Feb 25, 2011

Fast Fashion Trauma

Being that we're designers who create designs from recycled materials, it was bound to come up at some point - fast fashion.
It's a relatively new term that's being thrown around a lot lately, and it's something that we've been noticing. I don't mean in blogs, I mean in reality.

Let me start by explaining what "fast fashion" is. Once upon a time, designers/dressmakers made quality clothing with style, which was meant to last people for years. Fabric was durable and items were sturdy. "Fashion" was only for the wealthy who could afford to buy new clothes all the time.

As time passed, the gap between the fashions of the rich and the garb of the common-folk blended so much that today we can't see a difference except (maybe) for who gets it first and the name on the tag inside.

Image by David LaChapelle: Death by hamburger

That's the world we live in today. Except there is a difference - you just have to pay attention. Take a look at your favorite Forever21 sweater from 2 years ago. Does it look as beautiful as the day you bought it? In my experience - no. 

Now see if you can dig up that one piece you have in your wardrobe that you couldn't resist splurging on. How long have you owned it? How many times have you worn it? It still looks beautiful, doesn't it?

So what happens to that Forever21 sweater after a season or two when you're sick of it? Most people just toss it in the trash. Others put a little more thought in and donate it to a charity shop. There's just one problem with that:

IF IT'S GARBAGE TO YOU, IT'S GARBAGE TO EVERYONE.

We love tearing apart a good old pair of faded Levi's, but even the most talented re-working won't make a discolored rayon rag desirable. Not only that, but it's becoming harder and harder for us to find quality materials to use in our designs. It's not like we're being too fussy - we try to stick to basics like 100% cotton, wool, *sometimes* rayon and if we're really lucky - silk or linen.

Problem is, the items that end up in charity shops and vintage stores are 99% polyester, nylon, acrylic, Lycra etc. They might look shiny when they're on the hanger in the store, but wash it once and you're pretty much done. 

I'm not saying I have the perfect solution, but I do ask the question - How can we make a difference? In all honesty, I don't do much shopping for clothes (I make pretty much make whatever I need). As a consumer, you have all the power. 

I don't want to lecture and preach, so I'll leave you with the following challenge:

Next time you're in Gap or TopShop or wherever, make a point of paying attention to the fabric content & washing instructions of whatever you're about to purchase, and ask yourself one thing:
"How many times have I spent X amount of money on an item that I had to throw out after 6 months?"
Think about how much money you could save by spending a little more now on something that will last you years instead.

You'd be surprised how affordable quality/designer clothing really is.

<3
Andrea

Feb 17, 2011

Pencil me in

I hope you've been enjoying our topical posts lately, I know that we've been enjoying writing them! I had forgotten how much fun writing can be.

Anyway, besides emptying the contents of our brains into the blog, we've been working on some great new designs for summer as well. Check out these 2 new pencil skirts and just TRY to tell me you don't LOVE them!


See more on Etsy!

You know you want to check it out!

Don't the photos look hot?!
...okay that sounds kind of conceited. I really don't mean it that way, so I'll let you in on a little secret.


So some of you may know that Shai's a photographer as well. We've got this amazing camera (Hasselblad V-series with an Imacon digital back), but a while back it started getting these spots on the images. We looked it up and it turned out to be a kind of FUNGUS that grows on the infrared filter that sits on the sensor.

We've been dealing with it for a while, but it finally got to the point that we were considering shooting with our "point & shoot" camera instead for a clearer picture, so we did something very naughty and fixed it ourselves. (You're supposed to spend thousands of $$'s to send it to Denmark and get it fixed there). DIY Baby!


The results? Check out how awesome these new shots look! Anyway, if I haven't bored you to death with our camera-nonsense, then let us know what you think of the skirts. That's what it's all about anyway :P


<3
Andrea

Feb 16, 2011

Key Pendant

In this tutorial we show you how to easily make a key necklace with added bling factor. All you need is an old key, some crystals, chain and some clasps. And a really strong glue of course (we like e-6000) with some toothpicks.

First start with a key
 
Then grab your glue & toothpicks
  
Then get a pile of flat-back Swarovski crystals
 You can use all kinds of other crystals as well
 
Using a toothpick, apply the glue to the desired spots. Use a little at a time since it dries up fast!
 
One by one place the crystals on the glue, then add more glue, more crystals etc. Go nuts with it and have fun!
 
 
Cut a length of chain. Then get a clasp and circle connectors. Using pliers connect them to the ends of the chain you would like to use.
 
  Presto!

