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Refashioned, Activism from the 1999s and up to the Fashion Revolution. Part Three

Refashioned, fashion activism from the 1999s and up to the Fashion Revolution. Part Three. Images Walter Raes, Noki, Vivienne Westwood, Maharishi, Gary Harvey, Suzanne Lee BioCouture. Graphics Kenneth Buddha Jeans

PHOTOGRAPHY INFORMATION DESIGNERS

  • The image top right-side Walter Rae wearable art and design. The book Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson
  • The image top middle-side Vivienne Westwood The Active Resistance Manifesto. Sweatshirt Propaganda Manifesto.
  • The image top right-side Maharishi Year of the dragon 2000 upcycled Snow cargo pants with embroidered Moschino stitching
  • The image Middle left-side Dr Noki customized t-shirt and Pepsi branded neck scarf 1999
  • Image middle right-side Gary Harvey Recycled Couture The Pink Newspaper dress made of 30 copies of the Financial Times. The book Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson
  • The Image down left-side Noki-SOB mask (Suffocation of branding)
  • The image down middle-side Suzanne Lee BioCouture grows your own clothes concept. The book Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson
  • The image down right-side Martin Margiela Deconstruction Runaway show 1990’s

Fashion Deconstruction and Anti-Consumerism

The third post in the series from Green fashion to Refashioned examine the roots and heritage of fashion activism around the 1990s and up to the present. Refashioned is a critic of contemporary waste and throw away culture by creating cutting edge clothing from recycled materials and a visual manifestation of designing fashion differently.

Fashion Deconstructions have always been a part of the DIY culture and historically the last century been used practically in wartimes when materials were hard to find. However, changed youth cultural movements such as the sixties hippie’s and mid-seventies punk culture. During the 1980s in Japan fashions big three Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo challenged the Parisian norms of couture and turned it upside down, intelligently use new forms, raw edges and details unfinished on final pieces of clothing. Issey Miyake stated already in the 1970s with a technology-driven, intelligent approach to clothing design and meaning. First presented the radical concepts of two-dimensional clothing “A piece of Cloth” 1976. The core Japanese aesthetics called “Ma” translated to “space” is a universal approach to dressing creating abstract, asymmetric and sculptural shapes around the body.

At the beginning of the millennium green or eco-fashion struggled to be taken seriously and sometimes missed out the meaning or concept. Nevertheless, this changed in 2007 when the true fashion activist and designer Vivienne Westwood launched The Active Resistance Manifesto against the “drug of Consumerism” with a view of motivating people to act upon climate change. Vivienne energized on “shop less” and rather create unique clothing from materials existing such as towels and curtains, a wear-in wear-out attitude and controversial statement of a fashion designer. Contemporary fashion designers were inspired by Active Resistance such as mavericks minds of Hussein Chalayan and Alexander Queen refuse and reuse of elements. In the 1990s a few streetwear designers followed up 1980s iconic environmentalist designer, campaigner, idealist, and social maverick Kathrine Hamnett with her vastly influential slogan t-shirt campaigns-

Hardy Blechman and Maharishi

Hardy Blechman, the founder, and owner of Maharishi one of the most influential streetwear brands to originate in the UK. Blechman’s roots were in trading of recycled workwear and military surplus clothing together with the production of hemp/natural fibre clothing, prefiguring streetwear growing interest in ecological concerns. There was no shortage of surplus. As he noted, countries with national services had to provide new uniforms on a regular basis. Maharishi deconstructed and applied varies new camouflage patterns and colours, typically decorated with intricate embroidery this gave the brand functional clothing with high fashion details. His own line came in 1995 with the military-style Snopants (artic military white). In 1999, he won the British Fashion Council’s Streetwear designer of the year. (source Cult Streetwear published 2010 by Laurence King Publishing UK)

