“The Scene” & connectivity between peers

Immediately upon watching the “first fashion moments” of three other of my peers it was clear that there were several underlying themes and desires.  I feel that for all, a wanting to be “different” was a major concept in that finding an article of clothing that is unlike any other can speak to you.  This desire to stand out with an item or style that not everyone has is closely linked to the feeling of exclusivity where you gain personal satisfaction from wearing it because of the “I have it and no one else does” mentality.  This ultimately leads to a more trendy fashion sense as I caught wind of from the videos where it becomes important to keep up with the current styles, and by doing this one can feel more luxurious as well.  Yet with this I also saw the deeper need to fit in to whatever lifestyle you wanted to be a part of.  When you “buy into” a particular brand you are also in a sense buying into that lifestyle.  Whether it be fitting into a clique in high school or working with a targeted clothing market, the desire to become a part of it is often a major drive when it comes to a personal sense of style and the items you will then purchase thereafter.  Overall, there is the general idea that clothes can define who you are as a person in society and whether your goal is to defy the norms or to fit in, one can be sure that discovering your own fashion sense can be a truly defining moment indeed.


The cool kids – Áslaug Jóelsdóttir

I was finally listening to Áslaug Jóelsdóttir´s lecture that I missed and even though it was hard to picture what she was talking about, as the slides were missing, I did come up on something interesting. She was talking about the 1960´s and the industrialization with the Icelandic wool and when we started exporting it. She told us how the foreigners wanted the real thing, the sheep colors and icelandic knitting.

It felt like I was listening to a lecture about the same thing in the present because we are still exporting these sweaters, though most of it is mass produced. Foreigners want the REAL thing, the sweater with the eigentlichkeit made by a houswife in the Icelandic country side. We sell the mass produced sweaters in every tourist shop around the country, very few of these shops have the real deal but still present them as the “real Icelandic wool sweater” and maybe it is exactly that even though it is mass produced it still looks the same and is made from the same wool, so the only thing missing is just the eigentlichkeit. But does that really matter to people? Do they need to have the real thing? Well my thought is that the real thing gives them some sort of a status because not everyone owns a real handmade Icelandic woolsweater, but how do they know which ones in the store are real and which ones are not? I don´t even see the difference…

In Iceland most of the women knitting these home made sweaters are doing it as a job to provide for their home and what the stores are doing by selling these mass produced copies is taking buisness away from these hardworking women. I once had a mass produced woolsweater myself but am a proud owner of REAL one made by my friends mother, It was expensive but it makes me look really Icelandic and I fit in with the “cool kids” while camping!

Talking about the cool kids, Áslaug also spoke about how the young people were the target group for the fashion industry and this still fits with the zeitgeist today. Even with the wool sweater, I only bought it because I was going to Þjóðhátíð in Vestmannaeyjar (a yearly festival in the beginning of august on an island) where everyone wears 66°north fishermans clothes(like my friends are wearing in that picture) and wool sweaters (sort of the uniform of the festival). I spent SO much money just to fit in at this ONE event (actually I went again the year after that). I did not have to use the raingear from 66°North it because the weather was so good (but I did it anyways to look cool!), and now it only lies in a box somewhere thinking about the good old days when I wore them and spilled beer on them and slid in the mud in them waiting and wishing for me to head out to sea and use them again. I do still wear my wool sweater though and actually I am wearing it right now while blogging because it is sooo freaking cold.

It´s so wierd to me to think that I once spent money on something I did not need just to fit in, that is not how I work anymore. Money is more valuable to me now that I am saving up for my own apartment, but I guess that I wasn´t thinking like that when I bought those clothes. Today I just find it silly to buy all those clothes with THE label just to be able to say you own the, or just wearing them to a festival and then throwing them in a box. But I guess that is how fashion works, we buy what we think makes us look cool and then put it in a box and forget about it or just throw it away, just to spend more money on the same thing years later or on a new thing every couple of months. What a waste of money…. I say that but note that I still buy myself new things once in a while because I get tired of everything I own, and I do fall “victim” to buying fashionable clothing because well… it makes me look cool just like that 66°north fishermans anorak in that picture! I´m thinking I need to wear it more often as I look very cool in them!

steinunn sigurðardóttir

We had guest lecturer steinunn sigurðardóttir the other day and she was really interesting. She had so many insider stories from the fashion business. (bransasögur, as we might say in icelandic) I knew who she was but I hadn’t realize how many big brands she had been working for.

Her designs seem to be so timeless that I couldn’t tell if they were new or old when she showed us pictures. And I found very fascinating that she was using polaroid camera to develop these huge polaroid pictures in sizes of large paintings that took hours to set up for.

I think I found just about everything she said interesting. She show us how she uses photographs of nature to create her textile and we could see the comparison and it was very cool how she manages to copy the nature in her textile and design.

I will be paying her closer attention now.

Refinery 29 | Tom Ford Fashion Show

This article caught my eye because … well we talked Tom Ford & fashion.


I suggest everyone reads it, it’s short and interesting. Two question especially caught my attention “How symbiotic are the fashion and entertainment industries these days?” & “if celebrity attendees are what it takes to make a show relevant these days, is L.A. poised to be the next big center for fashion?” The statement in the second question reminds me of a small closed-Zeitgeist Map.

The search for the Icelandic identity – Steinunn Sigurðardóttir

Steinunn Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic clothing designer which has worked for the likes of Calvin Klein, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and other known designers. She looks for inspiration in the Icelandic nature. She was raised by the sea so when she moved back to Iceland, and started her company “Steinunn”, she moved her office to the seaside for inspiration. She told us how influenced she was by icelandic nature and how she missed it when she lived abroad. She showed us so many of her designs that were influenced by snow, lava, rivers and more.

