Posts in Exhibition
Private View at Central St Martins University
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So this happened last Thursday, a Private View which was super exciting. But more exciting because my work was selected to be a part of the #CSMwindows exhibition showcasing a variety of creative outlets by independent artists/designers. I did a digital print textiles short course about 5 years ago, which was the spring board for my business and concepts around the visibility of women of colour in fashion.

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I had been feeling rather flat about how the business was progressing. So this came at the right time, a little booster in the right direction especially as there had been over 800 applicants, so I did feel honoured to have been selected.

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So, reflecting and contemplating as ever, I have decided, post summer holiday, that I will commit to spending X amount on hiring someone who can help me with both a digital marketing and social media strategy. Otherwise nothing is going to change.

Having a conversation with a good friend the other evening, who is also a creative and incredibly entrepreneurial, allowed to to put the many thoughts in my head into perspective.

Ultimately I need to manage my own expectations and reestablish my own aims and objectives. Whilst allowing my creative outlet to flow is essential, I need to start building a team around me to help get better brand recognition. What is the point of this otherwise? I do love being creative but there is purpose behind this, which is to spread a message.

Anyway a huge thank you to CSM for choosing me again and giving me a confidence booster; I am looking forward to what the future holds.

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. 

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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...

ZOTW Exhibition
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Last Thursday was the private view for the Zines of the World (ZOTW) exhibition at The Truman Brewery. The curation enabled the viewer to be completely emersed in the work due to the way it was hung. You weaved yourself amongst the hanging Zines and when one caught your eye you could enjoy its content. 

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There were so many it would be impossible to look at every one of them. But the variety was great both in size and content. Some of the Zines were purely image based whilst others had written content like mine. 

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It is always interesting to see other people’s creative take on the zine format, some were A5, some were newspapers, others were like a mini book. But the beauty is there are no rules or boundaries.

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The content of my zine was to mimic an actual magazine. The title Front Cover, was named so as I believe all women of all ethnicities, sizes, gender identifying etc should grace the covers of all magazines not just the typical model with a certain beauty aesthetic.

Women are tired of being dictated too and told time and time again you should be like this and that. But as time has shown women cannot win no matter what they do... you’re too thin, eat more of this, exercise like that, be more natural looking, wear this makeup, get that plumped - the endless cycle of being bullied mentally about how you do or do not fit into the expected norm, whatever the flavour of the month or year is, is such a snore fest. Here’s a thought, how about celebrating women for what they are, individual beauties in their own right. But that would not fit the capitalist ideal now would it? 

But on the other hand, there is a shift happening.  People, particularly women are becoming tired of that old rhetoric and are creating their own magazines or Zines to share a platform for women to gather either in person or on media forums to share how they feel and become part of a collective. That is what movements are all about, tipping the balance, questioning the perceived norm and challenging it. 

So in a way, my little zine is the start of that. Questioning the representation of women of colour in the fashion world - where are they? Why aren’t there more? Which obviously coincides with my brand and the aesthetic of having women of colour out there more visually. Now to think about what next??? 

I think I want to focus more on Indian (South Asian) women as there is a distinct lack of them in the general media world. And how do you start to raise awareness? By drawing attention to it. So thinking cap on for how to make his happen and in what way.....   

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So back to the Zines from the exhibition, I am not even sure what is going to happen to them after the show, I probably should find out ha ha! Either way it was another great experience to be a part of the exhibition and for my work to have another platform. It has made me think about making another one especially as I have the professional photographs now. But really I need to focus on the lookbook, which in turn could be extended to become a new magazine, let’s see as there are only so many hours in the day.  

So there is a break in my calendar. No more events pencilled in but it has given me the thirst for being part of a collective group. Reaching out more. I am already looking out for more opportunities and have a few I need to contact. It is fun I have to say being part of various events or exhibitions. Let’s hope there will be many more.