Materialism is a prevalent issue in, not only the fashion industry, but the in the world. As a fashion designer, I have voluntarily chosen a world where materialistic views reign. We covet clothes for the brief moment they are in style. With fleeting styles and fast fashion, we are quick to discard or no longer care for our once prized possessions. l explored how society’s materialistic tendencies lead to the mistreatment or improper care of clothes. For this collection, I examined how the improper care of clothes can influence the design process.
There is a discussion surrounding the word “materialism”. I see myself on both sides of the argument. On one hand, materialism and fashion go hand in hand. On the other, I believe that designing through fashion is another way to send a deeper and more meaningful message to consumers about worldly issues. This collection brings to light the process that goes into creating something, but with significance behind the creation.
An academic journal, “Exploring the Relationship between Self-Monitoring, Materialism, and Product Involvement in Fashion Clothing” found, “Greater levels of materialism seem to be associated with an understanding that possessions serve as part of a signal to others informing them of who the individual is and what their status or position is.” Today’s society is caught up on the belief that whoever has more “stuff” the better they are. In the people’s race to who can acquire more, 14.6 million tons of textiles are discarded each year. Also, since we believe that what is in today is out tomorrow, the average American throws out approximately 84 lbs. of fashion (Davis, Patricia).
I have designed a knitwear collection inspired by what happens to material when clothes become unwanted or undesirable. I have incorporated a smocking effect on the knitted pieces, as well as wrinkled pleating on the woven pieces, inspired by wrinkled clothing. Asymmetry is a common element within the collection to further the exploration of what happens when clothes are warped, stretched, and shrunken.
Professor Linda Ohrn
“Altered” is my response to the materialism facing the fashion industry. Designing this collection proves fashion is so much more than materials and fads. My inspiration is how the improper care of clothes can influence the design process. To emphasize the disposal of clothes, I experimented with different manipulations. Wrinkle pleating makes the garments appear as if they were just balled up and now it is ready to wear. The majority of my garments in my collection are knitwear. I experimented with different techniques to resemble certain distressing properties. I have incorporated a smocking-like technique with the knits to resemble wrinkles, and to further stress asymmetry. This is a collection where consciousness and fashion meet.
Robinson, R. (2017). Altered. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5414
Robinson, Ricki. 2017. “Altered”. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5414.
Robinson, R. Altered. 21 Mar. 2017, https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5414.