Friday, November 21, 2008

The Housing Crisis

I can definitely see the effects of the housing crisis every day. The decline of home sales has financially affected many families. Because of this financial crisis many people haven’t been spending much money on non essential items such as accessories and home fashions.
It’s very obvious to see that accessory specialty stores and department stores are struggling. It seems as though many of these stores are having many sales to encourage people to shop more. It seems as though Macy’s is advertising a “special” sale every week.

Although the accessory industry has been struggling, I think the home fashion industry has suffered the most. Because of the housing crisis, many people haven’t been purchasing homes. When one purchases a home they usually decorate it. The lack of buying homes has caused people to decline on spending on home fashions.

People are just not spending as much money on things as they have in the past. The housing crisis is very financially draining, and is damaging our economy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Greatest Guest Speaker

I thoroughly enjoyed our guest speaker today! I learned a lot of things about the industry that I was unaware of. I also got a bunch of tips on how to transfer from college life into the “real world.”

I was completely unaware of the magnitude of the quilt industry. When I say quilt industry, I don’t mean just quilts, like blankets, I mean quilt patterns. I loved how our speaker took the quilt patterns and made so many different things with it. I loved that cute tote she made, and the apron. I would have never thought that you could make so many things from something that is used to make blankets. I also was surprised that so many famous designers designed for the company she works with, I was very impressed.

I really appreciated how our guest speaker talked about the transition from college into the real world. I liked how she explained that things we learn while in college do actually help in the real world. I also learned that getting an internship in the field that you want to work in is a very crucial thing. Having an internship allows one to gain work experience, but also se how we like that field of work.

Overall, today’s guest speaker was by far my favorite. I love how she related to the class, and how she acted so real. I learned some very important things from her, that I will take into consideration as I transition into the working fashion industry.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweatshop Prevention and Abolishment

When one thinks of sweatshops they normally think of places such as China, India, and Hati. While there are many sweatshops in those countries, people are unaware that there are some here in America. In New York the Department of Labor has found 80 sweatshops, and in California 90. I don’t know about you, but I was completely shocked when I heard this. America is suppose to be free, yet regulated by laws. Most Americans couldn’t imagine a thing like this going on in their own country.

Well known companies such as K-Mart, Walt Disney, and Levi’s have all purchased items that have been produced in sweatshops. The Department of Labor estimates that over half of the sewing factories in the United States are paying below the minimum wage. It is also estimated that in the United States the average wage in a sweat shop is $0.60 per hour. This is compared to Hati who’s average wage in a sweatshop is $0.30 per hour, we are not that far behind. We as American citizens need to take a stance against sweatshops here in the United States. We also need to take a stance against purchasing items that have been produced in sweatshops in other countries.

Some U.S. companies have decided to join this stance in order to help stop sweatshop production in other countries. Levi’s will not do business with factories that violate employees’ human rights. The Gap has signed an agreement to monitor factory conditions in El Salvador. One may ask why people from other countries would work under these horrible conditions. Well first off, these individuals need to support their families, but also some sweatshops offer workers some advantages. For example, In Malaysia women can work in the Motorola factory for $300.00 a month verses the rice field which is $100.00 a month. While that is still very low, it’s triple what these women would be making in the rice field.

In conclusion, I think we should take more precautions in closing sweat shops here in the United States, but also stop buying products from sweatshops in other countries.

Some information and picture from

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Milan Fashion Week, Art or Usiability?

Milan fashion week is known for its artistic views and lack of actual usability. However, in the spring 2009 collection many designers took an alternate route, and made their clothes more wearable than usual. Although, these collections were more wearable than usual, they still had a very artistic element to them.

I loved the Versace collection, Donatella decided to go toward a young and sweet direction. She played with heart shapes, and structure. The collection was much more wearable then her fall 2008. Although it was more wearable, she did not lack craftsmanship. People go to Milan to see high fashion, to see pieces of art and the Versace collection did not disappoint them. Donatella obviously put a lot of thought into her collection. Her clothes illuminated expertise and were filled with soul.

Some popular trends at the Milan shows were transparency and pale color schemes. Although a transparent dress may seem very un wearable on the runway, if paired with some practical pieces it too can become practical. Karl Lagerfeld seemed to understand this balance between art and usability with the Fendi Spring 2009 collection. Lagerfeld displayed his artistic ability by creating a very modern collection. Sarah Mower from praised Lagerfeld “he cleverly dispensed broderie anglaise, tablecloth lace, and laser cutouts as he went along.” I thought that many of the pieces from Fendi seemed very imaginative but paired with the right pieces could become extremely wearable.

I think that fashion should be a perfect balance between art and usability. I thought that the Milan spring 2009 collection displayed a great balance between the two. Designers such as Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Dell'Aqua, and Giorgio Armani all understood and displayed this balance. I thought that Milan had just as much usability as Paris. Milan should now be known for what fashion should really be.
Picture Top Center: Versace RTW Spring 2009

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ethnic Influences on Apparel Designs

Designers are inspired by almost anything. They are inspired by an old movie, a period in time, or an architectural building. Many designers get their inspiration from other cultures. One may not notice, but most of the clothes we wear today are a mixture of inspirations and interpretations from cultures all over the world.

Nicole Miller’s spring 2009 collection was inspired by her trip to Haiti. While in Haiti she became enchanted with voo-doo. She used Haitian inspired prints and patterns on billowing blouses and body hugging gowns. She even used a pattern featuring tiny voo-doo dolls! She also took her inspiration a step further by accessorizing with Haitian style panama hats. Nicole Miller’s spring 2009 collection was clearly a reflection of Haitian culture.