Artist Shepard Fairley created Obey streetwear brand

In the 1990s Obey became a street art phenomena of Shepard Fairey that turned his stencil art into the streetwear brand Obey. He travelled the world and stencilled his Obey artwork everywhere. It became an art icon spread everywhere; in addition, Fairey busted for vandalism in five cities and advertising without a permit. He became an adbuster using the same techniques as the advertising industry to see how far he could take a graphic idea. Fairey often uses his own humanitarian political commentary and pop cultural references in the graphics applying these to clothes, skateboarding, billboards, and lamppost. Fairey later became more a graphic artist than streetwear designer did, many agencies hired his work for clients such as Adidas, Airwalk, Universal studios, Pepsi (whose billboards he once regularly bombed). The corporate worlds seek to capture the power of the underground imagery and incorporate it into advertising messages adding a coolness factor they desperately need. (source Cult Streetwear published 2010 by Laurence King Publishing UK)

BioCouture and Suzanne Lee

Suzanne Lee with her BioCouture pioneering new routes by “growing your own. She developed the BioCouture programme while studying at London Central Saint Martin’s College of arts and design on microorganism and microbes to grow materials by feeding bacteria’s sugar-based tea. Suzanne Lee gave out the inspiring book Fashioning The Future, Tomorrows Wardrobe. Published 2005 by Thames Hudson. Belgian Based Walter Raes wearable art and design became motivated about the incredible amounts of waste of usable materials into wearable art. (source

Noki

Another incredible designer Dr NOKI the high energy activist for environmental and ethical fashion. Colin White a working colleague in the Creative development team of Levi Strauss discovered Noki in 1999. “Noki-Custom showed how his weird and wonderful ideas fit nicely into and his familiar use of a marker pen to crudely scribble out words and letters to make posters and sculpture, using Adidas logos next to urban graffiti, pulling slogans from existing fizzy drink adverts his own form of advertising from existing ads”. His counter –culture and subversive approach upcycling and ad-hoc solutions include rental services of clothes. His trademark piece is the Noki-SOB mask (Suffocation of branding) can be viewed as an anti-mass-manufacturing of clothes. Noki inspired from anywhere uses everything from deadstock denim, unwanted garments, rags and cut-offs making one-offs and one of a kind outstanding pieces. (source Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson) His own label the NHS or Noki’s House of Sustainability. See I-D.vice the anti Brand Fashion That Never Sold out

Gary Harvey Recycled Culture and artist Michael Landy Break Down

Gary Harvey a London based designer grounded his label Recycled Culture out of creative frustration, Gary was the ex-creative director of Levi Strauss and Docker Europe and we were a part of the same team around 2000. He launched his first collection of nine dresses made purely out of second-hand clothing at the London Fashion Week. (Source Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson)

However, anti-consumer activists and artists such as Michael Landy exhibition Break Down pawed way. Throughout the 1990s, the artist Michael Landy work has explored different concepts of contemporary consumerism. After three years of preparation in the making of the exhibition Break Down, he finally had made an inventory of his life. Everything he owns, every piece of clothes, furniture, books, records even his car. More than 5000 individual items catalogued in Landy’s existential audit. The actual installation took place in Oxford Street in London, February 2001. The artist book was a part manual, drawings, photography is and research materials and focused on the overconsumption by taking everything apart during a week. (source Break Down by Michael Landy published 2001 by Artangel) Cheap Date an underground anti-fashion compilation. In 2000, the underground fashion compilation called Cheap Date, “antidotal anti-fashion issue, Cheap Date was originally only about second-hand, but anti-fashion, anti-lifestyle, and alternative consumer concepts followed soon after. (source Cheap Date Magazine compilation, editor Kira Joliffe published 2002 by Slab-O-Concrete Publications)

Refashioned, fashion activism from the 1999s and up to the Fashion Revolution. Part Three. Images Adbuster Magazines, Shepard Fairley Obey, Mutations and Cheap date. Graphics Kenneth Buddha Jeans

