The brand, launched in 1970 by Japanese-born designer Kenzo Takada, has undergone a complete transformation in the last two years since Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were appointed as the new creative directors in 2011. As Rosanna Falconer, Head of Digital at Matthew Williamson said, this has given a unique opportunity to revive the brand through developing successful collections from a buyer’s perspective.
Dilys was able to bring a unique viewpoint to the discussion, sharing ideas about the relationship between designer, product, and wearer, and the new role of the designer.
“The role of the designer in communicating something that has often been very personal has really changed, and a lot of new designers are really understanding the importance of communicating as part of the creativity… it’s part of the creative process and I think you see that with these guys [Kenzo].”
When asked about the culture of the ‘It’ piece, Dilys observed that “people aim to create an identity to their work which is something that goes beyond just the cut and the make of it, the whole ethos of their brand.”
Dilys perfectly summed up the show when she said “fashion is an intuitive thing, it’s not a mathematical process.”
“They’ve brought together great people working with them and hopefully that’s what will keep it looking fresh all the time.”
You can find out out more about the show and the day here.
Last night the first ever Guardian University Award winners were announced in a London ceremony hosted by BBC education correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti, and we are extremely pleased to congratulate University of Wales, Trinity St David for winning in the Sustainability project category. The awards ‘celebrate the best of Britain’s universities and act as a benchmark for excellence across the higher education sector’.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion has been working with the support of Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE, on the development of the Green Academy programme, through which we aim to develop long-term transformational change for sustainability across the London College of Fashion and University of the Arts London. We are proud to be embarking on this programme to explore strategic and holistic ways to embed sustainable development throughout the student experience, and to be working with other exemplary institutions such as University of Wales, Trinity St. David.
Marks & Spencer and Oxfam are opening a two-day pop-up charity store in the M&S flagship store at Marble Arch, for 24-25 January. The pop-up shop will offer the public a chance to buy rare vintage M&S pieces as well as clothing donated by celebrities simple by ‘shwopping’ an item of their own. ‘Shwopping’ is a concept derived by M&S and Oxfam to encourage people to donate or ‘gift’ unwanted clothing that will go on to be re-used, transformed or recycled. Sarah Farquhar, Head of Retail Brand for Oxfam, said:
“Oxfam shops are full of hidden treasures and we have regular shoppers who turn up week in week out to get their hands on the latest donations. But this time we are doing the rummaging for them; bringing the best of the shwopped items we have received over the last few months plus exciting celebrity donations straight to the public instead. It will be really exciting to see people browsing Oxfam clothing in the middle of an M&S store.”
CSF and M&S installation ‘Beautiful Layers’
In support of the ‘Gift Away, Don’t Throw Away’ campaign the Centre for Sustainable Fashion has created three installations for the M&S Shwop Shop which can be found on display inside the Marble Arch store now. The three installations; ‘Transformation’, ‘Beautiful Layers’ and ‘Gift it Away’ are designed to encourage a new culture of ‘gifting away’ instead of throwing away, to draw on existing resources instead of wasting limited ones. You can see these installations in the Marble Arch store from today until January 25. Donators who visit the Shwop Shop will be able to tell the story around their gifted item and throughout the two days a tweeter in residence will be capturing the stories behind the clothes and broadcasting them via @shwopping.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s business support programme designer, Nicola Woods from Beautiful Soul, has recently launched a fantastic new E-commerce website. A capsule collection of Beautiful Soul London dresses are now available to buy online, and the Centre is delighted to see such a fantastic collection from the designer.
Beautiful Soul is a British, luxury women’s wear label with a signature blend of timeless evolving style with true global consideration. Quintessentially English with an international appeal, this fresh and innovative label is growing from strength to strength each season.
Nicola Woods, the Founder and Creative Director of Beautiful Soul, has chosen a selection of feminine, flattering, dresses to offer through the brand’s own e-commerce shop and the new website opens up the label to a wider UK and international market. The capsule range offers a variety of ready-to-wear dresses in the delightful, signature Beautiful Soul London poppy print, which sit alongside a selection of dresses produced in British lace, sourced from Nottingham.
