Visit to Ralph Lauren

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I visited the ‘Ralph Lauren’ in Selfridges on Oxford Street. The Ralph Lauren section was a lot smaller than I expected. Upon first sight, the shop looked quite grand, with mostly formal wear such as Suits showcased in the entrance. Ralph Lauren began his journey as a young fashion designer in 1967. As Joanne Mattern (2011) said in her book, ‘Ralph Lauren’ “He wanted to design wide ties, a totally
different style than what was popular in the United States in the mid-1960s.” and strangely enough the ties in the Ralph Lauren was the one piece of cloIMG_7571thing that actually caught my eye. The tie rack was standing on a glass showcase next to the upper torso of a mannequin wearing a suit, the light from the showcase projecting onto the ties and su
it from underneath made them stand out more and gave the ties, especially, a almost divine feel to it, as it appeared as if rays of light were jumping out from underneath the tie rack and brushing against the ties. During my visit to Ralph Lauren I had the opportunity to talk to a member of staff who worked there, she told me how the shop is actually split into two, very different sections. She said, “That part of the shop has more luxurious items whereas this part, is still luxurious but more modern”. This opened my eyes straight away, as I wouldn’t have even noticed. They even used a fancier font for tIMG_7574he ‘Ralph Lauren’ for that side of the shop. It became clear to me that the shop was not only split into two because of the type of clothing, but also because of the pricing as well, as the ‘modern’ side of the shop appeared to contain more affordable clothes.

 

Reference List:

Mattern, J. and Lauren, R. (2011). Ralph Lauren. New York: Chelsea House.

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Fast and Slow Fashion

 

Fast and Slow Fashion are clearly two, very different things. Fast Fashion is when retailers (Choi T. 2014 p.9) “become influential powerhouses among apparel retailing firms”. Fast Fashion includes a few strategies by apparel firms such as “just-in-time (JIT) delivery and quick response (QR) in order to provide customers with the right product at the right time”. This tells us that Fast Fashion is a way for retailers to design and manufacture fashionable merchandise for customers when trends are very new and fashionable. One example of a Fast Fashion retailer is ‘Zara’. (www.forbes.com 2015 ) “Zara has become the leader in rapid development of fast changing fashions”. Above is an example of a Fast Fashion Product by Zara that is trending. The light Grey ‘Oversize Sweater’ selling for £19.99, is just one of the many products that are trending in Zara’s wide selection of garments. The Oversized Sweater is highly praised by most fashion critics as being “incredibly comfortable, stylish and can be paired with anything from super-skinny jeans to mini skirts and everything in between” (stylecaster.com 2014) making it ideal for most female customers.

Alternatively Slow Fashion is when (Matthews J. 2011 p.115) “the designer is making everything by hand and spends three weeks on one garment but it could also mean that the designers relationship is so strong with their local manufacturer that they could produce new designs within two weeks”. One example of a Slow Fashion brand is ‘Patagonia’. Patagonia is one of the top known Slow Fashion brands as they have “pioneered quality clothing with organic, recycled, and upcycled fibers. The company makes clothes that pack well, travel even better, last forever, and feel good to wear”. (www.huffingtonpost.com 2015). Whilst on the Patagonia website, I discovered they’re ‘Favourite’ tab where they show what is currently trending and most popular from the slow fashioned products they have. Above is a Navy Blue ‘Men’s Down Sweater Jacket’. The jacket is described as “The perfect warmth for just about everything, our classic Down Sweater is lightweight and windproof, with a 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell and 800-fill-power 100% Traceable Down” (www.patagonia.com 2015). The product is clearly very environmental friendly and seems to be popular amongst many customers.

 

Choi, T. (2014). Fast Fashion Systems. Boca Raton. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Forbes.com, (2015). Forbes Welcome. [Online] Available from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2015/03/30/zara-leads-in-fast-fashion/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2015].

Stylecaster.com. (2014). 25 On-Trend Oversized Sweaters to Shop This Fall. [Online] StyleCaster. Available from: http://stylecaster.com/oversized-sweaters-trend-to-shop-for-fall/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2015]

Lynne Matthews J. (2011). Fashion Unraveled: 2nd Edition How to Start and Manage Your Own Fashion Design Business. Los Angeles. Los Angeles Fashion Resource

The Huffington Post, (2015). My Top 13 Favorite Slow Fashion Brands. [Online] Available from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/my-top-13-favorite-slow-f_b_7554266.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2015].

Jacket, P. (2015). Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Jacket. [Online] Patagonia.com. Available from: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-down-sweater-jacket?p=84674-0 [Accessed 21 Nov. 2015].

