Sunday, October 25, 2009

Elements of Design- SHAPE











Friday, November 21, 2008

How the Housing Crisis has Affected Home Fashion Retail

The nation is currently facing a housing crisis with homes being foreclosed at an alarming rate and two of the largest housing loan institutions, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, facing bankruptcy. Heads are reeling from this economic chaos. Fashion is also definitely suffering. Especially the the home fashion department.

Due to the fact that huge loans were given to people who could not afford to pay the loans back, many homes have been foreclosed. People are not wanting to spend money on beautiful things to put in their homes, if their homes could possibly be taken away at any time if they fail to pay their mortgage. Its not really responsible to buy expensive furniture and other home fashion if you are struggling to make ends meet. Many Americans today are indeed struggling to pay for everyday necessities.

Even the rich are cutting back on expenses because the economy is not stable right now. Even GM has asked for a government bailout. Who would have guessed it would come to this?

Unfortunately, so many industries are suffering. One would never think that any fashion would fall into that but they are. No one wants to buy expensive furnishing if their is no house to put it in.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Challenges of Apparel Retail

Apparel retail is a business and with any business comes struggle at one point or another whether it because of economic situtations like the one we are in now, or if the look of the company is becoming outdated and needs some renovation. The apparel retail industy is constantly facing challenges in all of its aspects.

The look of a company can become outdated and old. Gap for example is currently struggling as an apparel retail store. The store's target market is for men and women around the ages of 25 and up who have an income large enough to allow the purchace of the moderately expensive items sold at Gap. Gap always seemed like a store that offered clothes for frumpy looking women who do not intend to make a fashion statement. The clothes there are just wearable not really fashionable. We are entering a time when everyone wants to be fashionable and young. Young, college graduates entering in the professional world want to dress appropriately for their jobs but also want to look fresh and chic. Gap does not appeal to them. I believe that Gap needs to update their looks. I recently went into a Gap at the mall and I saw that some fashion trends were being followed for example, I saw a cute black and blue plaid print that has been pretty popular at stores like Forever 21, however though the print was acceptable the cut and shape was not. It was old looking. It was a decent attempt, but it was far too expensive and not as cute as other shirts with the same print. Also, the advertising for Gap is really bad too. I can't remember the last time I saw an add for Gap. No wonder Gap is struggling!

Another factor that may affect the look of an apparel retail store is the use of sweatshops. For example, the Kathy Lee Guiford case. She got so much bad publicity for having used sweatshops to produce her merchandise. That kind of publicity poses a huge challenge for any apparel retail company.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Sweatshops are a controversial topic. Some believe that they are a necessary evil others believe that they are inhumane and should be abolished. Sweatshops are sometimes dangerous places where employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals and fumes. These workers are paid very little and are mistreated by the management. Many times these sweatshops violate child labor laws. Children in these sweatshops work long hours for pennies just to support their families. It is wrong to make people work in such horrible conditions but there are several things to consider in the issue of sweatshops and what would happen if they were to be abolished.

Sweatshops are unfortunately a necessary evil. Even though the employees of these sweatshops earn very little pay, they use that money to support themselves as well as their sometimes large families. Imagine what would happen if an anti-sweatshop activist managed to close down a sweatshop in an area. Those workers most likely have nothing better to go to. The unemployed would then submit themselves into prostitution or starve to death. That's the reality of this issue. A life of working in a sweatshop is much better than a life of prostitution. Sweatshops must remain open unfortunately for the sake of those men, women and children.

Although I hate to mention this, if cheap labor in sweat shops did not exist, our clothes and products here in America would be more expensive. We would have to pay more for what we buy because it would cost the company more to pay the employees. With the existence of sweatshops companies are able to make profit easily. There would be so many people complaining about the cost of everything. Who hasn't heard anyone complain about the rising cost of gas and food. It' so annoying. But, Americans are so pampered that they feel that they need to go shopping several times a week. I saw some people raise their hands in class today when asked if fashion was worth putting sweatshop employees through miserable conditions. I couldn't believe it. This one girl right next to me was so proud to raise her hand. I was livid. I will certainly pay more for what I wear to ensure that the people who working their asses off to make it, get what they deserve. It's not fair that I go to work and play with kids all day at a daycare for 8.00 an hour while there are kids in other nations working to make my clothes for just pennies an hour. In fact, if the clothes in stores were more expensive, I would be less likely to buy them therefore I would save more money. Fashion and clothes do not make me. Its not worth it.

