Thursday, 27 January 2011

Project : Classics

Design Brief : "Slow Fashion"

According to Kate Fletcher, author of 'Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys',

 "Fast fashion has become a defining characteristic of today's clothing and textile industry. It is a combination of high speed production and high speed, high volume consumption. Just in time manufacturing means a design sketch can be turned into a finished product in as little as three weeks. Consumer demand is increasing - people are buying one third more garments than four years ago, fuelled by the rise of cheap clothes and value retailers. This route is not sustainable, our planet only has limited resources. "

We see new lines added in Topshop (for example) every week and fashion magazines are telling us what the "latest trends" are and what we should be wearing each season. It's difficult and expensive to keep up with the latest trends and ultimately it's just the industry's strategy of making more money by creating a need for us to look and feel good for ourselves and others. Retailers such as Primark are selling clothes for as cheap as £1, which some customers admit they only wear once before throwing them away, hence the name "throw away fashion".

"Slow fashion" is about designing quality clothes which have a longer life time and therefore reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. It also means manufacturing clothes in an environmentally friendly way to save energy and resources.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My task is to develop a range of garments that conform to the 'slow fashion' ethos. There are several ways I could approach this but my first idea is to design a collection of classic garments which people will wear time and time again, stand the test of time and survive the trends.

So, I want YOU to tell me what your key wardrobe pieces are...

It might be an item which you've owned and worn for a long time...

Or it could be a versatile item which you wear on a regular basis which you can match with several different outfits...

Imagine you had to pick 6 items out of your wardrobe that you were only permitted to wear for the next year, what would they be and why ?

I would love to hear from you and it would be really interesting and help me massively with the research part of my project. So please get involved !

All you have to do is submit a photo/s of yourself wearing your classic/key item/s. Also include your name, blog address (if you have one), where you like to shop, when and where you bought your key piece/s and what you love about it/them. Also tell me if there are any other items of clothing which you consider to be wardrobe staples or classic pieces that every woman should own? Do you have any opinions about fast or slow fashion?

Email me at by Friday 11th February 2011 (2 weeks from now) and I will feature you on my blog.

To help you out, I have posted my own key wardrobe pieces below...

 Sheepskin coat of my Mum's which she bought in 1978 and wore it every winter since... until I pinched it haha !  I wore this to Uni nearly every day last semester because it's so comfortable and snuggly warm (essential in a very snowy Leeds). It's beautiful quality and is special because nobody else has it !

These high-waisted leather hotpants are a fairly recent purchase (November 2010) but I have worn them so many times. They're really versatile because you can dress them up with a pretty blouse and heels for a night out or dress them down with a T-shirt, cardigan, tights and flats for daywear. Leather is also a timeless fabric.

I've had this blanket style cardigan from ASOS for just over a year and I think it's a classic because although it's a statement piece, it doesn't conform to the trends of A/W '09 meaning I could wear it again this winter and will be able to wear it again next winter. It has neutral colours (navy, beige and cream) and an eyecatching pattern. It's really warm and comfortable and would be flattering to most body shapes.

I bought this dress from ASOS in 2008 and I think it's a classic because it's a simple design with simple striking timeless colours (black and white) and I don't think stripes will ever go out of fashion either. It can also be dressed up or down and worn for different occasions.

I think every girl (and guy) should own a leather jacket (Jane Norman 2007) and a pair of black jeans (River Island 2007).  I've had so much wear out of both these items that it's getting to the point where I need to replace them because they're so worn (not because they're out of fashion). Again, these 2 classic pieces are so versatile and the outfit possibilities are endless.

I absoutely love this dress because it was a bargain in a really random and unexpected place (Matalan 2008). I just love the pretty colours and patterns and the style is so flattering. It's a little black dress with a twist and again can be worn for day or evening wear. The best thing is I haven't seen anyone else wearing it so it makes it a unique/special/classic addition to my wardrobe.

This is probably my favourite dress (Religion 2009) because I love the unique design with the sexy hitched skirt and open back and the edgey print. The gothic/grunge/punk look has survived since the 70's and I think it's a trend that will never die. Again, I haven't seen anyone else wearing this so I feel special in it and it's just one of those peices that always makes you feel super confident.


  1. love your hair blond! I also love it dark. :)

  2. Sure I will join. :) Sorry I never got back to you on this. I was going to but forgot. I have been busy.

    Also, most my makeup is old/secondhand. So it hasn't truly cost me that much...