that adds to global warming. Oil spills pollute the sea killing birds and fish.

Polyester and Acrylic are oil based products and use a fair amount of chemicals to make which can be bad for the environment if the waste is not disposed of correctly. Polyester in particular produces emissions which can cause environmental damage however it is recyclable The dyeing process of all three of these materials uses many of chemicals that are extremely toxic to aquatic life and is usually dumped back into the sea. Packaging also uses oil as they are probably put into plastic bags to protect them from getting damaged in transit. They are then shipped to western countries where they will be sold using even more oil.

PETA. 2013. Wool, Fur and Leather: Hazardous to the Environment [online] PETA. available at: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/animals-used-clothing-factsheets/wool-fur-leather-hazardous-environment/ [accessed 02/1/14]

BARTS. 2013. Barts Story [online] Barts. available at: http://www.barts.eu/barts-story/#/barts-story/%5Baccessed 02/1/14]

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Design Detail – Timberland Boot

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I have chosen the timberland boot because it has recently become a popular fashion trend. I didn’t realise The brand had ever been on the catwalk but in 2009 Timberland teamed up with Richard Chai for New York fashion week. They fitted perfectly with his tailored classics inspired by uniforms.

Timberland started 40 years ago in south Boston making the 1st waterproof leather boot with thick rubber soles for workers to wear in all weathers. It was meant to be functional not fashionable. The yellow boot then became an icon all across Europe. Italy in the 1980s was the epicentre with the Paninaro subculture wearing the yellow boots to create the all american style. In Asia the boots were seen as a symbol of individuality and independence.

More recently artists have been using it to express personal style by customising it. Scratching into the leather, using markers, painting it etc. The Boroughs Project was a competition within the five boroughs of New York to create 5 new styles to represent these areas. On the Timberland online store you can personalise your own boots.

Celebrities are big fans of these boots which promote their brand, from Pharrell Williams to Little Mix. Timberland boots are now a fashion statement which they were not intended for. They are no longer a durable boot worn by workers in all weathers. No longer associated with male working class. They are over 100 pounds so only the middle and upper classes can afford them. They are now in feminine styles not just mens.

TIMBERLAND. 2010. Timberland [online] Newsroom:press releases [accessed 16/12/13] available at: http://newsroom.timberland.com/Press-Releases/Detail/TIMBERLAND-BOOT-COMPANY-TO-HIT-THE-RUNWAY-AT-NEW-YORK-FASHION-WEEK-WITH-DESIGNER-RICHARD-CHAI

FORD, J. 2010. Trend Alert: Timberland boots and Luxe Grunge at Richard Chai Love [online] Lucky Mag. [accessed 16.12.13] available at: http://www.luckymag.com/blogs/luckyrightnow/2010/02/trend-alert-timberland-boots-a

 

Mulberry – Marketing

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This image is from the Mulberry store in St Christopher’s place in London just off Oxford Street. Mulberry is an exclusive brand picking the greatest locations. They need to be surrounded by other high end stores so it attracts the right clientele. You can also buy online on their very sophisticated website. Designer stores value themselves on their customer experience because 1 sale can bring in a lot of profit so trying to get customers to buy rather than just try is vital. They are friendly and helpful. The store itself is warm colours, not too loud but some background music. The layout is very simple with no clutter and hardly anything on show. Definitely no racks. Everything is visible.

The Window itself displays some of the key items in that seasons collection along with some decorations that match the theme. And in this instance its the christmas nutcracker toy soldiers with the berry red bags. The Bags are classic timeless high end fashion. Mulberry has an iconic logo which most people are familiar with. It is all about the brand with the mulberry tree on a oval metal clasp. Every bag has it. The packaging is nearly as beautiful as the bags with ribbons and nice grey boxes. You are also paying for the packaging. The bags themselves are made from high quality leather and are very well made. The USP of mulberry is the fact that its high quality, quintessentially english, modern yet timeless.

The price of mulberry bags can range from £300 to £4500 ostrich leather totes. This brand is extremely exclusive with only middle class being able to afford it. There is no discount or vouchers however there are designer outlets which sell previous seasons collections up to 60% off. Bicester Village is one of those. Mulberry is also too presitigious for store cards or value points

Advertising can be crucially important for sales. Mulberry is one of those brands that doesnt rely on advertising. There are no television ads only paper prints. They are only in high end magazines like vogue, elle, marie claire and sometimes cosmopolitan. You would never see it advertised in a cheaper magazine like closer. Not the right target market. There are no offers or gifts available. Too exclusive for handouts.

The target customer for Mulberry is 20s-50s, working, upper class, fashionable, chic women and i think their shop window reflects that.

BICESTER VILLAGE. 2013. [online] Bicester Village[accessed 15/12/13] available at: http://www.bicestervillage.com

MULBERRY. 2013. [online] Mulberry [Accessed 15/12/13] available at: http://www.mulberry.com

Gender – The Tie

I chose the Tie because it is a typically masculine accessory but why? I personally think the tie was the symbol of a well dressed, powerful, rich man which hasn’t changed a lot. The smartest outfit is a suit and tie and is very professional in the workplace. Ties are very western and MEDC’s are the ones pushing the boundaries.