I found her very interesting but what interested me most was when she said she was always looking for the icelandic within herself (the thing), her icelandic identity. It shows how important our background and surroundings are to our identity or the shaping of our identity and how our identity/identities influence design.

I also found it very interesting to know that an icelandic designer had gone and worked for all those well renowned designers and even made clothes for the Spice Girls (OMG). I had no idea anyone from Iceland had been designing for those labels, they seem to be so far from us but this makes them a little bit closer to us (icelanders).

It was really fun to get to know her designs and how she found inspiration for her lines from her father, from the icelandic uniform, from single elements even like knots. She told us about how lava is very influential on icelandic designers and when she said that a lot of Icelandic design popped into my head. My home was full of things made from lava, my father had worked for the company Glit that made a lot of things from it and also my great grandfather. I have a big bowl made from lava from the volcanic eruption in Heimaey in 1973, which my great grandfather made, people don´t really think it is appealing but I love it! (It looks something like this ->)

It is so interesting to think how our surroundings, how nature and small elements around us have an effect on our creations, our likes, our vision of what is beautiful ad what is not. How do our surroundings shape how we see things, how we think something is beautiful but others don´t, what colors, shapes, textures we find beautiful and exciting? What has an effect on us in our surroundings? Do we have to be from that culture to understand the design? How do we see what has an effect on a designer from just looking at their clothes,without reading anything about them or the designer? Does our background have an influence on what we think influenced the designer?

And I´m not going to bore you more with the endless questions that filled my head!! 🙂

local vs global 2

After speaking with other students in class the other day I realized that perhaps the “world of fashion” may not be the right term for the fashion industry. In my group we had three very different topics that didn’t necessarily overlap, so does that mean they aren’t in the same world? I think that the industry should really be called the Universe of fashion and each area of the industry is a world. For example, the world of sports fashion does not relate to the world of women’s evening gowns. Each world is formed by our own personal world of what is important to us and what we find appealing. What I may consider as my world of sports fashion would be based off of the sports team I am a fan of, which is different then someone who is a sports fan of different teams. There is no world of fashion there is a universe that is formed by everyone’s own personal world.

Local Vs Global 2

When we met in groups in class the other day I realized how similar this world of fashion really is. In my discussion group I had someone writing about the celebrity effect for the end of term paper and another writing about the performance world and I am doing London Street fashion. When we started talking about our three different topics we couldn’t find much difference in regards to the zeitgeist map. One of the main things that connect all three of our topics is the media. If we didn’t have media we wouldn’t know what celebs are wearing, we wouldn’t know what people on the streets of London are wearing when we are in the United States, and we would have no idea about the performance world. Technology plays such a huge role in today’s world so it makes it hard to separate local and global fashion because we can always find out what is going on in fashion in the rest of the world by going online. We no longer have to be somewhere to know what the fashion is so it is hard to individualize local and global fashion.

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An example of always knowing what is going on in the fashion world is this picture from the Vivienne Westwood Red Label collection, which was shown in London fashion week yesterday.

Local Vs Global II

After going back over our discussion I started thinking more on the local aspect. I personally believe globalization is not stopping and that we will continue to see an integration of cultures all over the world, especially in the world of fashion. So if it continues at this rate would it still make sense to use the word “local”. If in 5 years from now all fashions are seen as “global” and no longer geographically specific would it make more sense to use the word “traditional” instead of local? Would that not be a better fit? It maybe “in fashion” to wear a particular African pattern, but when it falls out of fashion globally, and therefore locally, then where does it go? In that grey area, or are we missing a category? I might be getting way ahead of myself but I decided to test my theory out! I decided to enter on google 3 specific searches for each continent. For example I searched, “Asian Fashion” (representing the global view), “Asian Street Fashion” (representing the local) and “Traditional Asian Fashion”. I then did that for each continent. When I typed in “Asian Fashion” I expected to find some hint to traditional clothing, anything that would set it apart from the “Street Fashion” or Western Fashion but I couldn’t, it was the same style. It was not  until I typed in “Traditional” that I got something different. Now using a whole continent might be to general, I would obviously have to go and test this theory in other ways. I’m not going to post all my findings, but they were basically the same for all continents. Here are the first photos found in each of the Asian searches.

Asian Fashion:

asian fashion

Asian Street Fashion:


Traditional Asian Fashion


Late Introduction and Zeitgeist Thoughts.

Some of you have met me and some of you probably have no idea who I am at all, other than that person who comments on EVERYTHING.  Hi, I’m Allison, and I am the graduate teaching assistant for TMD 424 at URI. My background is historically focused, and I am studying textile conservation and historic textiles, which may explain where some of my comments come from!

I enjoy reading your posts and it is great to see so many of you applying the class discussions to your blog posts.  Thanks to all the participation, I’ve recognized that there may be some misunderstanding concerning zeitgeist and the zeitgeist maps.  I have a few comments which I hope will clarify these two ideas.

-Zeitgeist is a philosophy which can apply to any time, place, or culture.  It is not a static concept, the defining characteristics and patterns will be different depending on the culture.  While historians have a tendency to neatly divide our past into even increments based on arbitrary measurements of time, culture does not necessarily develop neatly on that time line.  Fashion is an intersecting discipline, part of the artistic world and everyday life.

– The zeitgeist map, on the other hand, is a tool we use to understand the philosophy. While living in an era, it is hard for people to see the patterns of everyday life (you can’t see for forest for the trees.) Because the zeitgeist is dynamic we focus on what is changing in our culture, the big noticeable events and influences that make us different from those who came before us.  The map is a tool to Consider what is missing or redundant on the map we are using – how could it be better?