And voila! the key necklace is ready to be worn. The extra bling factor should get you lots of attention when you wear it around town!

Feb 10, 2011

That size 0 thing: Part 3

Alright, I know you're probably sick of hearing about this already, so we're wrapping up our size 0 debate with one final post - a female perspective.

I want to start by clearing something up. I'm not lashing out at someone who is naturally a size 0, like little asian girls or genetically superior freaks or women who are petite (like, 1.60m and a size 0). My problem is with the women who are naturally a size 8, and who look beautiful and healthy as a size 8, but they decide to starve themselves into skeletal oblivion.

WTF?!

On the other hand, I kind of get it. Some really powerful important person once decided that unhealthily skinny was now in fashion, and we haven't been able to drag ourselves out of it since. Way to go Calvin Klein. The worst part - a lot of times, I wish I were that skinny.

There's something about the female mind that is very resistant to logic. We're bombarded with images of "Beautiful, sexy women"who look like they'd be blown away by a gust of wind, and eventually, we start to believe it.

It doesn't matter how often our boyfriends/husbands tell us that we look beautiful at X weight - straight men have very little influence when it comes to fashion.

Thing is, most of us have some basic preservation instincts (or maybe just a lack of will-power?), and we eat. We don't always exercise, but we eat. Then we get frustrated that we can't attain this impossible ideal, and we start to hate our bodies and sometimes ourselves.

The poster-girl for skeleton-woman, Kate Moss, once said Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. How F***'d up is that?



The only thing that's harder to deal with is someone who WAS a size 0, but isn't any more. Like me. When I was a teenager, I could eat like a pig (ask some of my old friends, they'll tell you!) and I'd never gain an ounce. Unfortunately, everyone's metabolism slows down at some point, and mine did too, and now I'm somewhere between a 4 and a 6.
Me at 17

Now, by most standards, that's pretty slim. Yet I still have an irrational desire to get back to at least a size 2. But maybe it's not so irrational. All I know is that something's shifted in society's ideal version of what's beautiful, and something needs to change.

<3
Andrea

Feb 8, 2011

That size 0 thing: Part 2 - The male perspective

There is something captivating (or purely shocking?) in the appearance of a stick-like woman. The bones protruding from odd spots and in funny angles. In a twisted way this appearance  communicates a notion of a "strong woman", a woman who is more powerful than her own nature. The truth is quite the opposite.

There is something very non-feminine about this look. Androgynous gone wrong. At the end of the day an image like this may catch your eye, but most guys wouldn't want to cuddle up with a pile of bones..


Not that I long for the image of the ideal woman of the 50's or 60's. The voluptuous screen goddesses such as Jayne Mansfield,
Bridget Bardot, Marilyn Monroe  etc. They just look lazy to me. 

What would be really nice to bring back, would be the ideal female figure of the 80's. Women then couldn't just slim down to look right, they needed to combine a healthy balance of exercise and proper diet, for the toned and fit look. There were beautiful supermodels back then such as Cindy Crawford, Paulina Porizkova and Elle Maspherson.



xo
Shai

Feb 6, 2011

That size 0 thing: Part 1

This all started with a fashion ad I got in an email recently. This first thing I thought when I saw it was "WOW, that's awful!"... but I clicked on the ad.

I have a morbid fascination with this whole size 0 thing. I mean, it's not pretty. But it's somehow the norm now. Most people would look at this model thinking "Yep, she looks pretty average for a model." But compared to the average woman, she's so far from normal she might as well be another species.

I remember when I was a kid, models used to be these gorgeous superwomen. I know that Linda and Cindy and Claudia were all slim, but they were still women. Nowadays, models just end up looking like these weird malnutritioned aliens.
 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The questions is, who's this alleged "beholder"? Who decided that impossibly skinny is best? And it's not like skinny has always been the ideal shape. Look at any Renaissance painting and you'll see a hell of a lot more curves than anywhere nowadays. That was way sexy then.
I think it's got a lot to do with what's hardest to achieve. Western cultures have a huge problem with obesity, particularly the US. Where does the majority of international media come from? Duh. If you take into account that a major part of what makes fashion desirable is its exclusivity, then in a twisted kind of way, it makes sense that size 0 is in fashion now. Does that make it right? Of course not!
Approximately 5 million Americans suffer from anorexia and bulimia. About 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.

And what for? To look like some kind of abstraction of a female?  

Following this post we will post a part 2: The male perspective, written by Shai, and 

a part 3: The female perspective, written by Andrea. We want to hear your feedback. Are we overreacting or does this bother you too?

<3
Shai / Andrea