Beautiful Soul collections are made entirely in England, using sustainable fabrics including luxurious silks, organic cotton and British lace, as the brands ethos includes supporting the regeneration of UK manufacturing and textile production. The brand offers the Beautiful Soul woman a choice of stylish, feminine pieces and an alternative, more ethical choice that does not compromise luxury.
The new website offers an insight in to the label through the ‘Olivia Rose’ Jubilee film which captures the quintessentially English appeal of the brand. Filmed in the label’s local neighbourhood of Notting Hill it captures the energy of the area during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
“I truly admire how Nicola works and ‘Beautiful Soul London’ dresses are always so feminine and interesting. I loved the poppy print dresses and the black lace one – it’s feminine and funky at the same time and perfect if you want to play Audrey Hepburn or rock chick!” Livia Firth
Centre for Sustainable Fashion recently hosted the first in a series of events aimed at fashion educators to discuss and raise the profile of design for sustainability in fashion education.
The first event, a debate questioning ‘What is the role of fashion education in our changing world?’ involved key fashion educators and activists engaging in a lively debate to find ways in which we can explore fashion education, to improve student experience and foster sustainability throughout the curriculum.
The panel was chaired by Nina Stevenson – Education & Curriculum Development Manager, CSF and included:
Dilys Williams – Director, CSF
Kate Fletcher – Reader in Sustainable Fashion, CSF
Gemma Robertson – Graduate Recruitment Manager, ASOS
Lesley Raven – Senior Outreach Coordinator, LCF
Frankie Moloney – Students’ Union Vice President for LCF
Dilys opened the discussion by asking, we are almost at the end of the , but has much changed in fashion education?
We should be looking at fashion education as an exploration of self in connection to place, through the practice of fashion, and as a forum for self-contemplative work:
‘Time spent in fashion education can be a precious and vital place for change at a profound level – if it is about education of the person, through practice of fashion that really is relevant to time and place.’ Dilys Williams
‘Universities can be hierarchical in their knowledge structure – they value industrial knowledge above all else, which doesn’t give space for self-contemplative work.’ Kate Fletcher
From a student’s perspective, ‘fashion education is integral to finding like-minded people and creating networks and there is great value in the experience of those teaching.’ Frankie Moloney
Part of this networking value was highlighted in creating university and business dialogue through placements. ‘Working with a broad range of companies gives a strong overview of the industry, and showcases the creativity that can be nurtured in a university context.’ Gemma Robertson of ASOS explained. ‘Networking and attending events ensures you will make an impression and recruiters will remember you’, she continued, highlighting the importance of a genuine understanding of the role and market level being applied for, having recruited approximately 96 graduates in the past six months.
Within a university setting, there is ‘the need to promote collaborative working and creative thinking in education models, to create a community of practice to enable continuous improvement.’ Lesley Raven
‘We need to engage our imaginations in the ingenuity needed to get us beyond the tweaks at the edges that are obviously not making enough of a difference to how we live– fashion gives us an opportunity as it should be a barometer of change relevant to time, people and our natural world, upon which we all revolve.‘ Dilys Williams
The discussion then moved to the audience for insightful comment and probing questions. When asked about allowing space for thought, experimentation and balance within curriculum, Kate responded, ‘most of the world focus is on narrowing peoples perspective on things. Within sustainability it’s almost a progressive broadening you need. The challenge is to get people to become experts in a synthesis where they put things together instead of taking them apart.”
This challenge is being addressed within Centre for Sustainable Fashion through initiatives such as MA Fashion and the Environment at the London College of Fashion, which was that same night awarded the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Award for Educational Innovation. The course was set up five years ago by Dilys Williams as a vital part of the development of the Centre’s work, to engage a multi way flow between the research and consultancy practitioners in the centre and burgeoning creative sustainability led postgraduate students. Susan Postlewaite, now course leader of the programme is currently collating this year’s graduate work for exhibition during London Fashion Week in February 2013.
The evening provided rich and diverse discussion regarding fashion education and set an agenda for future work, which will be continued through the network, for which details will be posted in the new year.
