To conclude CCS i haven’t found it an enjoyable experience, i found the individual blog posts much more difficult than a one off essay as i’ve found this harder with the word count having to cut my words down at the end because i don’t enjoy writing short pieces of 250 words. I also didn’t like that the blogs don’t connect to each other and not on one subject and i would have liked them to be more about our presentation object as i think this would have also made it easier for us to do our presentations.
This is what i have selected to be my modest outfit. My idea of modesty is to look elegant and show little flesh. Modesty means different things to each individual and different religions. Low top showing cleavage are often seen as un modest as they have sexual connotations with them. The same goes with shorts and skirt which show the thigh. Boot which go over the knee even though covering flesh some would not find modest as a lot of people find them sexual.
My outfit consists of a pair of jeans which are high waisted, some may not find these modest as they are a skinny fit but i feel these are modest for my age group as there is no skin showing. I have teamed this with a jumper which comes down low at the back covering the bum there is also a high neck therefor not showing much skin. I have also put a long coat as this has a high neck and long sleeves, also as the coat is oversized it not showing off the shape of the body.
With this outfit i would wear a simple pair of black boots without a heel and to make it more modest i could team it with a scarf and gloves so their was no neck or hands showing.
I am looking into how Corsets are very gender specific. Corsets have changed dramatically over time, being used for different things and being shown in a much more sexual context.
The main use of a corset is to pull in the woman’s waist and show off the always desired hour glass figure. Fashion is always seen as something you do to make you look better, to show off or hide the parts of you that you like or dislike. People focus on their bodies a lot more in todays generation due to celebrities and the media in magazines, making alot of young girls and women wanting plastic surgery. We have a really destroyed view on how the human body can look and most isn’t possible as it is actually the work of photoshop not the person itself.
The corset became popular in the 16th century reaching its peach of popularity in the victorian era. The earliest image of a corset goes all the way back to 2000 BC. in 1840’s corsets were separate pieces overlocked together and gave roundness to the breasts and shaped the hips. Wood or steel was in the front of the corset to give structure and kept its shape. The materials were much more unattractive as they were just to be worn under clothes and were just very practical to pull your waist in. Now they are seen in a very sexual way with shops such as Ann Summers adapting them in different ways. They have also been made to be more comfy.
Corsets even though mainly for women can be used for other things too, in medical reasons men and women can wear an adapted version for a back support. Back in time some men also wore corsets this photo “the Perfect Gentleman” from 1959 has inspired many other men to consider waist training. (wearing a corset until you waist creates the shape.)
Today corsets are worn mainly by woman but can be used for different reasons, sexual, fashionable and health and can be worn under or over clothes.
I am following a journey of one of my most loved and most worn items of clothing in my wardrobe which is my Karen Millen leather jacket.
The Jacket retails at £350 and its description on the Karen Millen Website is-
“The leather jacket has become a sartorial staple. Our signature biker jacket is crafted from soft leather that has been expertly dyed for an exquisite finish. This cool and sophisticated style features quilted elbow and shoulder panel detailing and silver zipped cuffs.”
The Jacket is made from 100% Leather which from Italy and the same leather which D&G uses for there bags. The lining is 100% Viscose and the trim is 100% polyurethane. The jackets are produced in their London Atelier. All designs are designed in house in London by a talented team of designers and pattern cutters. Lily England is the campaign stylist for Karen Millen and uses this jacket in the campaign along with dresses and shoe boots to make it edgy.
In the London team if a garment (not just this leather) doesn’t look good on every size from a 6-16 they will scrap it from their collection. They want women to feel equal and everyone to feel beautiful regardless of size.
The Jacket is only specialist dry clean and states “The nature characteristics of the dye in this garment mean that the colour may transfer onto other items of clothing or upholstery.”
After being designed in London and the leather sourced from Italy the garment is then produced in Mauritius which is where all of Karen Millens Leather Jackets are produced. There is no more information about what factory’s in Mauritius, only that the product is then looked over and tested for size and then if they are still not happy make changes, this prosses repeats until they are 100% happy with the item. Jackets get sent out to all trade ship
Karen Millen was founded in 1981 by Karen Millen herself and Kevin Stanford. The first store was opened in Kent in 1983 after they had been selling and manufacturing white shirts to their friends with just a loan of £100.
Gemma Metheringham became the creative director or Karen Millen in 2006, she overseas a team of 12 designers that work in ready to wear, accessories and lingerie collections. This all if a part of Karen Millens success.
The company soon expanded and is now global, from Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia. In March of 2009 Karen Millen was sold to Aurora Fashions, this is the same company which owns Coast, Oasis and Warehouse to name a few.
12 Collections are produced each season covering day, work, occasion and weekend wear. All of this is designed in house, from lace to embossed hard wear. Also have in house pattern cutters to ensure the perfect fit which Karen Millen is known for.
“Each piece of our collection has been individually designed, hand-crafted and perfected by our designers in our in-house atelier to deliver our signature quality and attention to detail. From couture-inspired techniques to luxurious heritage fabrics, every KM garment has a story to tell.” Quoted from www.karenmillen.com
In 2013 Karen Millen went through a huge re branding which cost them millions. This was them wanting to brand out for themselves as they are planning to become independent from Aurora Fashions. Working as a stylist in the Southampton store which is one of the top stores in the region i saw this prosses take place. They wanted the perception of Karen Millen to change, it started to become a dress store, and even though Karen Millen still is very much somewhere you can go to get a dress which you are guarantied a great fit they wanted to be known for more than just that. There campaign brought in younger faces and the photographer David Bailey which huge campaign posters in store and on sides of London buses and taxis. They moved away from the orange and black and moved to the much more fresh yellow and white.