Designing a New Garment

The Garment I would like to design is called the Nano-Jacket. The Nano-Jacket consists of closely stitched fabric with a waterproof coating. The main attraction of the jacket is its left and right sleeves. The lower half of the sleeves would have a pocket to fit most modern smart phones, where the user is still able to see the screen of the phone and interact with it (The Phone would have to be a touchscreen). The user could then use the sleeve of the jacket as they would a normal wristwatch or rather an ‘interactive gauntlet’. With most modern smart phones allowing a user to do most of their daily tasks, the jacket would shorten the time it took for the user to carry out those tasks, whether it be a simple phone call or checking your bank balance online. The user would technically be wearing their device and become a part of their phones. The jacket would also have a stitched pathway for the user to plug their earphones into, which would trail from the forearm of the jacket to the neck of the jacket. The Jacket would also have basic features such as a zip and buttons to close the jacket. Two lower pockets closed with a zip and of course a hood. The hood of the jacket is not ordinary as the zip for the jacket zips the entire way up the hood. The hood would then have two clear plastic pieces stitched on to allow the user to see properly as well as thinner material near the ear area of the user to allow the user to hear properly as well as a thinner breathable material around the area of the users mouth. This would completely protect the user from weather conditions.

Fashion Exhibition

IMG_7469I visited the Fashion Exhibition in the V&A Museum. They had a range of different clothes varying from different time periods and cultures. One item that caught my eye was a ‘Coat (tailcoat) and waistcoat’ from around 1790. The Tailcoat was of English design and made from Wool with buttons covered with silk thread and the Waistcoat was printed silk. Based on the type of materials the coat is made from and the time period it is from, it is clear that someone with an Upper-Class status would wear this coat. They would also most likely be very wealthy. Peter McNeil (2009) says in ‘The Men’s Fashion Reader’ “The tailcoat was fashionable for civil and uniform clothes during the first half of the nineteenth century”. This was made quite clear just by looking at the piece of clothing as it appeared very formal and high-class. As the tailcoat was made from wool, it was most likely used in cold weather.

McNeil, P. and Karaminas, V. (2009). The men’s fashion reader. Oxford: Berg.

IMG_7481While visiting the V&A Museum, outside of the Fashion Exhibition, I came across a set of Knights Armour “Half Armour for the tilt” from around 1615. The Armour was made for the tilt, which was a popular pastime for noblemen in the 1600’s as it involved combat on horseback, clearly something from the medieval period. This made me wonder how armour, in terms of Fashion has changed over time. According to the description the armour was made from steel, which would have weighed a lot on the Knight slowing him down in combat, as it would have been harder to move. (2015 http://www.canadiansecuritymag.com ) “During the First and Second World Wars, body armour had become less clunky and cumbersome, yet still proved something of a burden for soldiers” this shows us that armour has been adapted to help the soldiers move better and faster. In todays world “Body armour has, obviously, undergone significant changes within the past several decades, offering wearers more of a lightweight, comfortable, reliable form of protection against a wider range of ammunition-types”. I found this very intriguing, seeing how armour evolved over time from Steel bulky armour to tightly woven Kevlar bullet proof vests.

Canadian Security Magazine, (2015). Body armour’s past, present and future. [online] Available at: http://www.canadiansecuritymag.com/news/industry-news/body-armours-past-present-and-future

Shoe Exercise (200 Words)

We were given a picture of what looked like a quite old fashion styled shoe. We as a group agreed on the fact that the shoe looked quite eroded, showing its age. We also felt as though this shoe looked a lot like a school shoe. The key term are group chose was ‘Class’/ ‘Status. In ‘Feet and Footwear: A Cultural Encyclopaedia, Margo DeMello (2009 pg.66) says “In Europe from the early Middle Ages through today, elites have always worn very different shoes from commoners, and shoes like clothing have been a simple way to note one’s class status” This text I found, states how people were and still are judged on their class/status by the kind of shoes they wear. According to DeMello, she describes high-class people as ‘Elites’ and explains how it was very noticeable to differentiate between ‘Commoners’ and ‘Elites’ based on the type of clothing they wear. She also goes on to explain how the materials the shoe was made from was a big indicator of that person’s class. “ Noble men and women wore shoes made from a variety of luxurious fabrics, including silk, velvet, brocade, and soft leather… while peasants and other commoners wore shoes made of leather or other animal skins”. This tells me that someone of a common low class wore the shoe we were given as it appeared to be made of just leather.

DeMello, M. (2009 pg.66). Feet and Footwear: A Cultural Encyclopedia. California. Greenwood Press.

