A Captive Audience

Is Haute Couture the new Diversity in Fashion?
August 2, 2011, 1:19 am
Filed under: Research, Thoughts | Tags: , , , ,

Article by Abigail Doan in EcoSalon, July 20 2011

This is not the first time I have seen someone proposing haute couture as a version of sustainable fashion.  This article interesting likens the very strict codes that govern the certification of haute couture to the codes that govern certification of organic or labour rights standards.

The writer acknowledges the elitism inherent in haute couture but wonders in regards to  its 500 odd customers:

“Perhaps there is a philanthropic nature to the women who collect and invest in couture creations in the same spirit that blue-chip art is handpicked from galleries or costly film projects are backed by individuals who believe in a story that must be told and shared. “

The very presence of haute couture gaurantees and encourages diversity within the fashion industry;

“In many instances, we really cannot overlook the fact that cultural preservation, and in turn, timeless fashion methodologies are sustained by the very presence and persistence of the haute couture shows.”

“The idea that fashion of this sort might be a source of national pride rather than a copyright embarrassment or garment factory nightmare, is something to view as a thing of promise.”


From Rags to Riches to Rags: A Brief History of the Rise of Fast Fashion
April 23, 2011, 12:31 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: , , ,

From Rags to Riches to Rags: A Brief History of the Rise of Fast Fashion

From Eco Salon

Short but thoughtful history of fast fashion.

Most female consumers are busy running businesses and households simultaneously and many have little knowledge of sewing, which sadly takes away any skill to recognize quality in craftsmanship. Combined with the fashion industry’s ability to attach aspirational dreams to meaningless stuff through marketing, women are generally willing to accept any item with a label they recognize as long as it proves affordable to buy. Design and original taste has been replaced by owning the most recognizable bling. And fast fashion, like fast food, has signaled the death of style and taste for the masses.

When Fashion Flirts With Charity: Bravo or BS?
December 26, 2010, 8:20 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: ,

By Alice Pfeiffer from Fashionista 24 December 2010

PARIS–Reporters sans Frontières, a French association defending the rights of international reporters, turned 25 last week. To mark the event, Azzaro launched a capsule collection of t-shirts and accessories, to be sold at a pop-up store in Paris; 50% of the profits will be given to the association.

This is nothing new for the fashion house: Every year, it choses a humanitarian cause to support. Past projects include work with Sidaction, Orphanaid, Unicef and more.

Any self-respecting fashionista knows this type of project is hardly original: Lady Gaga auctioning her costume for Haiti, H&M x Lanvin for Unicef, Angelina Jolie’s line for Asprey, and the list goes on. Luxury-meets-charity affairs are frequent and appealing–it gives the latter glitzy coverage and the former an image makeover.

But how genuine are those really? An opportunity to wash your sins away by loudly donating to the conflit du jour?

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Trompe l’oeil
September 16, 2010, 7:51 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: , , , ,

1: a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail; also : the use of similar technique in interior decorating
2: a trompe l’oeil painting or effect
3: something that misleads or deceives the senses : illusion

French trompe-l’œil, literally, deceives the eye

First Known Use: 1889

Bill Cunningham New York
August 19, 2010, 7:24 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: , , ,

At the Melbourne International Film Festival recently I saw a film called Bill Cunningham New York.  The film follows photographer/columnist Bill Cunningham who chronicles for the New York Times the fashion he sees on the streets of New York.  Part of his job is on the street, photographing the fashion he sees and collating this into stories and themes that document fashion trends.  The other part of his job is attending charity functions and galas of an evening and photographing guests for a separate column.  While this is far less interesting from a fashion point of view, it intrigued me for the purposes of this project.

A scene in the documentary shows Cunningham going through the plethora of invitations he receives.  It is at his discretion which events he chooses to attend.  The invitations contain the guest lists of who will be in attendance.  While one might assume the expectation on him would be to photograph the biggest names, he describes how he doesn’t care at all for who is on the guest list, what makes him decide what to attend is who the charity it is for.  If the charity interests him, then he goes, as the publicity generated for the cause if it appears in his column is obviously very valuable.  Cunningham is an interesting personality because of his simple lifestyle, down to earth nature and good humour in contrast to the colourful and often superficial world in which he works.  He appears to live only for the pleasure he finds in his work, and conversely, a simple lifestyle has allowed him to do do work that is pleasurable.  In order to lend his support to the charities he finds worthwhile or interesting, is Cunnigham subverting the society charity event or is he subverting the society newspaper column.  Is he subverting New York society in general?

In Ethical Fashion, Desirability is Sustainability
July 16, 2010, 12:41 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: ,

The Business of Fashion | Blog Archive | In Ethical Fashion, Desirability is Sustainability.

NEW YORK, United States — Over the past ten years, the eco-fashion movement has been gathering steam. Following the lead of pioneering brands like Stella McCartney and NOIR, which were founded on the basis of ethical principles near the turn of the millennium, there are now entire fashion exhibitions, forums and blogs all focused on so-called sustainable fashion.

Ethical fashion is also high on the agenda of the major luxury goods groups. In April 2009, having already partnered with Stella McCartney to launch her eponymous label, PPR announced its support of HOME, an environmental call-to-action by filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand. François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer, said at the time that PPR’s support aimed to use “images and commentary to make us understand that each of us has a responsibility towards the planet, and that we can each act in our own way.”

A month earlier, Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, told investors at the luxury group’s annual shareholders meeting in Paris of his plan to take a 49 percent stake in Edun, the sustainable clothing label founded by Bono and Ali Hewson. “LVMH shares the vision and ethical values of Edun, a pioneer in ethical apparel, and its founders,” he said later. “LVMH is committed to advancing both the social and environmental aspects of sustainable development, which plays an intrinsic role in the development of our brands.”

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