FASHION

The Balenciaga Exhibition: Shaping Fashion at the V&A

 

Balenciaga exhibition: Shaping Fashion was held at the V&A museum in London it was truly amazing.

The exhibition was separated into 2 parts. We started upstairs as it was quiet busy downstairs. The upstairs part of the exhibition showed how Balenciaga shaped the modern fashion industry, and how he influenced fashion designers throughout the years.  The layout was very modern and minimalist in a large spacious area.

The exhibition was split up into categories such as cut, minimalism, perfection, volume and drape. Within these categories were large glass boxes which held the modern designers take on the words influenced by Balenciaga.

There was a great video on designers talking about how Balenciaga inspired them and their Collections.

The downstairs section of the exhibition showed the history of Balenciaga. From his loyal clients to his catwalk shows. This part of the exhibition was a contrast to upstairs, shown with more of a historical look.

There was an area where you could try on a cape which was a particular pattern made by balenciaga himself and see how you would wear the garment, as a skirt, dress, cape.

 

Walking around the exhibition they showed clothing made in toiles then the garment made in delicate fabrics and vivid colours. They also had an X-ray image of the dresses as a background, this was very interesting it gave a modern feel to the exhibition, mixed among the historical artefacts. The X-ray showed the inside of the garments, all the detailing and some even has pins that had been mistakenly left inside.

Mini videos were dotted around the exhibition showing the separate pattern pieces that made up the garment and how they were assembled to the finished garment, these videos where very intriguing, you got lost watching them. Even the simplest of patterns made the most exquisite dresses.

There was a section of the exhibition where you could make your very own one seam coat out of origami, it showed the appeal of zero waste and the simplicity of shape but most of all it showed how much thought went into the designing and pattern cutting process.

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Modern Japanese Design Exhibition & Material World Debate!

 

Modern Japanese Design Exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery!

This was one of the reasons we went to Manchester, I have been looking forward to this exhibition for a while, as I'm very inspired by Japanese culture and their values.

The exhibition was situated at the Manchester Art Gallery. The art gallery was showing room after room of paintings. One modern painting in particular caught my eye.

The painting showed Skulls growing out of a plant, this was painted on reclaimed wood which was a great contrast and an interesting material. The image itself played on the idea of the living & the dead.

Roses 2007

Jai Redman an inspiring artist, an environmental activist with thought provoking art.

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We walked up to the Modern Japanese Design exhibition area on the third floor.

The exhibition was in a spacious room. On the right hand side there was this beautiful arrangement of clothing and interior design pieces. The colour scheme was monochrome with hints of bright red, the concept was very pleasing to look at. This exhibition was showing the work of great designers such as Issey Myiake, Rei Kawakubo.

The garments were a mixture of draping and 3D shapes.

I wasn't so keen on the way garments that were placed in the middle, of the room. There was no colour scheme involved, the garments looked like they needed ironed, they just didn't sit well together, which was a shame.

Among the exhibition there were Japanese definitions on the walls, which were great to read.

Among the exhibits there was a variation of clay items that were transformed into geometric shapes, which resembled pleating.

There was also plastic art, made out of recycled PET bottles, they were formed into geometric shapes that could be flat packed and opened out.

Wandered about Chinatown!

Basically a row of Chinese restaurants takaway and gift shops which where very cute, selling all sorts of gifts. The main reason we went was to look at the immense Chinese gate.

 

Afflecks Palace

A building that's full of creativity. You could spend hours in there getting lost. The best thing was whilst walking up the stairs they had thought provoking words advertising no derogatory labels.

 https://www.afflecks.com/

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Image credit: http://www.johnmeephotography.com/return-to-afflecks-palace/

 

Bundobust

We visited bundobust for a quick snack, the restaurant was a lot bigger than the Leeds venue. It was between 12-4pm so we were able to get 2 dishes for £7 they tasted delicious and were quite filling, my favourite dish was the okra fries. They have a great variety of vegan options which is great! 

 http://www.bundobust.com/manchester/

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Material World Panel Debate at Selfridges

Whilst we were walking around the venue we spotted signs on the rails of designers for the Material World campaign. I was slightly disappointed there wasn't a whole concession/area specifically for material World. The talk was on the menswear floor next to the community clothing concession. We were welcomed to the event with a champagne reception also elderflower and raspberry drink for the non drinkers. It was one of the most intriguing and thought provoking events I have attended.

Talking about all things sustainable and what the panellist do to retain a sustainable business. They offered advice on what emerging designers could do to be sustainable.

 Read more about Selfridges sustainability policy here: 

 http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/features/info/sustainability

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The True Cost Documentary

 
Image from  https://truecostmovie.com/          ‘ This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?    Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes ’   Extract from  https://truecostmovie.com/  

Image from https://truecostmovie.com/

       ‘This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes’ 

Extract from https://truecostmovie.com/ 

Watching this film changed everything, from my personal life to my business. It was shocking to watch! It made me realise how much fashion plays a huge part in ruining the Earth, as well as the lives of people involved within the fashion industry. From people that live near factories, that leak out chemicals into the water supply, slave labour from children, to people working every hour of the day for little to no money, fashion has ruined people lives. Consumers should to be aware of this!

In the documentary it revisits the horror that was the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, bringing fashion factory workers health and safety to the forefront of the news around the world.  

People buy into fast fashion so easily without considering the impact. Designers & brands used to only produce 2 collections a year, now it’s 52, a collection out each week of the year, it just shows how bad fast fashion has got.

Ask yourself a few questions when you next go shopping: How can this t-shirt only cost £5?  How was the fabric grown and produced? Where was the the garment produced? Who made the garment? Are they getting paid fairly? What is the carbon footprint of this item? The most important question is Can I make a difference?

After watching the documentary it made me realise that I can make a difference, being a fashion designer. I can make changes for the better. Showing consumers that you can have luxury contemporary fashion that is also ethically made and sustainably produced. I am hoping other businesses  realise that they can make a change for the better.

 

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Is it difficult to become a fully sustainable business? Yes it is but it was the best thing we ever did. Everything is a learning curve, we are always trying new ideas and improving to make things better.

We were already using end of roll fabrics, these fabrics would otherwise end up as landfill waste, and we were producing garments in house, but we knew we could do more.

 Zero waste is also a move we wanted to do for a while, by using fabric in the most economical way. Also rather then only recycling the fabric waste, we are now recycling everything from patten paper, card, and branding materials. If we are outsourcing a product we make sure the business has the same ethics as us, and rather them then discarding the waste, we ask them to send it to us for us to reuses or recycle, we do this so we are fully knowledgeable of where the waste ends up. 

We are aiming to be be a transparent business. What we mean by that is if a customer asks where were their garments produced & where the fabric was made, we want to be able to answer that question confidently. Currently all our organic fabrics are all fully traceable. We at ZARAMIA AVA have also since gone vegan to have the least carbon footprint as we can. Going vegan as a business makes you question everything from the fabrics to the dyes, prints and packaging.

Read our Ethos here www.ZaraMiaAva.com/Ethos 

Links: 

A film by Andrew Morgan

https://truecostmovie.com/ 

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