unleash the power of inspiration...
unleash the power of inspiration...
Although I spend a lot of time thinking about fashion trends, a few unrelated events this month have had me delving deeper into the subject.
As many of you know I studied Fashion Knitwear design at De Montfort University. Along with the creative aspect of the course we studied several related topics, which included the history of fashion. It was a subject that had been fascinated with for a long time and the classes that I took at uni cemented it as a cornerstone of my approach to my design work...an underpinning as it were.
For those of you who have looked into the topic you will already know that as trends in clothing come along they take hold only if they resonate with the contemporary thinking. Fashion, rather than being merely whimsical, is a reflection of many different factors such as social, economic and political thinking. By looking at what people wore throughout an era we can tell a lot about how those people were feeling and what was upmost importance to them.
We often deem an era bound within a specific decade, but of course trends don't stick to a chronological timeframe. Grouping ideas and ideals for a given decade together is used just for generalization purposes. For example, if we think of the trends of the 1960's we may well think of the mini-skirt, Twiggy, Mondrian inspired patterning, the Mary Quant daisy and the use of materials like plastic in clothing. But in reality that look was just a short window around the mid point of the decade. The early 60's were less forward thinking, with fashions more similar to those worn in the post war era. Then by the end of the 60's trends were shifting towards psychedelic hippy looks. To get a good visualization of this think of how The Beatles dressed, and how their outfits changed between their early tailored looks, through the mod suits complete with Chelsea Boots and on into Sergeant Pepper.
Early in January I was interviewed by Felicia Lo for the Sweet Georgia podcast. The interview wasn't pre-planned and so you never know where the conversation might end up. I was a little surprised to find myself talking about fashion trends in quite some depth and pondering, on air, just how the current shift in political climate might impact what we choose to wear. You can hear the interview here.
The other event that got me really thinking about this topic is a lecture series that I am attending. One of my new year intentions was to go deeper into my knowledge of some subjects that I already understand fairly well. So when I came across the Curious Minds series looking at Art Deco I jumped at the opportunity. Art historian Natalie Ribkoff is the lecturer and her passion for the subject is totally infectious - I'm just loving learning more about this style. And one of the things that I have learned is that it isn't just one style.
The first lecture was all about the global influences, the news that people were following, the state of the world ...it all comes together to set the stage for the advent of a new movement, just as happens with any new trend.
That first week, the big revelation was, that the term "Art Deco" wasn't actually used to describe the style of the 1920's to early 1930's until 1968. That is when historian Bevis Hillier published the first major academic book on the style; "Art Deco of the 20s and 30s", borrowing it's title from the Paris exposition of 1925-"Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes". My mind was blown. I had always known this style as Art Deco and had assumed that the term was coined around the time of the fair in '25. Gaining this new piece of information has of course re-affirmed my commitment to my new years intention - we need to keep taking classes and reading to educate ourselves, to more fully understand things. Plus I love to learn new stuff.
As we live through a period of dramatically shifting politics, I'm not only following that but also trying to spot how these changes will be reflected in what we wear. Of course as we live through an era the overall trends tend to be much less well defined than when seen through the lens of historical perspective.
Thanks for reading...I hope that you enjoy the photos!
This month I wanted to remind myself that when humans put their minds to something they can build both walls and bridges, but most importantly create wonderful pieces of art that can last for many many generations.
Please check back next month / year to find out what my latest fascination is.
See you next month