From watching the documentary on Roots, Reggae and Rebellion I felt that it was key to research the origins of the music that became so divisive in the 1970’s. The music and fashion that influence cultures all over the world.
accessed via Youtube
This November and December I have noticed on the BBC Iplayer a growing number of historical black cultural docu-series. One of them was this dynamic documentary filmed by the BBC, detailing Jamaica’s post colonial struggle. Within the Roots, Reggae, Revolution and Rebellion documentary it details Jamaica in the 1970s, came alive to the sounds of roots reggae. British rapper, poet and political commentator Akala tells the story of this golden period in the island’s musical history, a time when a small group of musicians took songs of Rastafari, revolution and hope to the international stage.
This source is a stunning observation of Jamaica’s cultural identity and how it evolved in the 1970’s. This source is key to my project and I feel I will watch this source many times during the duration of my project, as I would like research scholars that were interviewed and the stories they discussed about colourism, racism and identity that the Black men of Jamaican yearned to create for themselves having been stripped of theres for hundreds of years.
The three above images all represent the narrative I will draw in my design work. I will start to consider creating hand sketch’s with the imagery . This imagery will start to build up the Toile de Jouy illustration.
Image credit 2; http://www.blackartdepot.com/products/jamaica-out-of-many-one-by-wishum-gregory
I have followed the works of controversial fashion designer Charlie le Mindu for many years, I was introduced to his work, whilst researching a dress made fully of hair worn by Lady Gaga circa 2010, but it is his 2012 Autumn/ Winter collection that had be thinking deeply. It was great to see how Toile de Jouy can be fashioned as the fabric is incredibility old fashioned so it may become a challenge making it look youthful as I do intend to fashion the textile (toile de jouy)
I spent sometime simply researching ‘Toile de Jouy in Fashion’ and have a varied amount of fashion collections that have featured Toile de jouy many like Charlie le Mindu and Pam Hogg have opted for traditional Pastoral prints, where I aim going to go that step further and create my very own pattern repeat.
Whilst visiting the Vulgar Exhibition at the Barbarian I was struck by Pam Hogg’s Toile de Jouy adorned pieces taken from her 2016 Spring/Summer collection titled ‘not-for-sale COURAGE’ heavily inspired my next train of thoughts. Toile De jouy is a key Colonial fabric and would feature heavily in plantation houses of Jamaica and all over the west indies so it has its ties to my heritage but what I though would be more interesting is if I could take this style of historical communicative textiles to draw out the celebration of Jamaican identity ‘Out of Many One People’ narrative. Imagine if the fabric styled just like Toile featured national heros like, Marcus Garvey, Sir Bustamante, Norman Manley , Nanna of the Maroons, the Arawak Indians, Bob Marley and the many founding fathers of Jamaican Music, with our tropical landscape intertwined throughout the narrative and provocative imagery from the women ‘Busin loose’ dancing in the Dancehalls, all of this to name just a few. It would make for a very interesting textile that could then be screen printed or digitally printed onto light weight fabrics ready for fashioning.
The above image along with Pam Hogg’s pieces was also featured at the exhibition,’Forget me not’- Peter Saville and Julie Verhoeven 2001 Spring/Summer Contemporary Toile de Jouy wallpaper print, has reinforced how a provocative contemporary Toile de Jouy could look. It communicates many themes within the piece but have a overall message of sex and violence (pornography) as the over pieces is to me another form of porn it’s just in ‘still life, drawn form’. This piece is outstanding as it allows you to mindfully get lost in the narrative. As you look under and through every object to understand what is happening and its significance.
image credit 1 and 2 ; http://ashadedviewonfashion.com/2015/09/24/pam-hogg-spring-2016-text-silvia-bombardini/
image credit 3; ‘Forget me not’- Peter Saville and Julie Verhoeven 2001 Spring/Summer Contemporary Toile de Jouy wallpaper print
Potent, provocative and sometimes shocking, the word vulgar conjures up strong images, ideas and feelings in us all. The Vulgar is the first exhibition to explore the inherently challenging but utterly compelling territory of taste in fashion, from the renaissance through to contemporary design.- Judith Clark Fashion Curator and Exhibition Maker
Vulgar is the best exhibition I have visited ever, I was totally awe struck with the outstanding curation of the exhibition, every piece in the collection told a passionate story of the Vulgarity within Fashion industry. The very idea of identifying yourslef as differnt throught th style of dress you choose, showing off and competiting with others, instantly reminded me of the Dancehall fashion, it too was provocative, potent and very shocking. I have never though to place a label on the Couture of Jamaican street culture but it truly is Vulgar. ‘Judith Clark references the history of fashion display, which in its self has been accused of vulgarity’. I feel now, that my collection may also straddle the line of Vulgarity and that is fine as it will create this very dialogue about the Jamican idenity and culture.
