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should be doing hmwk

“our appreciation of the apparent aesthetic simplicity of minimalism is accompanied today by an increasing interest in the development of new fabrics and combinations of materials. in this way fashion is catching up with industrial design, which has been dedicated to reducing the weight and volume of objects for many years. a well known and long standing collaboration between makiko minagawa and issey miyake aims to incorporate complex synthetic materials, like polyester and nylon, into high fashion. the german designer jil sander uses fabrics from the aeronautical industry in her designs, thus demonstrating her trust in technology as much as in aesthetics as a means of expression. philippe stark has created a garment for wolford using no more than 7 ounces of stretch polyamide, where merges the sweater with a tubular, seamless on-piece dress, and is at the forefront of clothing development.” (from a book i scanned @ the ucla arts library but not sure which one)

zara sweatshirt, marni skirt

~ ~ ~

i don’t know about u but i’ve been feeling really down on fashion and accessibility lately. obviously w/ stores like f21 quantity over quality dictates endless combinations of vaguely trendy clothes, but when i can’t find a long sleeve shirt without dropped seams or dolman sleeves something in the world is Wrong. i demand armpit attention and also the ability to move. why can’t i find clothes i like (that i can afford)?????

so i started a kinda materials investigation on f21.com and the clothes are made of mostly the following: cotton, acrylic, nylon, spandex, polyester, rayon, etc. i obviously don’t know anything about the actual cost or details of clothing production (esp in terms of outsourcing), but based on composition why would a 84% rayon %14 nylon alexander wang dress cost $250?

i’m tired of feeling like i’m not allowed or able to look “current” or “minimal” w/o spending a lot of money. do u know what i mean? prices these days seem arbitrary to quality or material, so i can only assume the $90 price attached to a sheer polyester dress with an string-tie waistline and noncommittal lining from zara is meant to reinforce a certain “boutique” identity.

not to mention ppl place so much value on their design ideas, and then clutch on to their one-liner success with an obsessive entitlement. silkscreening margiela onto the back of a jersey t-shirt is contributing to the dialogue of style online but it might be missing the point when it cultivates an expensive and “exclusive” storefront and image.

why can’t clothes acknowledge and use the particular affordances of cheap materials, clothes that approximate trends instead of reproducing them, clothes that don’t necessarily aim to be more than they are. transparency in seams that fall apart, that need to be rolled, elastic waistbands, clothes that are rough at the edges. “designed cheap clothes”? idk


im obviously not a fashion designer i just know what i want and i can’t find it


  1. Posted July 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad you have put these thoughts/feelings on the internet. I was essentially yelling “YEAH!” and shaking an imaginary fist in my mind whilst reading.

    I have been thinking about this for a long long time. It’s precisely why I prefer wearing vintage or wearing second hand from thrift stores and eBay.

    I’ll go in to fast fashion chains to peruse out of curiosity, but mostly it is a real hunt and I rarely find what I’m looking for. Like you, I know precisely want I want and know what turns me off immediately (a t-shirt that could be almost okay if not for an unnecessary visible neon seam from F21 for ex).

    People are definitely wanting simplicity and easiness in dress, it’s precisely why T by Wang does so well (not to mention like every company and designer trying to make “the perfect t-shirt”). But, yeah, the price is never ‘cheap’.

    Weekday is one of those brands that creates clothing like this but alas it is not available in US. Cos is coming to NYC soon and people will for sure go nuts, but its pricing is on the higher end. I feel you, I too want fast fashion prices for basic (but smart) clothing.

    Want to go in on a line together? ;-p

  2. leslie
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    yea i should eta: every designer item i own is b/c i have cultivated a cycle of buying/selling clothes from crossroads and buffalo exchange since high school. which is not possible for everyone b/c of size and geographical restrictions obviously.

    i like weekday but yea no shipping + pretty sure the exchange rate is as ridiculous as topshop. i went to cos and paris and it was def not affordable by any means.

    LOL yeah

  3. Posted September 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    hey leslie it’s charlie!!

    i completely agree with most of what you say in this post (actually i’m not sure what your final conclusion is) and it’s made me sometimes want to just start my own store even though i don’t have the means or motivation to do that. i feel like it really cannot be that difficult to sell nice, simple, basic, decently made garments for the same prices that you can get weird, overwrought shit for at places like f21 and h&m. i also just don’t believe that it’s impossibly difficult to design a t-shirt or skirt or shorts that will be generally flattering and minimalistic. if it’s possible to sell strange, cheap, ill-fitting garments to thousands of people it should also be possible to sell a white t-shirt with no graphics or embellishments and i don’t believe that’s something people don’t want.

    i’m also disappointed when i look at expensive designer clothes i couldn’t afford and find that the fabrics are the same fabrics i could find at H&M, because it makes me think that people are willing to accept a compromise in quality just for the sake of trends, even in circles where people can afford good quality. i wonder if that’s actually true.