The fashion pyramid.
In the lecture held by the fashion designer Steinunn Sigurdardóttir we got a view of her studies and career. Steinunn has worked in fashion houses with world famous fashion designers and fashion labels, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Gucci and La Perla. She has also designed her own fashion lines with the label “STEiNUNN”, taught knitting that she calles “Rythm Knitting”, been a curator in exhibitions in fashion and culture both in the Icelandic Cultural museum and other places. In her design “STEiNUNN” she is often influenced by icelandic nature and the icelandic traditional folk dress. It will defiently be fun and interesting to look at this a little bit better and blog about it.
However what I’m going to mention here and thought was as interesting was the “Fashion Pyramid”. The Pyramid is as other pyramids widest at the bottom and narrowest at the top. It’s divided into 6 layers. The layering „Thick Description“ by Gilbert Ryle (Clifford Geertz) can by used to analyse the Fashion Pyramid. Wow, there are a lot of things happening here, is the start at the bottom or at the top? Or vice versa? Maybe it dosn’t matter but Steinunn started to tell us about the top layer, The Haute Couture and then each layer below that. She emphazised that people who write about fashion here in Iceland don’t know realize the difference between each layer. Then the question comes to my mind: Is this something that can be researched? How do people discuss and report about fashion in icelandic media?
I put here also a couple of pictures of the Fashion Pyramids, they are not all the same. In the pyramid that Steinunn showed us there is for example a “High Street” layer which is a british way of speaking and means Oxford Street. This layer is not a part of the pyramids for USA, Milano or Paris. Steinunn said also that shops in Iceland that sell mass produced clothes are mainly located in the bottom layer of the pyramid but there are several shops here in Iceland that belong to the High Street layer and only very few in the Diffision bride layer. No one is higher in the pyramdid then that here in Iceland.
When Steinunn talked about the riding coat (reiðkápa) that had been expanded I started thinking as often before about all the clothes that were repaired in the past. The clothes were expanded, tightened, lengthened shortened, patched and what else was needed so that the clothes would last as long as possible. They were sometimes also turned inside out and new clothes were sewed from the old ones. It caught my attention when Steinunn said that the repair stitches were the “signal” of the person who repaired the clothes. I thought that was very “grand” because sewing and other handcrafts have not often been highly valuated.