Trend observations with a sociological eye from afar...
by Darryl S. Warren in Vancouver
Thank you for your contiued patience and much-cherished loyalty during my joyless hiatus. I haven't been totally in a cave. Recently I went to a fantastic event in Vancouver called the Culture Crawl. The sheer number of artists that open their doors once a year is astounding and inspiring. For those who follow on Twitter, you know what I'm talking about as I shared some "finds" with you as a way of saying thank you for continously following.
Again, please speak up and feel free to let me know which article (or articles) made impact with you while you are waiting for more.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and sustained loyalty during my current hiatus. I think we can agree that we all don't enjoy it. At least I am not leaving you in the lurch while you are in the dark; many past artices continue exhibiting relevance.
Feel free to let me know which article (or articles) made impact with you. I screen comments for spam but welcome sincere efforts. After all, it's not all about me.
I appreciate your ongoing patience and loyalty during my hiatus. I do, however, encourage reviewing past articles as they still are relevant to current collections. Unfortunately, some current cultural contributions are as well, such as what Yahoo.ca reported recently as seen here: (https://ca.music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/nicki-minaj-slammed-for-anti-semitic-images-in-lyric-video-174111139.html ). You may wish to refer to a past article entitled "Heil Kitty" written months earlier.
Rememberance Day serves to remind us what happens when we fail to exercise our democratic freedoms: Nazis got in under an apathetic voting crowd: less than 30% voted there. While the uniforms were stylishly cut, the ideology they represent is never fashionable. Let's also remember that.
A gain, thank you for your continued patience and loyalty during this trying time; the hiatus continues. I wish I could say more. Drama, people, just drama you don't need to read about today.
T hank you for your continued patience and loyalty during this trying time. It was never my intent to be gone this long and yet I must let you know the hiatus continues. I will do my best to keep you abreast.
My apologies for the disappearance last week. I am still on hiatus on all channels and appreciate the continued loyalty during this interruption.
With the recent passing of Oscar de la Renta (he was a very nice and talented man) and the worldwide ebola scare amidst market panic and fresh politivcal uprisings, designers will have a range of new influences to cleverly work into their upcoming collections. It will be either in recognition of or in reaction to the frenetic energy we face these days.
And for now, you'll have to wait to see where Fashion Observed weighs in. Life, people.
The hiatus continues on all channels, and I deeply appreciate the continued loyalty and enduring patience. I proise to keep you abreast as developments occur.
This is an opportunity to comment on past articles. Which ones do you find still relevant to current collections?
Unfortunately, still on hiatus. I appreciate your loyalty and patience. In the mean time, are you also seeing many of the same themes continuing in the collections? A browse through my archives will tell the tale.
Normally Fashion Observed takes a more intellectual stance without getting too personal. The professional objectivity is purposely taken to contribute to the validity of perspectives detailed in each article, not to alienate or keep you at a distance. Today, however, I owe each and every one of you an apology. I believe in my values, and one of the main ones I am proud to uphold is integrity. And somewhere I feel that I insulted you by a small measure that challenged that value.
Each fashion season (there are now four major ones), I comb through every collection accessible while also reading many articles on fashion and tech daily through the year; some are found through digging deep online, some through reliable channels and some through you. The collective observations serve as the foundation for my blog articles as I serve to inform you on how what is happening in the world gets translated into something as seemingly mundane as a belt or a blouse. Maintaining the blog and the social media that supports it requires a lot of effort and time. To do it properly would require the time normally reserved for a full-time job, and that requires financial resources to devote one's efforts to doing so.
This baby of mine has been developed on the back of every available moment not consumed with existing employment (and the awful commute I had to endure along with it). It served two purposes, one already outlined above. The other is a bit selfish, I confess. I wanted this to showcase my skills and abilities regarding research, information interpretation, composition, and adeptness with social media tools with very limited resources to attract a better revenue stream (hopefully one that alligns with my broad interests) so I could ultimately take this blog and transform it into something bigger and better that can become economically self-sustaining while I continue through life. To make this into a money-maker requires... well... money, and I live in a lovely and beautiful country that unfortunately and unwittingly demonstrates a propensity towards supporting those who least need it (i.e. those already successful and have the means). Unless one wants to leave the country for more supportive and lucrative waters, one has to work with these challenges, compounded by the embraced international mindset of paying a dime for a dollar's wage (our own fault; we have become a society trained to shop via coupon, discount and sale so what else do you expect?) which slows the elevation process, especially when acting as sole entity.
I take great pleasure in sharing with others how a designer or trending company takes what is out there to give rise to what we wear. I also greatly enjoy sharing the articles I find that let you know what is so amazing about the world that is going on as we speak. I'm pleased with what I can do with so little (and imagine what I can do with more!). But most of all, I take great pleasure in doing so in my way on my terms. The results are a testament to faith in one's own vision above other voices to the contrary. I mean, I have a blog with no pictures! I force people to read...and they do! In this age, isn't that amazing?