Missoni’s spring 2009 collection also displayed pieces that were ethnically influenced. Missoni’s collection was a mixture of Japanese and Italian inspired pieces. Some pieces had kimono style sleeves and obi belts. However, most of the surface patterns were derived from Italian art. Most of her collection was in neutral shades of beige, bronze, and muted brown. This is also a clear example that clothing we wear today is inspired from many diverse cultures.

When someone says “ethnic influences” one may automatically think of a foreign place. However, there are many different ethnic influences here in the United States. An ethnic influence can just be the influence from someone with a different lifestyle. For example in Alexander Wang’s spring 2009 collection his inspiration was clearly a rocker lifestyle. In his collection he showcased leather jackets, textured tights, and studded booties.

Culture is a very important aspect in our lives. It allows us to learn about different people, their beliefs, and their traditions. Culture is especially important in the fashion world. It clearly is inspiration to many designers.
Works Cited
Picture Top Right: Nicole Miller Spring 2009
Basic info on designers

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Main Trends of New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week was glamorous and trendsetting, as always. One of the main trends this year was celebrating anniversaries! Calvin Klein has been in business 40 years, Betsey Johnson for 30, DKNY 20, and Tuleh 10!

Beside anniversaries one of the trends at New York fashion week was jersey dresses. Donna Karen and BCBG Max Azria both featured dresses made of jersey that freely draped around the body. Donna Karen’s version was a bit more sexy and appropriate for night, while BCBG Max Azria’s was a more delicate. Slouchy pants were also a trend at fashion week. Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen, and Nichole Miller all showcased loose fitting, relaxed pants. So this spring you can kiss your skinny jeans goodbye because a 90’s trend has finally arrived, scary.

Moving on to a more pleasing subject, magenta will be the new “it” color for spring 2009! This is a relief because it compliments various skin tones beautifully. Matthew Williamson and Adam Lippes collections featured magenta. I loved Matthew Williamson’s magenta patent leather jacket and matching mini skirt! Earth tones were also a very popular color theme. Although they are a lot more subtle then magenta, they are also very wearable. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Donna Karen, and Zac Posen featured gold, khaki, and bronze in their collections.

Rocker chic was all over the runways at New York Fashion Week. Alexander Wang showcased leather jackets, textured tights, and studded booties. Diesel Black Gold also followed the rocker theme by featuring leather biker vests. My favorite piece from Diesel Black Gold was a plaid trench coat, which they paired with grey ankle boots and a black top hat! To the other end of the spectrum, embellished bohemian was also a very popular trend. Diane Von Furstenberg was very hippy-esque by having her models wear silk flowers and braided leather in their hair. Milly was also very bohemian with frocks that had a “hippy” theme to them. Miss Sixty displayed the trend by accessorizing with crochet hats.

Luckily, most of these trends are actually very wearable. Of course there were many others out there, I just chose a few.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Organic Clothing

It seems as though environmentally friendly clothing is becoming more popular every day. Many companies, including textile producers, are now making their products with the environment in mind. Some companies are making these changes in producing products by using organic material, decreasing the use of water in production, and using low-impact dyes. The demand for environmentally responsible textiles is also increasing; this has caused textile manufacturers to also make changes in their production process.
After reading the third chapter in our text book I learned a great deal about organic clothes and the production of them. I learned that there are many councils, associations, and organizations that have played a vital role in the research and development of clothes that are non-harmful to the environment. There are organizations that list companies that manufacture organic and environmentally friendly yarns. The National Council of Textile Organizations and The Sustainable Style Foundation are a few of these accommodating and informative groups.
I think that organic clothing is a great idea! The environment is being contaminated every day; I think that any way to prevent this is helpful. I am also very impressed with the way textile producers and apparel manufacturers have found alternate ways to produce their products while keeping the environment in mind.
Many people have the misconception that organic clothing is ugly, but actually a lot of stylish clothing lines are deciding to go green. Halogen, one of my favorite brands has started to make organic tee-shirts, I actually own a few. Nike, American Apparel, JC Penny, H&M, and Timberland have also incorporated environmentally conscious clothing into their products. All companies should consider becoming environmentally friendly; I would pay more money for a piece of clothing if I knew the production of it wasn’t harmful to the environment. Overall, organic clothing is a great idea! Saving the environment and looking chic doing it sounds good to me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Favorite Designer

In fashion there are many different styles, and a persistent variance between each one. There are designers who focus more on architectural design, while others focus on a stronger narrative element. This is the difference between clothes that just are things you wear and clothes that remind one of life.
Roberto Cavalli’s clothing reminds me of life, of the world. He is a very imaginative designer, and each piece of his clothing tells its own story. His fall 2008 ready to wear collection was beautiful, flowing gowns with details of flowers give fall a new light. His collection had a bohemian, gypsy esque theme with lots of flowing wrap dresses. Cavalli paired florals with furs, which may seem like an unlikely pair, but complimented each other well. “I love to show details of flowers, of the natural world, to reveal God as a creative designer.” Says Cavalli. I think that is what distinguishes Roberto from other designers; he seems to be inspired by almost anything.
Cavalli’s fall 2008 collection was not only imaginative, but also ingenious. I actually admire him greatly because he pushes techniques to the limit, and isn’t afraid to experiment with strange colors and textures. Cavalli is also very inventive; he patented a revolutionary printing procedure on leather, and started creating his now-famous patchworks of different materials. His clothes also appear to compliment many body types, which is a very important quality in a designer and their apparel line.
Roberto Cavalli seems to combine beauty and practicality to make his wonderful designs. He thinks about all aspects of clothing, from versatility to the cut of each piece. Cavalli understands that clothes are very important to people, how they feel, look, and most importantly how they fit. He understands that clothes are just not things you throw on your back, that they are things you live and express your life in. Roberto Cavalli’s clothing is artistic, inspiring, practical, original, and architectural that is why he’s my favorite designer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

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