Monday, 31 August 2015

The hidden meanings of fashion

source: Wikimedia
Clothes can say us about a society more than philosophers, writers and scientists. Clothes mirror the identity of its wearer but also of the society where the individual lives. Clothes are influenced by the economic situation, the state of welfare, by the leading ideology and the aesthetics. The clothes is maximally adjusted to the wearer´s way of life, which is why the clothes mirror the state of the society.

Oblečení dokáže o lidské společnosti říci mnohem více než filosofové, spisovatelé a vědci. Oděv zrcadlí identitu jedince, který jej nosí, avšak i společnosti, ve které žije. Oděv je ovlivněn stávající ekonomickou situací, stavem sociálních záležitostí, převládající ideologií i estetikou. Oděv je zcela přizpůsoben životu, který jedinec v dané společnosti vede, a proto i zcela věrně zrcadlí její stav.
Although we don´t usually think about it, clothes consists of symbols and signs. We put on something in the morning more or less without thinking about it but what could we “scream” at others through our clothes? It is important to acknowledge that the meanings of clothes develop with the development of society. Blue jeans had totally different hidden meaning 150 years back that does not hold truth anymore. They found a totally different meaning and a new place in global society. The sign that the clothes carries with themselves could have more meanings, which depends on culture (I am speaking about collective memory here) and on individuals (subjective memory). The sign represents another material things or phenomena. The more straightforward the sigh the more understandable it is for others and it would not be mistaken with something else (eg. pictograms). Symbols exceed the material being of the object (eg. wedding ring).
Oděv sestává ze symbolů a znaků, i když si to mnohdy neuvědomujeme. V ranním spěchu na sebe něco hodíme, někdy o tom více či méně uvažujeme, ale co svým oděvem můžeme „křičet“ na ostatní? Především je nutné si uvědomit, že významy oděvů se posunují s vývojem společnosti. To, co značily modré džíny před sto padesáti lety, již dávno neplatí. Našly si zcela nový význam a místo v celosvětové společnosti. Znak, který nese oděv, může mít i více významů, které se vážou na danou kulturu (kolektivní paměť), ale i na jedince (subjektivní paměť). Znak prezentuje jiné předměty či jevy. Čím jednoznačnějším znak je, tím je pro lidi srozumitelnějším a nemůže dojít k mýlce (např. piktogramy). Symbol přesahuje materiální existenci předmětu, ke kterému se váže (např. snubní prsten).

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Secondhand treasures

ootd, outfit, quaintrelle, georgiana, quaint, blogger, fashion, personal style, sport, 1950s, red, checkered, secondhand, vintage, navy, vagabond, hipster, c&a, football, berlin
| navy T-shirt: vintage | checkered skirt: secondhand (C&A) | black sneakers on platform: Vagabond |
| earrings: selfmade |

If I remember correctly you have not seen any of these garments before although I like to mix my wardrobe and I like all my clothes to appear on my blog more than once. This T-shirt has been in my wardrobe for a long time... it has also been in my mother´s wardrobe for some time too. See, this is my favourite way of "shopping"- just revisiting all the garments that are stashed around at home. I acquired the skirt two days ago when visiting a secondhand shop after a long time. I have never found there anything interesting but when I found myself nearby, I went in. And walked out with this skirt, two trousers, a scarf  and a flier with an invitation for a secondhand shopping event (where I bought an amazing top with bead embroidery, a dress with Art Nouveau inspired embroidery, a lace vest and a fake fur collar for one of my future projects - I will put photo of these treasures soon on my Instagram - right now I am washing it). And it all cost a ridiculous amount of money, cca 1 and half euro a piece. I can see now why some people make a business out of it. You are not always lucky but can find really nice stuff for a low price, when it does not fit you or into your wardrobe you can resell it. I see a business plan emerging right now :D (but what should I do with my hoarding problem?)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

My thoughts on elder models in fashion and beauty campaigns

The trend of using elder models for advertisements started one or two years ago. Older models are used by fashion designers and companies selling beauty products, which is the case of this MAC ad featuring Iris Apfel who was born in 1921. The sudden change of the way companies are presenting their products could have been caused by the fact that the pictures of young women who are photoshopped to the point of flawlessness became boring and are not selling products that well anymore.
Casting an elder woman is in my opinion a breath of fresh air. Although I do acknowledge that some people might think that these ads were created just for the shock value (and they probably were), because it made people to talk and analyse the pictures, which meant the ads got spread even more, not only on the pages of women´s magazines. Maybe I was fooled by the well staged campaigns, but when looking at the pictures where elder models are used (for example Joan Didion for Céline, three elder ladies for Dolce & Gabbana). I can feel that there is some story and wisdom these women could pass to me. I perceive the young perfect models that are usually used as something artificial and maybe even anonymous, as some imagination of perfection that is not real. I do not have a connection to them and I do not feel the warmth and kindness emanating from them. On the other hand I do have these feelings when looking at the ads with elder models. I suspect that this kind of ad is touching for me because it somehow recalls my memories of grandparents.
I also think that companies are sending us a message by using elder models. It is a message of the tradition and stability of their brand, because elder people usually have their "own" brands they are using. They have enough experience to choose what is best for them and have enough credibility to pass this experience, this tip, to us, the younger generation, via advertisement.