There campaigns where about separates. Stylists where encouraged to purchase separates instead of dresses for uniform and each show and individual edgy way to wear them which was very successful. They are now beginning to get a more broad client base with knitwear and jeans becoming some of their best sellers.
Just because the focus isn’t just on dresses and evening wear anymore Karen Millen still work on “Client First” which is showing each client the perfect Karen Millen experience. This is to cater to all the clients needs as a stylist, from preparing a fitting room to completing a outfit. The aim for Karen Millen is for women to feel like they have had a luxury experience as they are a high end high street store.
Client first is also important in knowing information about the garments, from where the fabrics are sourced, to how they fit, how they are printed and even if they have matching accessories. The client is paying more, and average dress being £190, simple t-shirt £50, pair of jeans £99, knitwear £110 and Leather jackets £450. The client needs to know these are luxury items hence the price behind them. They also offer promotions for KM black (who are people who have been noticed to spend a lot in store) and often have 20% off promotions.
The luxury feel is also how the visual merchandising of the store is laid out. From the window displays. The fact there is only ever 4 items of each clothing out at one time and all being in there collections for example. “boyish charm” “modern mod” and “fashion fairytale”.
Zara has quickly became the worlds biggest fashion retailer, but through this there has been controversy. Being very well known for fast fashion and quoting they can get an idea into store within a short two weeks people wonder what this effect has on the environment.
Zara have started a campaign which they quote, “We are implementing an eco-friendly management model in our shops in order to reduce energy consumption by 20%, introducing sustainability and efficiency criteria. This management model sets out measures to be applied to all processes, including the design of the shop itself, the lighting, heating and cooling systems and the possibility of recycling furniture and decoration.” Being such a big company they had to make changes to avoid criticism.
They now aim to produce less waste, recycling hangers and alarms to be made into other plastic elements, the cardboard and plastic used in packaging is also recycled. They go one step further and educate there staff in sustainable practices, such as limiting energy consumption, using sustainable transport and modifying behavior patterns.
There has been thought into the products they produce, using ecological fabrics and organic cotton, they use biodiesel fuel in lorries when transporting goods, all contributing factions to cut down on Co2 emissions.
I feel like Zara have made a good effort into making there company more eco friendly. I feel like them training there workers about this is one of the most important things as they could have all of these policies but if they weren’t being followed through they would be pointless.
Being in a room with Lenny Marsh you can tell he is full of stories, he has this ora about him, showing his grandchildren’s school pictures you soon realise he isn’t the a grandad who will slip you an extra sweet when your mums not looking, but someone who very much is still a punk through and through. It was subtle but there would be a tattoo here, a piercing there and a safety pin on a long old chain around his neck and you realised these were the best days of his life.
Why punk, out of all subcultures, why not a hippy?
“You are having a life right? (He chuckles under his voice) Hippy’s were everything we aimed not to be, long hair, baggy clothes, nahhhh, thats not me! Punk isn’t just about the clothes, its about the community, everyone gets you, I guess i got into punk the end of school when my band starting getting more serious, this was my way to rebel.”
You had a band? Whats the name?
“Generation Clash (He lifts up his ripped shirt sleeve to show a very makeshift tattoo of his band name.) It was my life, i lived for that band, 5 of us, me, Clive, Oz, Kev and Mick. We had all the girls at our feet, they loved the old school garage rock.
What happened to Generation Clash?
“Well, as sad as it sounds we got greedy, when your more into sex and drugs than the music you are waiting to fail.”
What happened when you failed?
“We all took it hard, annoyed with ourselves mostly, let our ego get too big, Mick took it the hardest, hardcore alcohol and drug abuse and poor sod didn’t make it to christmas.”
Was punk just about the music for you?
“No not at all! i was hard core. (it didn’t surprise me.) Short sides, mohawk, my hairs been more colours than you’ve had hot dinners. It was important to look good. Without looking good you weren’t a punk.”
What would be a typical outfit?
“Depends on the person, there would be lass’ in just bin bags and safety pins, i was more of a drainpipe and creeper guy, along with the tartan, no punk was seen without tartan and you trusty leather jacket which i still wear to this day. (In fact he is wearing it now.)”
Was this affordable?
“Definitely, items could be re used, jeans were ripped, patches were put on with safety pins, paint everywhere, looking at it, basically one big mess, (he laughs to himself with a smile) it was simple, effortless, slogans everywhere, anything went thats what i loved about it.”
Was your wife a punk?
“What Betty? Haha no! she wasn’t a fan of me being a punk and the things i got away with, she had a soft spot for my bike though”
To finish what is your best memory?
It all! Being with my friends, people saw us as scary but we were anything but, i enjoyed a simpler time with good music and good company.
As Lenny got up to walk away i saw him clasp the safety chain around his neck, thinking of a different time, one i couldn’t imagine being part of but one i now feel i understand.