the force of fashion

Fashion is not just about a new pair of shoes or a fabulous outfit; garments and the act of dressing are rooted in culture, society, art, history. We as humans utilize clothing for protection, seduction, and personal pleasure. It serves as a form of self-expression, but also as a mirror to our daily lifestyle and changing world. I love to learn as much as I can about fashion’s far-reaching effects by reading tomes and textbooks that focus on fashion and its relation to other disciplines.

When I search for such a book, I look for a plethora of thought-provoking content based on fact and original ideas, coherent organization, and captivating photos. Since the demise of Borders, I am rarely able to see books in person and flip through to find out whether they’re worthwhile; I rely on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature and a good deal of luck to find exceptional reads via the internet. The titles above are books I’ve had my eye on for awhile, and I’m anxious to pick one up sometime soon.

Have you enjoyed any of the books above? Or do you perhaps have similar suggestions? If so, let me know with a comment!

(Clockwise, from top left)

Fashion and Art (Adam Geczy, Vicki Karaminas)

History of Beauty (Umberto Eco)

Fashion and Modernity (Christopher Breward, Caroline Evans)

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed (Harold Koda)

Fashion: A Philosophy (Lars Svendsen)

Fashion and Psychoanalysis: Styling the Self (Alison Bancroft)

Identities Through Fashion: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Laura Bovone, Ana Marta Gonzalez)

Fashion (Christopher Breward)

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Wishing Andy Warhol a posthumous “Happy Birthday” on the evening of a lovely summer’s day. The artist would be 85 today; I wonder what he would think about our society and the present celebrity culture that he helped to elevate through his work. This is one of my favorite photographs of Warhol, and I hope someday to frame it and stick it on my wall. Cause Andy, you’re a star.

(Photo, via Taylormade Interiors)

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botanical metropolis

For my final Fashion Design class project, we were instructed to produce inspiration books using photographs we’d taken ourselves. The central idea of the project is to study shape, form, silhouette, and proportion. I decided to use photos of the botanical garden from my last Hawaii trip and of plants around my home in Calistoga for my book, and combine them with my own drawings and collected decorative papers. We’re only a few weeks into the project, so I will definitely post more examples of my collage and art work in the future, but I wanted to give a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on lately.

I’ve been ruminating on the theme of my collection, and though it is subject to change, I’m envisioning a Botanical Metropolis: a futuristic approach to organic shapes in an urban setting; a dystopian society masquerading as a utopian one; a demolished city reconstructed in the heart of a jungle and overrun with flora. Suppressed idealism, perhaps.

In the weeks to come I’ll share more of the project as it develops, including fashion sketches, fabrics, finishes, details, and renderings. I will also be posting photos of my last project—six designs inspired by a country—in its entirety, from sketchbook to finished fashion collection. But for now, enjoy four original compositions of my own creation.

(Above, “Future Burnout”)

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