Posts in Independent designer
T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion
Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey.  T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion Exhibition

Fashion and Textiles Museum, Bermondsey.  T-shirt - Cult Culture Subversion Exhibition

The cult status of the T-shirt has made its impression on our cultural psychic since the 1950’s although it has been in existence for a lot longer - AD 500, who knew? 

Many an artist and designer have used the T-shirt to be subversive, to communicate a message, to act as a political tool and or raise awareness of a specific topic.  

Viewing the T-shirts especially those by Vivienne Westwood was a great reminder of both my inspiration and why I created my brand in the first place. 

IMG_2879.JPG

It reminded me of the core concepts I wanted to create with the brand:

- inspire a conversation

- act as a performative medium within art

- art as fashion

- political activism  

- raise awareness regarding inclusion, equality and ethnic representation

 

 

T-shirts being made of the material they are serve as the perfect surface in which to be creative and showcase a message both visually and in written form.  Which was the exact reason for them being my choice of garment.  They are flexible, they can be worn casually or dressed up and they can be adorned in so many ways, the outcomes are endless.  It is an exciting medium.

 

Vivienne Westwood & Malcom McClaren 

Vivienne Westwood & Malcom McClaren 

Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren knew all too well how powerful the T-shirt could be as a political tool especially during the 1980’s at the height of Thatcherism and the mobilisation of the Punk movement. It was great seeing some of them because it reminded me of the artistic outlet that could be, the creative potential that I had only just touched upon. It was very inspiring.

Vivienne Westwood 

Vivienne Westwood 

Vivienne Westwood as a designer in her right and with her beau still use T-shirts as a platform to raise awareness of various issues around the world, notably racism in the case of the 'I am not a terrorist please don's shoot me' in response to racial profiling of Muslims and the rise in hate crime. Along with climate change, which is huge on their agenda at the moment and has been for some time. I love the fact that she is still using them as a tool in which to raise awareness. People wearing them inadvertently showcase their support either silently or by being the conversation starter literally.  This is what I would love to achieve.

 

 

 

Creating that platform is key as is getting the visibility, which is the tough part at the moment. Getting in contact with the right people is stepping stone number one, stepping stone number two is getting them to take notice...

Reflective Narratives
FullSizeRender.jpg

The business of fashion is very complex.

Getting the brand ethos right, the garments and how you align yourself in the grand scheme of things ie the fashion world is a lot harder than I had anticipated. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Reflecting on the brand and making changes today has led to a larger overall idea. One final push with the current collection due to the spring summer season being upon us. 

Hopefully this will in turn generate funds for a new collection. One that is more refined.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Some changes have been made to the name of a couple of t-shirts to make the narrative stronger. Each garment has a story behind it, which I hope to convey in the next couple of months.  

So back to the research drawing board, to the funding options and contacting micro-influencers.  

And in terms of the larger reflective concepts behind what I am trying to achieve is the 'ripple effect', a shift into peoples social conscience, to talk and debate about diversity and representation, why visibility matters and why everybody should champion it.

Utilising Opportunities

I have come to realise that, in this life, if you do not ask you do not get. Which is an area of my character I am challenging. Normally I am outgoing but very reserved when it comes to certain situations as I do not want to appear cheeky or too forthright. However, I am an entrepreneur and I have to be both smart and savvy on a number of levels. Especially when it comes to working with others and being savvy when it comes to monetary factors (this is a weakness of mine).

So part of moving forward and growing with this change in my mindset I have become somewhat of a skills seeker and an indirect negotiator.

Scenario one, which I have previously mentioned in another post, was where I met the photographer. Lovely guy who I am communicating with at the moment regarding my ideas of the shoot overall, aesthetics and locations. This was such a random opportunity to meet someone with the qualifications and skills I need. So rather than just observe the photoshoot he was the photographer for, I seized the moment (at the end of course) and enquiried to see if he would be interested in working together etcetera. It was so random but I feel the universe was working with me on this one. 

Second opportunity was meeting a makeup artist. I went into a well know branded store to enquire about foundation and whilst having a colour match done it transpired that she was also a freelance makeup artist too. So again, seizing the opportunity I told her about the photoshoot and lookbook and we exchanged numbers to discuss things further. Again another moment where I took the courage to enquire about freelancing and as a result I have her support for the shoot coupled with a lower price in exchange for her using some of the images for her own business. A win win situation.

It is so interesting that a little shift in my attitude and making enquiries has helped significantly and perhaps is a true sign of showing some entrepreneurship. So onwards and upwards on the asking front.

So I am feeling good about the progress on a practical level. Which has a knock on effect with everything else especially concerning the models. My friends have been so supportive in being my models for the day, commiting their time for free and helping me achieve my vision. So far the list is seven with the majority confirming. Exciting times.

Now it is about planning the looks for each model. Given their different ethnicities, we are celebrating women of colour after all, I have to consider their own aesthetic coupled with the tshirt and in turn the overall look I want to create. This I am excited about as it is the creative side of my brain being able to have fun but plan effectively to achieve the desired look. I need to remain focused on my vision which coincides with the visual research I have done recently moodboard wise. 

On my Instagram I have been playing about with looks either on myself or flat shots showcasing the entire look. Again I have included a couple in recent posts but here are a couple that I have not shown yet.  

One dress, two looks

FullSizeRender.jpg

Casual  

FullSizeRender.jpg

More night time

So the next priorities are getting the looks sorted and deciding the order of the shoot so it works logistically and especially location wise. I love the area I live in, it is so diverse and I want to showcase that as the backdrop to my narrative. I just need to check how much my models do :)