week two: memories

Cities are where we can be fashionable. Outside a city what we wear is irrelevant.

This i can both agree and disagree, because it depends.

Sure a farmer out west is not interested in your Balenciaga hand bag and your Hermes boots, but perhaps he’ll recognise your new Drizabone jacket or R M Williams boots. No, this does not apply to all farmers, but these brands are traditionally of the working farmer.

These are their brands and their fashion which serve a purpose, so well in fact that the companies have been able to spread their name out further to design other items of clothing still practical but under their name with a larger price tag than that of more economical brands found in department stores like Big W and K Mart. But with a name comes a quality, which these brands are known for. Just like Louis Vuitton and Chanel so these brands can afford to have the bigger price tag, if the consumer can afford it too.

And so, if the brand, relates to quality, and the quality leads to higher price tag, and the brand is known for it’s luxury, quality etc when the individual wears it they will feel this sense of quality and hope that others around them will think they are a quality person with style and wealth.

Some how this is only related to the cities, where there are more people with more money and therefore more nigh class fashion.

The lecture was interesting as Peter McNeil explained the patterns made int he city streets, and how these have changed, showing images of Sydney where people ruled the road and trams would to some extent be pushing through the crowds of dressed up individuals.

GEORGE STREET AT THE GPO

It was all about appearance, looking sharps, showing your wealth and this was taken to the streets everyday. Isn’t this memory seen still today? Depending on your location yes. Individuals still have their own styles and whether it be frowned upon or looked up to by other indivuduals isn’t so important, but location is relevant, as the percentage of styles changes. Simply going from suburbia where the fashion of some groups is sports brands, tracksuits and runners, to inner city where black and grey suits rule the office filled streets. If you displace a individual in these locations, they will possibly stand out, perhaps make people think, ‘What’s their story, why are they here dressed like that?’.

Design and fashion is something that can be relevant to an individual, a society and location.

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week four : consumption

Fashion, Modernity and the City. The Spaces and Places of Consumption

This week’s lecture strongly related to the fashion industry, with mentions of fashion houses  and designers of the past and present. However within the various sectors of the design industry there are overlaps in concepts and ideas and I could relate few things over to product design.

“…fashion… is a bounded thing, fixed and experienced in space…”

“interface between body and environment…”

Christopher Breward, Fashioning London (2004:11)

This quote introduced at the beginning of the lecture, is clearly significant to design in general. There’s fashion of clothing, fabrics and what we wear on our bodies, then there is fashion in cars, food, furniture, lifestyles and more. The latter does not so much relate to the entire quote, in fact i would disagree with the said quote simply because i believe fashion does not need to be a bounded thing, fixed and experienced in space. It is not just the interface. It is also the experience. If there is a fashion for travel and adventure, this is a lifestyle and thus an experience not just a product of manufacture.

As mentioned by lecturer Vicki Karaminas, the concept of adventure and desire to travel to far away places was in fashion, brought introduced to consumers through window displays of the exotic. One type of fashion was leading to another; from product, in this case, clothing, to experience, the journey.

TOP:AU PRINTEMPS DEPARTMENT STORE: BOTTOM:SHOP FRONT DISPLAYS AN UNREAL OR EXOTIC REALM

On oldness, newness and presentness, Vicki Karaminas quotes fashion designer Christian Lacroix,

“We don’t invent anything.”

Perhaps we simply reinvent. But then what is modernity? Is modernity is reinventing something from the past? To create this newness are we simply reinventing in order to satisfy what consumers want? Ie the dazzling, sparkly energy from something new? Even if it is an old style it has been taken from a new and up coming or a current designer and reinvented to make it appealing to the market for newness. She asks the question of examples of taking old designs and making them new designs. I think of products like the current fashion for retro furniture and how some brand new furniture is designed with the same styling as those from the past. Vicki gives the example of fashion designer Karl Lagerfield taking ideas and elements from Chanel’s past collections and integrating or reinventing these articles into new collections.

Finally on shopping experiences. Here is another fashion in itself. How do people like to shop? Outdoors, shopping centres, markets, arcades or departments stores?

From personal experience it differs between cultures and countries. From the lecture I understood that there’s possibly a decline in the popularity of shopping centres and department stores due to the influx of mega chains stores like H&M and Zara, fashion stores often with multiple levels and about to land on Australian soil.

ZARA STORE IN SALAMANCA, SPAIN

Personally i don’t believe these stores can wipe out department stores and shopping centres any time soon. these stores offer various products to satisfy even the most desperate fashion victim but it is all of the one brand. With these stores supposedly allowing us to dress how we want to express out individuality, they are in fact not. With half the population of Sweden dressed in H&M it is hardly individualism. Again the shop window displays will be telling us what we should be wearing and that within that store you can be fashionable and desirable just like their models behind the glass.

I think some of us will have to stick to making clothes at home or raiding the op shops… to do a  little reinventing.

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Heritage- what does it mean to be heritage listed?

So Sydney water wants to protect their old filter station at Guildford, with fences. It’s heritage listed, many elements on the site are heritage listed, some are moveable items- old pipe parts. So if its heritage listed that means it’s old, and somewhat important, but why?

Taken from the handy website:

http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

Heritage consists of those places and objects that we as a community have inherited from the past and want to hand on to future generations.

Our heritage gives us a sense of living history and provides a physical link to the work and way of life of earlier generations. It enriches our lives and helps us to understand who we are today.

NSW’s heritage is diverse and includes buildings, objects, monuments, Aboriginal places, gardens, bridges, landscapes, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, relics, bridges, streets, industrial structures and conservation precincts.

So if we are to hand this Sydney Water site onto future generations, what do we think they will do with it? OR are WE NOW that future generation? What do we want to do with it?

And how does this site teach us what we are today? It reminds us of technology and innovation- why isn’t it in use anymore? Because they found a better way to do the job…? Do we need to be reminded in this format, of what Sydney water was doing back in the ol’days?

Is covering it up with a fence going to be useful? Sure it might keep the goods in and the people out, but what’s the point? When will they then open this time capsule for future generations to learn and understand who they are?

Viewing history through the fence- will it always be like this? Just looking through the wire?

Who are we going to please? The community? Sydney water? Our tutors? Us? Everyone. We have to please everyone, but how…?

In this moment I’m kinda confused and hence frustrated.

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Old Sites Made New-preserving history & making it useful

There are many existing sites which have been rather inspiring where designers & architects have turned old metal foundries, ship sheds, army barracks, prisons and many other things; into parklands, integrating history into the present.

Some examples below:

Wandering around Parque Fundidora, Monterrey
Chimney stacks in Parque Fundidora, Monterrey, Mexico
Green passageways at the ex BP site, Waverton
Signage reminding us of the land’s heritage
Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour
Cockatoo Island

Instead of covering up old sites, open them up, add some welcoming elements and make use of the land and interesting history. Don’t lock it up as a secret, because that will only entice the one’s who are looking for trouble. Locking something up and hiding it from view is not necessarily the best way to keep something safe, and away from vandalism. To me it’s like, having a huge red button that says DO NOT PRESS.

DO NOT PRESS!!!

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