  • The image top left-side artist Banksy Flower-thrower “I want you to curb your consumption” front page Adbuster Journal Of mental Environmentalism Sept/Oct 2000 No. 43
  • The image top middle-side from the book and manual of the exhibition of Michaels Landy Break Down February 2001 published by Artangel
  • The image top right-side Adbusters “Corporate America Flag“. Adbuster Journal of the mental environment Jan/Feb 2002 No. 39.
  • The image middle left-side Cheap Date Magazine compilation, editor Kira Joliffe published 2002 by Slab-O-Concrete Publications
  • The image middle right-side Adbuster Magazine “Nike Sweatshop” Special Double Issue Design Anarchy Sept/Oct 2001 No. 37
  • The image down left-side “Mall=Public Space” from the book Mutations Rem Koolhaas Harvard Project on the city. Part Shopping. Published by ACTAR
  • The image down middle-side “Fashion Sickness bag” Adbuster Magazine Journal of environment. Jan/Feb 2003 No. 45
  • The image down right-side “Obey” t-shirt from Obey Streetwear brand by the artist Shepard Fairley from the book Cult Streetwear by Josh Sims published 2010 by Laurence King Publishing Limited

Corporate Breakdown, Adbusters, No Logo and cultural jammers

The corporate breakdown started with The Social Responsibility Movement. Participants of the Social responsibility movement urge the graphic-design community to confront the negative societal and environmental consequences of our rampant consumer culture. In 1964 created and published Ken Garland a manifesto named “First Things First,” which was updated to a newer version twenty-five years later and published in numerous magazines and journals internationally including of course Adbuster Magazine. The “First Things First Manifesto 2000,” was initially signed by thirty-three influential designers, brought still talked about controversial issues to the forefront of design discourse. Adbuster magazine founded by Kalle Lasn in 1989, has become a catalyst for culture jamming activities and Culture Jammers is a term used on the activist’s techniques of disruption to rebel against Corporate America’s dominance of the media. They attack mainstream advertising through various techniques, including billboard liberation, media hoaxing, audio agitprop, subvertisements, and anti-ads. In 1993 book entitled Culture Jamming, written by cultural critic Mark Dery, is the central text of the movement. (Source Eco-Fashion Encyclopedia Cultural Jammers and Adbuster Magazines)

Another influencing book was No Logo (Taking aim at the brand bullies) by Naomi Klein published the year 2000 by Flamingo Harper-Collings. The book was its generation fight consumerism whereof there are no alternatives as it’s sold as soon as it appears, occupied by faceless corporate branding and messages. No Logo is equal part cultural analysis, political manifesto and underground resistance bible exposing the clear economic perspective. It was the first book talking seriously about sweatshops, reclaim the streets, Adbusters planned products obsolescence and the overflow of plastic junk products invading public spaces. Intelligently written and researched by the acclaimed journalist Naomi Klein. (source No Logo (Taking aim at the brand bullies) by Naomi Klein published the year 2000 by Flamingo Harper-Collings). Final post Refashioned the cutting edge of design in the sustainable era.

  • Wear Me Fashion Graphics + Graphics Interaction. Editor and project coordinator Liz Farrelly. Published by Booth-Clibborn Editions 1995.
  • Remake It Clothes by Henrietta Thompson and illustrations by Neal Whittington. Published 2012 by Thames & Hudson
  • Break Down by Michael Landy published 2001 by Artangel
  • Cheap Date Magazine compilation, editor Kira Joliffe published 2002 by Slab-O-Concrete Publications
  • No Logo (Taking aim at the brand bullies) by Naomi Klein published the year 2000 by Flamingo Harper-Collings.
  • Adbuster Magazine-Journal Of mental Environmentalism Sept/Oct 2000 No. 43
  • Adbuster Magazine-Journal of the mental environment Jan/Feb 2002 No. 39
  • Adbuster.org website
  • Mutations Rem Koolhaas Harvard Project on the city. Part Shopping. Published by ACTAR
  • Cult Streetwear by Josh Sims published 2010 by Laurence King Publishing Limited
  • Eco-Fashion Encyclopedia cultural Jammers
  • Planned product obsolescence in a world with finite resources is absurd

CHECK OUT ECO-FASHION ENCYCLOPEDIA WITH MORE THAN 1000 ILLUSTRATED TERMS
ECO-FASHION-DENIM AND ENCYCLOPEDIA OVERVIEW

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