Monday, August 11, 2014

Designs of the year 2014 - Design Museum London

ME.WE Concept Car - Designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, France and Toyota ED2 
This concept city car from Massaud and Toyota combines environment responsibility with a fun driving experience. Innovative panels of expanded polypropylene on the tubular aluminium chassis are supplied in different colours and patterns to suite individual tastes. These reduce the weight of the car, making it considerably more energy efficient. The interior is clad in bamboo, a cheap, renewable and easy-to-clean material. Luggage can be stored down like a pick-up truck to create more space. The rear seat can be folded and stood under the front seat, or even removed.

Totemic Collection - Designed by Sadie Williams, UK - nominated by Peter Jensen
For her graduation collection from the MA in Textiles for Fashion Course at Central Saint Martins, Sadie Williams made full-length, stiff A-line dresses from a textile she developed, known as "jumbo-lurex". Williams transformed the usually flimsy Lurex by heating, printing and embossing the material to create geometric graphic patterns in shimmering metallic reds. blue and silvers. 

In autumn2013 Williams exhibited her Totemic collection in the shop window of the London department store Selfridges, as part of the shop's Bright Young Things initiative to support emerging designers. 
Prada Spring/Summer 2014 Collection - Designed by Miuccia Prada, Italy
This collection from Miuccia Prada was shown in Milan against a backdrop of large murals by artists and illustrators invited to paint strong images of women. In front of these, Prada's rainbow-coloured collection embellished and textured by jewels and embroidered and printed images of painted faces.

Speaking about the collection Prada says: "I was concerned with women and the strength of women". The collection themes of "femininity, representation. power and multiplicity" are demonstrated by the  use of the bra as a graphic form, applied to the surface of garments with sequins or contrasting colour prints. This glamour was offset by knitted, sportswear-inspired footless socks and sandals influenced by trainers.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Made in Mexico. The Rebozo in Art, Culture & Fashion

The rebozo lies at the heart of Mexican life and is a part of every stage of the journey from birth through childhood, courtship, marriage, death and mourning. The importance of the garment is written into the literature, music, poetry, history and popular culture of the country.

Design motifs woven into the rebozo depict the daily life of Mexico, including its flor and fauna. Ikat, known as jasper in Spanish, is a technique of resist dyeing a pattern on threads before they are woven, and is the best known and credited style of rebozo. Skill and patience are require to mark out the design and execute the many stages involved. Each jasper design has its own name that refers to the mix of pattern and colours: labor double, caramel, poblano, marvilla, de bolita, serpiente, llovisna, venido, greca, paloma.

The fashion industry in Mexico is the most established and important in Central and South America. Within this large and commercial sphere is a small group of designers who are exploring and celebrating indigenous textiles and skills through their fashion collections. The designer Beatriz Russek is a pioneer of blending fashion and tradition. Carmen Rion, Carla Fernández and Lydia Lavin all collaborate with communities of weavers and artisans to create textiles and embroideries that they then interpret in contemporary clothing. They have all featured the rebozo in their collection. Cooperatives such as Fábrica Social and El Camino de Los Altos have also been established to help promote self-sufficiency and sustainability in local communities.