‘We need to encourage people to foster a sense of balance. It’s at the heart of a set of values that are different, and us showing that fashion can be different. Education is for life, not for a moment or for a score card.’ Kate Fletcher
The evening concluded with a final comment from a recent graduate, Alina Moat, ‘the best thing about the MA Fashion & Environment course is that normally courses are designed primarily around the idea of success. This offered the opportunity for failure – meaning showing that you can learn from mistakes and build on them; it’s not just built on society’s idea of success.’
You can track commentary and join in the debate on Twitter by searching #TransformFashion
The course was developed by the Centre in 2008 as a key facet of the Centre’s work towards fostering sustainability throughout education, and promoting dialogue between forward-thinking students and experienced practitioners, in order to challenge society’s idea of fashion and relationships with the world around us.
Image: Ivan Dauritz, MA Fashion & the Environment
The MA course added to the lively discussion around ‘What is the Role of Fashion Education in our Changing World?’, during the first Design for Sustainability Educators Network Event, hosted at the London College of Fashion on Tuesday 5th December, where graduates from the course were able to contribute their own experiences and journey on the MA course.
You can find out more about the Source Awards on Twitter by searching #SourceAwards
You can track commentary and join in the debate about Fashion Education on Twitter by searching #TransformFashion
The nomination is a result of constant and unrelenting dedication and support for sustainable fashion over the years as a designer, people connector, educator and visionary of sustainability principles, which has made a significant contribution to helping put sustainability on the agenda for the industry. Dilys believes that there are myriad ways in which we can engage human ingenuity towards a world in which we can all prosper and thrive.
In recent years Dilys has been instrumental in the setup and development of the Centre and its educational, enterprise and research activities. The Centre was established to provoke, challenge and question the fashion status quo through collaboration, designing transforming solutions that balance ecology, society and culture.
The SOURCE Awards put the spotlight on the most innovative and inspirational businesses, individuals, and initiatives in the fashion industry, globally.
The awards recognise excellence in 12 different categories, from design innovation to brand leadership across women’s, men’s, accessories, and children’s wear, sustainable supply / manufacture, education, retail, and individual contribution.
Final winners will be announced at a reception event on 4th December in London.
‘On October 26 Mayamiko Trust and their creative partners Slaves of the Extraordinary will join forces for their second creatively explosive charity event ‘Spark.’ After the huge success of their first fundraising event ‘Inspired,’ the collaborative duo have organised a creatively charged night of up-and-coming ethical designers, musicians, performers and artists, all coming together to raise money and promote the works of Mayamiko Trust, as well as showcase their amazing artistic talents. The fashion showcase will include, Mayamiko Designed, African Fashion Week rising star MIA by Mia Nisbet, Fair & True, Here Today Here Tomorrow styled by Bunmi, AFOL Milan Fashion School with shoes by Beyond Skin. Musicians include State of Bengal, Bam Bam Drum Band, Randolph Matthews and Michelle Cade, with performances from Slum Civilians with music by Stephen Thomas Clarke and illustrations by Lisa Hawthorne.
Hoxton FM will be hosting and broadcasting the event live from Corbet Place and money raised will fund the development and construction of a sustainable skills and production centre in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Friday 26 October
15 Hanbury Street (off Brick Lane)
Tickets £15 includes a drink on arrival
The Centre for Sustainable Fashion Director, Dilys Williams was invited to speak about the social role of fashion and its interaction with the natural environment at Rio de Janeiro’s first Fashion and Sustainability Discute Internacional, organised by Rio Moda Brazil. Other keynote speakers included Designer, Ronaldo Fraga who spoke about Brazilian culture and sustainability, Nina Braga from Instituto E, who spoke about the role of government, industry and academia and Sociologist, Dario Caldas who discussed the context of contemporary society and economy in Brazil.
Brazil recently overtook the UK to become the world’s sixth largest economy, with the textile and fashion sectors being the second largest employers in Brazil. As a country rich in natural resources, Brazil faces many environmental, social and economic threats and opportunities, there is still a need for the issue of sustainability to be given a formal priority as an increasing number of companies incorporate sustainability practices in their everyday business. Rio Moda has provided an excellent platform to build and strengthen networks with a view to further industry collaboration, and exchange knowledge and research opportunities in social and environmental project areas.