In the Book of Ties, the majority of the images are men wearing ties. ‘Women play a crucial role in the world of men’s ties. Because they advise their husbands, and often offer them ties as gifts, wives have a powerful influence on tie fashion.’ (Chaille 1994)

In the mid 19802’s women broke into male dominated professions and started wearing neckties. According to magazine ‘success’ only losers wear bow ties. The president of a professional women’s clothing store claimed ‘secretaries wear bow ties’. Nobody took women seriously but now things are changing. Women are more assertive, powerful and professional. Isn’t that what a tie represents? Women are are equal to men in many more ways, plus fashion is changing. Women in suits and ties are sexy, Take madonna. Women also wear ties when dressing sexually at halloween. Not just a masculine accessory but now as a sex object cemented by fifty shades of grey.

Saint Laurent S/S 14 collection is very androgynous with sharp tailoring and more importantly the presence of the Tie. It is now no longer weird to dress as the opposite sex. The world is far more accepting however it is more usual for a woman to dress more masculine. Masculine/Feminine doesn’t necessarily have to apple to the suitable sex. The lines are now blurred.

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http://www.elleuk.com/catwalk/designer-a-z/saint-laurent/spring-summer-2014#image=23

CHAILLE, F. 1994. The Book of Ties,Flammarion, Paris

BRUSH KIDWELL, C & STEELE, V. 1989. Men and WOmen Dressing the Part. Smithsonian Institution. USA

Semiotics – Nina Ricci

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image from: http://fashionabecedaire.tumblr.com/page/9

Nina Ricci is a brand that symbolises french elegance in fairytale like way. All the campaigns are very fresh and bright with pink being the main colour. The brand is very feminine and beautiful enticing the modern woman.

The people that buy items form Nina Ricci most likely are young women who are more demure and sweet. Most fragrance brands attract  women who want to feel sexy with dark colours but this is the complete opposite.

The advert has a magical quality with the french music and the apple tree. It kind of represents a nicer adam and eve story mixed with snow white. The model looks at the tree and the perfume bottle in awe and amazement. She is mesmerised. She is wearing a gown that denotes princesses.

The advert revolves around an apple surrounded by many other beautiful looking apples. but that one apple on the tree is the only one you want. The apple symbolises hope, love, lust, (whatever you are looking for). The apple probably also represents the smell of the fragrance. A fresh fruity smell.

The brand message is communicated well as it ties in with other adverts by the same company. They are all a fantasy in a pink girly haze. Every girl wants to be enchanted and perhaps wearing Nina by Nina Ricci can help you.

 

 

Street style – Preppy

Celebrities Visit "Late Show With David Letterman" - May 7, 2013

Zooey Deschanel is the current queen of prep. But what is the definition of ‘Preppy’?

‘Preppy – like ivy league, this is a reading of American students’ dress coding. However, in this instance the look is younger – high school rather than university – and more evocative of the 1950’s. Preppy style is a mixture of smart casual skirts and trousers, and often worn with good quality knitwear (sometimes a twinset) and the ubiquitous deck shoe.’ (Hebdidge 1979)

She is always immaculately dressed, never any unnecessary skin on show and clearly understands the subculture she represents. Not just in this look but day to day she wears cute cardigans, sensible shoes and sometimes a string of pearls. All very Gossip Girl. Maybe Blair Waldorf is her style icon!

But subcultures are usually to rebel against conformity and conventionality. Preppy is somewhat different. College students often feel a great need to conform and fit in so this is why the preppy subculture began. (Banks and De La Chapelle 2011)

Does Zooey feel like she needs to belong?

image from: http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2013/05/08/zooey-deschanel-hot-style-david-letterman-show/

HEBDIDGE, D. 1979. Subculture: the meaning of style

BANKS, J & DE LA CHAPELLE, D. 2011. Preppy: Cultivating  Ivy Style

Contemporary debates in Fashion

Thats Pants! Hungary students on naked protest at miniskirt ban

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/thats-pants-hungary-students-in-naked-protest-at-miniskirt-ban-8858454.html

So what is this article about? Hungarian students at Kaposvar University revolt at a conservative dress code where trousers or long skirts must be worn, no heavy makeup, noflip flops or unkepmt fingernails/ hair.

This story has issues involved such as feminism. Why should these women not wear what they choose to wear? Is their individuality and sense of style being taken away from them? Human rights is also an issue as in hotter months temperatures can reach up to 30 degrees or more. Should students be refrained from showing some skin to cool down for teachers to feel more comfortable? Perhaps not.

However there our other points of view on the matter. Male teachers may feel uncomfortable with young women wearing minimal clothing. They have to always be professional and maybe students should be as well.

Will this protest change anything? There are plans for another where students will wear flip-flops and beach towels.

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