What do you think about using elder models in fashion and beauty campaigns?

PS: I cannot wait to see this documentary:

Friday, 7 August 2015

Crimes of the hot

quintrelle, georgiana, quaint, retro, polka dots, vintage, secondhand, blue, maritime, navy
 | dress: secondhand | handbag: vintage | flats: Pimkie |
... is the title of the 8th episode in the 4th season of my favourite US series Futurama. This title also (unfortunately) perfectly sums up the weather that is almost torturing us lately in the Czech Rep., really, temperatures higher than 36 C dgr. are not that common here and they usually do not last that long. What is happening with out Mother Earth, -20 C dgr. in NYC in the winter is also something unprecedented. I am really lazy during these high temperatures, yes, I can finally appreciate the siestas in Spain and southern France that are usually making me (tourist) angry, because hey! I want to buy a souvenir or some pastry! I am also unable to wear layered clothes and without it my outfits seem to be boring. Ok I can take pictures of all my summer dresses and I will soon run out of them. You could argue that I could spice it up a little with some accessories, but no, I cannot, because the sweat would soon cause corosion to all my pieces form metal. So I don´t post that often right now, sorry.
Now it´s time for the commentary on my look: the dress is secondhand, it used to be my cousin´s and I love it. A little bolero from the same fabric belongs to this dress but I almost never wear it. What I appreciate about this dress is the solid navy polka dots fabric, it really changes my posture when I zip it up. But it also makes my stomach more visible when I over-eat myself, oops. The yellow handbag is also secondhand from another member of my family, it looks almost vintage but I did not find any label to search more info about the piece. The blue pair of flats is from Pimkie that I bought years ago. OK, I am almost ashamed that I still wear them, I should toss them soon, but I recently had to toss 3 pairs of shoes so I have a little shortage now and no, I don´t want to wear heels in this crazy weather.
And what about you? What do you wear in really hot weather?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Could the slow fashion trend break the vicious circle of consumerism?

Má trend slow fashion šanci vyvést nás z bludného kruhu konzumerismu?

Today´s fashion industry runs on a fast fashion principle. Garments are designed by Westerners and mass produced in the Third world and then distributed to the whole world but especially back in Westerns countries. The low quality of this clothes and its trendiness are the reason why this clothes ends up in a bin soon.

Současný módní průmysl funguje na principu fast fashion. Oděvy jsou navrhovány na Západě a masově vyráběny v zemích třetího světa, odkud jsou distribuované do celého světa, ale zejména zpátky na Západ. Nízká kvalita tohoto oblečení a jeho trendový design, který se často obměňuje, však způsobují, že takové oblečení rychle putuje do koše.

slow fashion, sew, diy, tutorial, mending, fast fashion, consumerism, secondhand, quaintrelle, georgiana, quaint
Kate Fletcher from Centre for Sustainable Fashion came up in 2007 with an idea to resolve the problem of existence of fast fashion. She was inspired by the trend of slow food that spread from Italy to the rest of the world in 1980s and that is a big thing in these days too. The slow food initiative was and still is a protest against fast food chains that spread around the world and offer low quality food. The popularity of bio food and shopping ingredients from local farmers is spreading quickly in Western countries and became an attribute of the middle class. Fletcher hopes people would finally realize the harmfulness of fast fashion that is also nicknamed “McFashion”.

Kate Fletcher z Centra pro udržitelnou módu v roce 2007 napadlo, že problém fast fashion, by bylo možné vyřešit po vzoru trendu slow food, které se do světa rozšířilo z Itálie 80. let 20. století a v současnosti již představuje rozšířený trend. Hnutí slow food bylo a je protestem vůči řetězcům s rychlým občerstvením, které se rychle rozšířily ve světě a nenabízely kvalitní stravu. Obliba bio jídla a surovin nakoupených od lokálních zemědělců se v současnosti rychle šíří v západních zemích a stává se příznačnou pro střední třídu. Fletcher doufá, že lidé si uvědomí i škodlivost fast fashion, které je někdy analogicky přezdíváno „McFashion“.