Though I am pro-sweatshops, there has got to be something done about the conditions and pay. The employees are not being paid enough! Designers should know how much the employees are getting paid and should do something about it instead of sitting on their rich behinds and reaping all the benefits. It makes me so mad that a jacket can be sold for over a hundred dollars and the person who made it gets less than a dollar for making it. It's ridiculous. Material goods are not worth the suffering and struggle of such hard working people. Being from a poor country, I can't stand to see how the rich keep getting richer and the poor remain poor. Yeah, lets spend 700 billion to bail out greedy people here in the richest country in the world while the poor in other countries have to be limited to sweatshops, prostitution, genocide, and starvation. How great!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fashion: Art or Usability?

What is fashion supposed to be exactly? Well, I suppose it depends on who you are talking to. Personally, I would have to say that fashion can be both art and for just wearing. I would prefer that my clothes be usable instead of art...but that's just me. I don't like to call to much attention to myself. However, fashion as art on the runway is great. Avant garde looks are not for the average person to wear, they are simply to display the innovation and creativeness of the designers.

Some people just don't care. They'll wear a clean t-shirt and a pair of jeans because that's whats there. Clothes are just to cover our bodies. It doesn't matter what clothes look like as long as they don't make a person look crazy. I've seen all kinds of fashion atrocities. I once saw a lady wearing an embroidered Christmas sweater at a night club. Let me just reiterate, some people just don't care. Others, are completely opposite. They believe that fashion is a statement. Clothes aren't just for use, fashion is art and the body is a canvas. Others, the more moderate group that I consider myself a part of, look at clothes and fashion as both art and for general use. For example, if I decide to buy a jacket not only will I be buying the jacket for it to help me keep warm but I will also buy the jacket because it looks good and will be kind of like art in that I am displaying something that I think is beautiful and unique. But of course the art that I wear is not the "art" couture designers send down the runways. That is totally different.

Couture is fashion as art in its full capacity. Couture designers make the elaborate looks that only should be worn at fashion shows or in photo shoots for fashion magazines. I don't think avant garde is a look that is carried out well in everyday life. People would think you've gone mad. However, don't get me wrong, over the top fashion is beautiful and gives the world an opportunity to see fashion in a different way. Not all fashion has to be every day casual wear. That would be boring.

If a picture of a urinal is art than so is fashion!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fashion Trends of Paris Fashion Week

Paris fashion week has come and gone. it was a huge occasion filled with glamor and Hollywood stars. Some designers were really impressive to me, others, not so much. I saw many trends similar to those that were shown in New York fashion week, some I wished had not been carried on.

I saw plenty of see through fabrics. I'm so tired of looking at the boobs of these skinny ass models. Its not aesthetically pleasing at all. Also, see through is not at all practical. Who in their right mind would wear a see through shirt or dress the way the models displayed them in fashion week. Its really sick. Its basically the exploitation of women disguised as fashion. The woman's body can be admired in other forms. For heaven's sake designers, leave a little bit to the imagination! Man!

Any who, I did like the creative shoes that were worn by the models in both New York and Paris. John Galliano showed his tribal inspired shoes that were so crazy and cool. In Paris, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, showed the hottest shoes I have seen on the runway to date. Forget the clothes, those shoes were amazing. I want some! Crazy/cool shoes are a definite trend in Paris and New York.

Another trend I saw on the runways in Paris was loose silhouettes. The dresses the models were wearing were not usually form fitting. The skirts were bunched and so were the blouses. I like the trend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fashion Trends for 2009

This years New York Fashion week has represented the trends designers hope will catch on for next season. During fashion week I saw a lot of belts, ruffles, metallic. I believe that those trends will be around for next year. However, other trends from previous years will be around for the spring and summer seasons.

Next year there will be a variation of prints. People, especially the young demographic, are not afraid of color and being flashy. Crazy prints are going to turn up everywhere in the next year. Floral print is extremely popular now and probably will remain just as popular in 2009. Anytime I walk into Forever 21 or Express, there is always a manikin dressed in floral print. It helps to create a young look. Youth is something designers these days are going for.

Like I said before, colors are in. However, neutrals are a must have. Eccentric color combinations cannot be paired with another crazy colored piece. The look must be toned down with a neutral unless you want to make a bold statement. The everyday look however, usually incorporates a neutral. Bleached pastel denim will also be popular in 2009. Dark denim will always be around but different color jeans are becoming more and more popular. Most likely these denims will be paired with loose floaty tops.

Key items all women should have this year that will probably be around next year include bomber jackets, metallic, and floral prints. Also, the gladiator heel is very popular recently. I first saw the gladiator heel in Sex in the City the movie and I was like "Yuk! What was she thinking?" but I actually really like them and they seem to be very versatile. They can be paired with a skinny jean or skirt.