Browsing through the Fashion Bible – “VOGUE” just like I would do with a book, I was looking for its introduction. It took me 12 pages of pictures with clothes and accessories to find the compass through a book: the introduction. Ah, fashion, are you only about selling? I don’t believe you! 😉
By the way, before the introduction, in a fashion magazine you will always find an Editor’s Note. Yes, just like in a scientific journal (for example, “Science” or “Elsevier“), fashion magazines have an Editor that is in charge of it all. But, who reads a fashion magazine anyway, if you see so many colourful pictures in it? Only joking, the fashionistas will probably prove me wrong. As of today, Researchista invites you to her Fashion & Research Month!
Why fashion? “To some, fashion is an art form. To others, it is almost like a religion. For most people though, fashion is a method of utilizing clothing, accessories and grooming to show or hide something about yourself. Fashion can be an extension of your personality, allowing you to introduce parts of your personality to the world without saying a word“… Fashion is not only about clothing in ourdays, it’s about lifestyle in general. The ads in fashion magazine advice you what bags to wear with what accessories and make-up to match, what events to go and what places to visit.
Yet, clothing is the backbone still of the entire fashion industry. Designers create, we buy and we buy, because we want to look and feel good/or to transmit a signal to the rest about ourselves. Ah, finally I understood the “statement bag” expression that I would hear sometimes in Russian, it’s probably about the intention of someone wearing a specific bag to communicate a message to the public about their personality (their character, their seriousness, their coolness, etc.).
Fashion Industry: Behind the fashion curtains, you will find the designers and tailors, who work very hard to create that perfect piece of thing that will match everyone’s tastes.
The Story of Gabriel Chanel, Coco Chanel
Just like in academia and policy, fashion industry has a certain life-cycle (see Figure 1) or more phases from the moment when the clothing exists only as a piece of material (raw material), till the moment the costumer wears it and hopefully takes care of it after it has been used to either reuse or recycling it.
It looks like a perfect cycle, but we are not living during the time of Coco Chanel, now it is much faster to produce and buy more pieces of clothes that look the same. Mass-production of clothes became a norm.
Figure 1. Fashion cycle
Fashion retailers, otherwise known as “fast fashion” or big brands of clothing where most of us go shopping, unfortunately not always respect ethical conditions for their workers and nor do they always create a healthy environment for the clothing production.
Special Guest: This is the Fashion Month on Researchista. Our Special Guest Hasmik Matevosyan, whom I had the pleasure to meet at TEDxMaastricht, will enlighten us about the ‘dark sides’ of fashion cycle and how you and me and each of us can individually contribute towards a healthy clothing production, good for our environment, for our skin and for our wallet. Here she is flesh and bones (video) giving useful tips on how to wash your clothes to avoid pollution.
Hasmik did a lot Research during her masters studies and as a result of it, she published a book in which she came up with a business model by which she aims to change the way fashion industry currently works.
“The first time I got in touch with fashion was when I was a little girl. We were living in Armenia and after the Soviet Union feel apart, mom was earning money by knitting clothes. I saw all the hard work and creativity that went into designing and making a garment. I also saw how the clothes made her clients feel happy and confident. Mom taught me how to knit at the age of six and from that point on I wanted to become a fashion designer so that I could design clothes that contribute to people’s lives, make them happy”. Get to know better Hasmik as of next Monday. See how she could help us to help others to us all in reducing the harm caused to nature and people treated unfair in this area.
Researchista goes Fashionista: Instead of conclusion, I want to share with you a sneaky little story. Now, that it’s summer and nobody’s watching, Researchista is doing a little fashion experiment. Oh no, no, I did not start to sew, unfortunately. Neither I want to mass-produce something for you to wear. Instead… I decided to wear some fancy clothes on the street of this fancy town where I live to feel what is like to be someone doing fashion. Internet went viral recently in number of fashion bloggers, so I came up with my own little fashionista experiment…. voila! Are you a Researcher living in Maastricht? Do you want to join me next time? Leave me your letter at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
With love for Research,