(not so) random links

tons and tons and TONS to share today!
enjoy, my pets!


-seems like (almost everything) one buys these days, especially clothing, has a tag bearing the words "made in china". for some time now, china has been a manufacturing powerhouse, making many products we in the west consume cheaply and plentifully. but such plenty and such cheapness, while it benefits corporations and manufacturers and their profit margins, comes at a cost...both for many of the chinese (particularly the chinese workers), and most certainly, for us, who are about to be paying more for those aforementioned chinese-made goods (via slate).
a chinese backlash seems to be blooming, in britain, and elsewhere. china's bad record on issues like the environment, labor issues, and so forth have some talking about and trying to personally boycott chinese products (via BBC.com).
but, are such boycotts bound to be successful? who do such boycotts REALLY affect? would trying to boycott chinese products ultimately prove to be a great and complex challenge, when so much of what surrounds us is made or made from materials sourced from that vast country? what are the alternatives to chinese made products, particularly when it comes to clothing? (via the telegraph) and another thing: are you REALLY willing to pay more and work harder to avoid that which is made in a manner that you find displeasing?


-speaking of britain and ethical clothing: the BBC has launched an online ethical fashion magazine, called thread (via the telegraph). hopefully it will prove to be a jolly good effort when it comes to covering all things ethical fashion.
a stellar feature from the thread mag that also relates to all the chinese/ manufacturing talk above: from factory to high street: the hidden cost of cut-price clothes


-through a dress a day, i learned about a "kerfuffle" that occured at the recently commenced st. louis fashion week:
seems a gal named ashley dayley submitted a dress to the show made from an iconic vintage (and recently re-issued) butterick sewing pattern. at first glance, it seemed as if ashley dayley was merely a copycat, trying to pass off a garment made from a commercially made pattern as her own.
ashley later claimed that this information was well-known to those involved with the fashion show (in fact, the rules of the show allegedly allowed garments made from commercial patterns), and as such she did not see any issue with submitting a "design" made from a commercial sewing pattern to said show.
but the trouble was, this wasn't too clear from the PR surrounding the show that ashley (or anyone else, for that matter), wasn't just trying to pass off a dress made from a commercially made pattern as his/her own...until ashley herself tried to clear it all up (check the comments on the DOTD post).
regardless of what actually happened in this whole ashley dayley/st. louis fashion show thing, this story does bring up some issues regarding what constitutes 'original' design, and just what makes someone a 'designer'...
here's my take (coming from a fashion design educational background):
the mere act of making a garment from a commercial sewing pattern (even if you, say, add your own embellishment) DOES NOT make you the 'designer' of that garment, or a 'designer' period.
making a garment from a pattern may make you artistic and creative, a skilled dressmaker, crafty, and a myriad of other things. but it does not imply that you designed that sewing pattern...the fundamental basis of the/any garment.
to me, being the 'designer' of a garment implies that you created an garment from scratch (i.e. you DID NOT use a commercial pattern as the basis of your design). you drafted or draped the pattern yourself (or employed a patternmaker to do so as your explicit proxy), and in many (though not all) cases you are likely to be responsible for everything related to the design from the idea and pattern stage onwards...including but not limited to creating the initial sketch, the calculations and other technical skills employed to make that sketch come to life through said patternmaking/drafting or draping, the fabrication and embellishment decisions employed on/in said garment, and sometimes, also sewing/constructing said garment.
i sometimes sew, knit or crochet from a pattern that has been designed by another person or persons (for instance, a company who makes commercial patterns). certainly, i make choices concerning the materials i use, and occasionally make subtile tweaks to said patterns to have said patterns work better for me. i am, of course, proud of what i have done to fashion said garment and certainly consider work made from said patterns to be a creative endeavor and effort.
HOWEVER, i personally would NEVER deign to call myself the 'designer' of said patterns, i can only be the owner of the result of using those patterns...and nothing else. the original designer is the one who deserves the credit for the idea...i can only take credit for my version of THEIR DESIGN. i would never make something using someone else's blueprints and call it my own. i see it as wrong, period. all rightful acknowledgement for the original design, in my mind, can ONLY go to the person who came up with the original idea or pattern. to take another person or persons designs and call them my own, in any way, would be against my personal beliefs and ethics.
i believe that the selling of wares made from commercially available patterns is a copyright violation, not aboveboard at all...yet, people do it all the time, and it's somehow somewhat acceptable to some...
the issue is, of course, for some, very complicated, and i could probably discuss it it ad nauseam!...it's even a common issue in the fashion industry at large. opinions differ, of course. from mine, from yours.
some questions, as usual:
does just making a dress/sweater/anything from a commercial pattern make you a designer? what constitutes an 'original' clothing design? when do you believe that someone can rightfully call themselves a designer, and the work they make an original design? what is a completely 'original' idea, when it comes to clothing, or anything else?
what say you?


-body image issues are up for debate, both in the culture at large, and now even in the lower house of france's parliament, who've approved a bill that would "make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness". the target here, of course, is the fashion industry, and violating this proposed law could land said stylish perps of emaciatedness in court, or sock them with hefty fines. the point, say french lawmakers, is to affect a change in the way that body image is perceived in the fashion industry, and by extension, the culture at large. of course, the french federation of couture takes issue with this proposed bill, not wanting to have to bow to any outside controls...(via the new york times)


-why can't a woman shop more like a man? (via the telegraph) indeed! perhaps we can learn a thing or two from the fellows when it comes to smart shopping...for starters: employing a little forethought and strategy into the purchases we do actually make, forgoing the trendy-trendy-of-the-moment pieces for the savvy, more long-lasting purchases, and saving those occasional extravagant buys for the sales only.


and of course....the quick and dir-tay!:

-nylon recently posted a mini-interview with eley kishimoto, one of my all time favorite designers (design TEAM, i should say)!

-quilts and patchwork are cool and rule! emily and i are on the same page, as evidenced by a recent post on her blog, go go distro, called quilted appreciation.

-and more quilty goodness: if only i could go see these fabulous art quilts at the wayne art center that fly gives us a peep at...i'd be a happy camper!

-a polka dot stitch pattern, from vogue knitting! i am itching to bust out the knitting needles RIGHT NOW and use this for something, anything, maybe EVERYTHING! YESSSSS! :D

-how to drape a bodice, a video from domestic haven (via craft:)

-from the threadbanger blog: how to remake old sweaters into spring cardigans!

-jennifer perkins of naughty secretary club shows you how to make your own take on tom binns 'no time watch'. sweet!