A sensory report on a boutique is something which requires you to switch off from looking at the product, but analyse how the product has been placed on the ‘shelf’. My shop of choice was Emporio Armani, found on New Bond Street. As you walked in there was a sudden change of air, as outside was surprisingly muggy for an October morning. It seemed to be fresh and clean, which probably meant that they had turned on the air conditioning slightly to regulate the temperature. However there was also a discreet scent of perfume, which wasn’t over powering, like when you visit Abercrombie and Fitch, but something which almost cleared your mind. It is fair to say that they succeeded in creating a peaceful atmosphere, especially with the staff members. They were welcoming whilst not being too invasive, and they didn’t make me feel unwanted in a store which was obviously miles out of my league. The shop was clean cut with many sharp edges, and mostly slate in colour, apart from a contrast of white lighting above the clothing. The clothes were placed diagonally on the rails, and directly at my eye level. It was apparent that each piece was placed carefully on the rail making sure that there were no imperfections in the way that they hung, and each texture was balanced throughout each collection. An overall elegant experience.
The Mademoiselle Privé exhibition held at the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road was just the most breath taking exhibition I have ever encountered. What was most spectacular was the way in which the exhibition was created, especially the first section of the gallery which lead you through the ground floor. I was just amazed by the story telling aspect of the leading rooms, with each exhibit place carefully within the whole experience. When thinking back over the exhibition it is fair to say that the space wasn’t packed full of every historic Chanel artefact, however this meant that what was on display carried further value and enhanced our understanding of the origins of the iconic fashion house. The Camellia statue placed in the totems room was a representation of Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower. She would wear it in her button hole over her heart, but it is interesting to note that this particular flower didn’t have a scent. This point is fascinating because the Chanel N.0 5 perfume is very much iconic and therefore one would assume that it derived from Mademoiselle Chanel’s preferred flora.
Something also to comment on was my admiration of the interactive elements in the exhibition which really completed the whole experience. Rather than just looking at plain artefacts on a wall, there was a vivid use of lighting, projections and other sensory elements (for example the sensory room which had hundreds of hanging fabrics which one had to wonder through). The app which we were encouraged to download was also stunning and would change according to where you were standing in the room, allowing for more information to be gained. Further it gave you a real sense of the inspirations behind what we were viewing due to the design and also the illustration.
An interview from a designer is really the only way we gain an accurate insight to the thought process of that individual. The fashion industry has many secrets, however a face to face interview allows for the truth to be revealed which will result in people looking at the end products in a new light. I recently read an interview in Harper’s BAZAAR which was beautifully heart warming. It was featuring an 11 year old designer, Noa Sorrell, who as part of her make a wish asked for her collection to me shown at LA fashion week along which all the other respected brands. She started to design and make her own clothes when she fell ill from cancer and had some free time on her hands; she described it as a distraction from her unfortunate circumstance. Noa was inspired by the clothes that her friends wear and decided to make happy and bold clothes for teens, but also wants to branch out into an adult collection. The interview which was conducted by Lauren Alexis Fisher flowed from each question and was asked in a way which really allowed for Noa to expand on her ideas and show of her amazing motivations. The interview wasn’t particularly ‘juicy’ however this of course suited the nature of the designer, but did lead us with high hope for the future and for the young designer to keep flourishing.
Lauren Alexis Fisher (2015) Meet Noa Sorrell: the 11 year old who showed at LA fashion week http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/designers/news/a12509/noa-make-a-wish-fashion-show-la-fashion-week/ (18/10/2015)
London fashion week inspired me to turn my attention to my fashion illustration techniques. something which i have always wanted to do was just to experiment with how to show color on the clothes and the opportunity of a free summer gave me the chance to do exactly that!. i painted abstract colors and overlayed this with pen drawings on tracing paper which allowed the paint to run outside of the lines i had originally drawn. this gave me less control of how the end image looked which is always a satisfying surprise. i also placed photographs, which were taken on my trip to New York this summer, behind cut out sections of my models. this made me wonder what photographs would look like placed on textile, and how they could be incorporated into design.
The Wellington boot is something which we closely relate to country living and recent festival wear, without taking close notice to its origins. The Wellington boot, or more commonly known as a ‘Wellie’, was originally a military style boot designed by the Duke of Wellington to protect the feet of his soldiers. According to McDowell‘a soldier in shoes is only a solider , but in boots he becomes a warrior’(1989 p.135). The boot was specially designed to be slimly cut as to not disturb the line of a gentleman’s trouser, but also in leather which was at the time the most durable and long-lasting fabric for a working man. It is therefore interesting to explore the change from an item which was only worn purely for utility purposes, into somewhat of a fashion icon which has been noticed at Paris fashion week a number of days ago.
A fascinating article published by Junkee (2015) described the controversial nature of wearing garments which have been inspired by military uniform. The article truly opens the debate of whether these designs are merely a form of expression giving people the power of displaying their view visually. Or in fact is it disrespectful to imitate the uniforms of the forces? This is an idea which passes many people by, however it is something which we must discuss in order to paint the correct picture of our society and beliefs. For example Kanye West’s most recent collection featured models walking onto the run way in formation which could be argued that this is a political statement, or taking an idea too far which sub sequentially offends others. Which ever way you conclude the argument, it is necessary to understand how these high fashion design houses will eventually effect the picture of society as elements of these designs are likely to be available to the mass market and not just to the elite.
Mattias McGregor (2015) Is Adopting Military Wear In Fashion Disrespectful, Or Legitimate Cultural Expression?
Kanye shows his controversial military fashion in New York (2015)
McDowell.C (1989) Shoes fashion and fantasy Thames and Hudson