200 Words Evaluation of a Interview with a Fashion Designer

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Fashion Designer Jhon Monsalve

The interview I chose was an interview with Spanish Fashion Designer ‘Jhon Monsalve’. The interview consisted of 10 clear questions. The first question Monsalve was asked was Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? He replied that he “was interested in just about every kind of creative pursuit” but he states that he had no idea that he “would end up as a fashion designer” this seemed a bit cliché and a quite predictable an answer. He was later on asked what it was like collaborating with Melissa Mars he replied “She made every things very easy for me with all the fittings we had to do to make sure that all the garments were fit perfectly on her body” this shows that the answers of the interview have likely not been modified in any way, as they use the improper spelling ‘every things’ instead of everything. So answers from Monsalve have been written as he has spoken. Making the interview appear more genuine. Lastly he is asked what were his plans for the future? Which he replied “For now, I plan to stay a long season in Paris in order to acquire more experience” this is quite clever as Paris is know as the Capital of Fashion.

Sound and Vision – Starting Work

Inspirational Photo’s Taken in the Science Museum 

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Two things that stuck out when going to the Science Museum was the ‘Space’ section and another smaller section where they had a Rifle and Handgun, putting these two themes together my initial thought was of ‘Cowboys in Space’ however after a few sketches of a cowboy in a space suit I decided to develop this idea further and make the Space Suit look more futuristic.

The idea of the character developed further from being a cowboy in space becoming an ‘Alien Exterminator’/Bounty Hunter where the main characters purpose is to go from planet to planet killing off all alien life.

Initial Ideas (Sketches) of Main Character:

IMG_4647 IMG_4649IMG_4652IMG_4648  IMG_4650 IMG_4651  IMG_4653

Final Design of Character in Environment:

Sound and Vison Concept Art

Scenes of Character during Animation:

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HMWCAAAAAAR? – How many ways can an articulate alien analyse an animated robot?

Robots of Brixton from Kibwe Tavares on Vimeo.

In our lecture we were told to pretend that we were each an alien from outer space and that we were observing earth and its people, as aliens we were shown the film ‘Robots of Brixton’ At first when watching, I thought it was supposed to be a futuristic version of Brixton or a post-apocalyptic type film of robots taking over the world, however after watching further into the film, at the point where the main robot puts a metal rod in his mouth and then sees glimpses of the past of real people, I recognised that the flashbacks shown was clips from the Brixton Riots caused by the recession in 1981. There were many hidden messages within the film, such as racism, hierarchy of power, unemployment and crime rate, it is clear that after watching the film that the creator wanted to show us that the Brixton Riots can happen again, he even quotes Karl Marx when he says “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. He clearly wants us to think that this can happen again, the London riots was an example of this, although more wide spread than Brixton alone, similar riots occurred. The film is really in-depth and does take a few watches to take in all it has to offer for example, I realised that the robots are living with the humans in the film and that the robots are doing the working for the humans and that the main robot is living in poverty and that the number of robots on the street represent the unemployed.

Zombies – Victim or Attacker?

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word ‘Zombies’ is ‘Mindless’, which brings me to the question if a zombie is a victim or a violent aggressor, well there are many things to take into count. The term zombie and things associated with the word has changed quite a lot from the past to the present day, with books, movies and even games showing there own interpretation of what a zombie truly is. Recurring themes that keep appearing such as brainless, hungry, flesh eating, undead, violent, and dangerous and others builds the picture of a very terrifying creature.

Typically a Zombie is mindless, dead human who hunts living humans for food; however there have been many theories of how a human becomes a zombie, in the AMC series ‘The Walking Dead’ they leave it very vague however the theory is that every human carries a virus/disease that causes them, when they die, to turn into a undead flesh eating zombie, that can only be killed through a headshot. This being said, how can a zombie be a victim? Of course you can say that the human the zombie once was is the victim, however technically speaking, that human is dead, and therefore cannot be a victim. How can something that doesn’t breathe be a victim? All that is left of the human before is now just an empty shell that walks/crawls hunting for human flesh. But if something can walk and hunt for food is it truly mindless?

Zombies are constantly portrayed as violent attacking creatures; in the Call of Duty franchise the popular ‘Zombie’ mode has become one of the games best selling feature where the player will fight against hordes of zombies getting through rounds. With each round the number of zombies doubles forcing the player to feel the pressure of zombies in numbers. This is another recurring theme for zombies that 1 single zombie isn’t much of a threat, but when they attack in numbers, it’s hard to fight them off, as seen in the film ‘World War Z’ where they took a unique take of the appearance of zombies, the zombies would use there numbers to work together such as climbing over each other to get over a large wall barrier. Zombies are definitely violent attackers however they don’t attack someone without a purpose, they only attack for food, they hunt their prey (like any animal would) which happens to be humans in order to survive. So does this truly define them as violent aggressors? Well they are definitely ‘Violent’ there’s no denying that, but as they are mindless, are they to blame?

To conclude I would like to say that Zombies could be classed as a victim of trauma however without a beating heart or a mind, they cannot feel pain and therefore will be unable to suffer, neither emotionally or physically, so I would have to say they are not a victim and are more of a violent attacker, as this is all they seem to know but they do this to survive. A Zombie is the predator and a living human is the Prey.