Visiting Undressed was key to my design development, to understate the concise history of the evolution of underwear and how under garment shapes influenced the development of the swimwear we see today. Although the exhibition did not excite me as I had hoped, it was interested to view the garments in close up detail i.e. The structure of the corsets or the finishing technique applied. Its amazing how far underwear design has come in the last 100 years.It does make you wonder if the designs from the early 1900’s would ever become popular fashion again, as trends come around in cycles, like currently we have had the occurrence of the waist trainer which is a simplified version of the corset.
Image credit; 1.K.Kardashian 2. K.Kardashian 3.Amber Rose 4. http://www.thestudentpocketguide.com/2016/05/student-life/health-and-relationships/waist-training-review/
History of swimwear traces the changes in the styles of men’s and women’s swimwear over time and between cultures, and touches on the social, religious and legal attitudes to swimming and swimwear.
In classical antiquity and in most cultures, swimming was either in the nude or the swimmer would merely strip to their underwear. In the Middle Ages, swimming was strongly discouraged, and into the 18th century swimming was regarded as of doubtful morality, and had to be justified on health grounds. In the Victorian era swimwear was of a style of outer clothing of the time, which were cumbersome and even dangerous in the water, especially in the case of dress-style swimwear for women. Since the early 20th century, swimming came to be regarded as a legitimate leisure activity or pastime and clothing made specifically for swimming became the norm. Since then, swimwear has become increasingly more scanty and form-fitting, despite the objections of conservative elements in the community and moral campaigners, and the use of hi-tech materials has become more common.
As I mentioned earlier in my blog, I wish for my collection to stand out from my competition and the main way I will do this, is by using of hi-tec innovative materials and textiles currently on the market and inventing my own. My research into the current sustainability goals in the Caribbean show that Jamaica is not leading the way for using more sustainable resources in energy. I wish for us to also be the market leaders in the Caribbean for this. Currently the Caribbean Islands are battling a influx of Gulf seaweed/ or Sargassum seaweed drifting in from the Sargasso Sea. This type of seaweed is ruining coast lines and the beautiful white beach people travel so far to see and enjoy.
(Big changes in the Sargasso Sea. MBARI expedition finds lower biodiversity in the sargassum mats. Video source: MBARI/Youtube.)
I have ideas bubbling away at how best to use this seaweed, looking deeply into the possibility of pioneering a swimwear textiles made of 100% of Gulf seaweed may sound like a stretch but if possible with 3-5 years of core development, the possibilities are endless. It’s also key to note that Knitted swimwear in wool was some of the very first swimwear developed, coincidentally my theme of retro crochet Bikini’s ties in well to this early concept of the knitted form however it would be fashion forward concept to marry to two. Viewing seaweed as a type of ‘natural plastic’ formed into to knit or Woven yarn that can then be constructed as a final textile. This is just early stage development talk but I am keen to be a leader in the Caribbean using sustainable resources.
(“From the surface, it looks bad. But could you imagine if you were a fish?” Dave Eliot goes underwater to take a look at these climate-change enhanced algae blooms. Video source: YouTube.)
image credit; https://skinnyislandpost.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/koras-portuguese-and-gulfweed/
It’s important for me to know who my island competition is.
Caribbean Fashion week is currently celebrating 15 years, and the event has enabled many of our local designers to become stars in their own rights, as their work has reached a regional and international audience. Today, we highlight a number of these designers, some up-and-comers and a few names of international acclaim.
Caribbean Fashion week hosted in Kingston Jamaica 2016, show cases all the upcoming and established designer collections and latest trends within the Caribbean and south american resort wear fashion industry. Viewing these sources are key to my on going fashion design research. My ultimate aim is to create a collection that is commercial and appealing to wide variety of people, that holiday in Jamaica/ the west indies and warm climate countries. These runway shows detail how to produce a well received commercial collection that could be placed in Selfridges, Salts or any Jamaica resort accessibility and affordability is core to my brand.