Influences and innovation
The fashion and textiles industries are frequently cited as a serious contributors to the effects of climate change through the production and consumption of materials and the pressure on consumers to be ‘in fashion’, discarding products at regular intervals for no other reason than to favour the latest season’s ‘look’. In this brief we ask you to consider the luxury brand as an alternative to ‘fast fashion’.
Textile and fashion designers are seeking to achieve a balance between past traditions in combination with new processes and materials, the past influencing the future. Combining research into different places and times initiates new design developments and supports originality in a saturated consumer world.
The past is the future
Contemporary designers are continually more interested in learning from the past, or from other less developed cultures, and re-evaluating lost knowledge to a new audience with an innovational voice. This resonates with wider trends that have swept through the design world in the last few years, noticeable for example in the return of craft, decoration, vernacular forms and traditional materials in avant-garde design.
Each theme listed below fuses two cultural and historical influences to explore in combination towards the creation of products with sustainable value, to be used, worn and treasured for a long time whilst remaining fashionable and desirable. Select one pair of contrasting themes and imagine what would happen if they collided and merged together to create something new and innovative.
Allow a focus on the traditional aesthetic of the historical period or geographical place but creatively interpret this through the investigation of materials of the present. Explore both traditional and modern processes, look to a reinvention of techniques to support innovation. Research and reassemble, recolour and reorganise – redesign.
Cultural and historical influences
- Hampton Court Palace and garden
- Henry VIII mistresses and wives
- The Black Death Plague
- William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe
- Tudor pastimes – theatre, games, fencing, jousting and bear-baiting
- Film: Elizabeth (1998) – Shekhar Kapur
- Museum of London
Techniques and materials including goldwork, beadwork, raised work, spangles
1970′s Rock Concert
- Fan clubs, groupies, rock posters and clothes
- Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Roxy Music, Pamela Des Barres, The GTO’s
- Cassette players, fan clubs, Pop badges, teen magazines, musical memorabilia
- Films: Almost Famous (2000) – Cameron Crowe, Velvet Goldmine (1998) – Todd Haynes, Woodstock (1970) – Michael Wadleigh, Dazed & Confused (1993) – Richard Linklater, Gimme Shelter (1970) – Albert Maysles, David Maysles
- Books: Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricity in Popular Music (2006) – Phillip Auslander, Confessions of a Groupie (2005) – Pamela Des Barres, Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Legendary Neighbourhood (2006) – Michael Walker
Techniques and materials: Glitter, lame, rainbow colour, spandex and sequins, vintage fabrics, DIY dress-up fashion, face paints and make up
Versailles, France 18th
- French Revolution – Guillotine/executions
- Marie Antoinette – Palace of Versailles- Rococo style
- Political cartoons by Gillray and others
- Films – Marie Antoinette, (2006) – Sofia Coppola, The Duchess, (2008) – Saul Dibb
Techniques and materials: Whitework, lattice and lace, guipure and filigree
- Astronauts, craters, rockets
- Space age fashion; Courreges, Pierre Cardin, synthetic fabrics
- Films: Barbarella (1968) – Roger Vadim, Capricorn One (1978) – Peter Hyams
Techniques and materials: metallics and synthetics shimmer and shine directional application of textiles and silhouette.