My blog is supported by activity in social media, chiefly LinkedIn and Twitter. While my LinkedIn presence honors the more professional stance befitting of my personal image, Twitter is a valuable appendage of Fashion Observed. It is the abbreviated voice that shares and interacts. It mirrors my activity on LinkedIn by sharing article content that a designer would appreciate, providing items to spur the imagination while keeping informed in what is happening in the world of fashion and tech. These are two worlds are enjoying a new relationship that the polyamourous personalization of fashion already shares with its mistresses known as art, music and nature. The Twitter feed honors contributions by naming and appreciating contributors that accompany the Follow Fridays (Twitter users know this as #FF).
For the colour and layout of the blog to the images that accompany it and the Twitter feed, everything is carefully chosen to reflect what is anticipated and translated via trends into various creative industries, chiefly the fashion industry. Even the picture of my face in Twitter is no accident; a personal touch counters the impersonal platform you let your fingers graze as you read it. It is intimacy offered to you. When the 90s and normcore were anticipated (and who didn't see that coming?), I chose a straight-on simple headshot with a plain shirt. When fashion was getting more sculptural I chose a French cuff dress shirt worn to highlight the drama (askew with the cuffs extended) while showing my camera-phone taking my picture, anticipating the rise of selfie culture. The most recent picture was more casual and cavalier, with the continued normcore simplicity of the dress shirt and a sly wink, all backed by some flashy geometric art behind it all (and, truth be told, the painting is by me). It reflects the casual and playful nature that fashion is taking, while upholding the influence of bold geometry in art's graphic nature. And we're all still feeling a bit of science so the silver stays. It was deliberate and integral to the more personal identity that Twitter encourages. Even brands know to put a more personal edge to their social media as it's about interaction, not about the old-school Mad Men mindset of advertising. The choice was done with deliberation while the entire site and the feed retained the polish while upholding professionalism. But the price for individualistic expression can be a lack of concensus when not aware of the process and where economics lie this can turn from a no-brainer to a conundrum.
Meanwhile, the hiatus is due to more pragmatic realities; this blog cannot exist until the practicalites are tended to and in all honesty that is where my energy has been going. And pursuing opportunity to solve this dilemma required compromise that challeged set values... and here's the long version of why:
This blog is a testament to being true to myself. Over time, it has cultivated a wonderful following that has garnered some impressive followers that I am truly humbled by every time I look at them in the list. Incredible designers and design companies (Zero + Maria Cornejo, M. Patmos, KTZ, Guy Laroche, Gola Classics, Uniqlo, Sensoree), industry (NFT Lab, CDM UK, IMF Paris, 3D Printshow, International Colour Association), media (New York Observer, Variety, WFMU, Techweek, Deadline Hollywood,The Style Con, LDN Fashion, Blackbook Magazine, Musebox Magazine) ,tech (PERCH Interactive , Cubify, Embodee, The NEX band, Syncmetrics, Bytten, Kiroo, Frixion), and respectful professionals, individual and entity (Susan Natoli, Tom Cheesewright, Vincent Boucher (amazed by that one), Adam Chapnick, Linda K. Allen,The Denver Art Museum, The International Child Arts Foundation, Concordia University, John Street Advertising) are following my Twitter feed. I used to have Katherine Hamnett but I'm not as environmentally focused and had too much stuff on my feed but that's OK; I will always appreciate the love and will always support them and their altruistic cause in the name of our survival.
I am also appreciative of those that don't follow reach out to acknowledge so I know they are around...and totally welcome. I am deeply honored to be acknowledged by incredible heavyweights through Twitter interaction from the likes of Style.com, Costello Tagliapietra, Rachel Comey, Mary Katrantzou, Barbara Bui, Manolo Blahnik, FIT, and less often (and that's OK) Peter Som, Moschino, Zimmermann, Brandon Sun, Jonathan Simkhai, Fausto Puglisi, Francis Bitonti, Genetic Ink, Claude Montana (wow, huh?) and Vanessa Daou. And I will terribly miss the consistent supportive interaction with the late L'Wren Scott (and wonder where her followers are that started to follow the blog when she did). All this plus those I didn't mention...the incredible personalities and professionals who do follow that I did not mention but are just as valuable, some of which are in the margin (another feature I want to expand on)...is quite a list of amazing people and entities that would not be possible if they did not take this blog and social media nor the efforts behind them seriously. I thank God and the universe (or whoever you acknowledge) every day for this.
Newer opportunities arrived but sometimes these don't come with a fuller understanding of the intricacies of detail choices. Unfortunately this meant making a change that, while small, represented adressing values associated with ownership versus representation and its impact on audience perception.
My layout and feed style fully illustrate professionalism and inquiry into details would have satisfied the strategic aspect behind it; given that the Twitter feed retains three hundred and seventy-something followers of professional standing, I believe they and the body of work can attest to the professionalism represented. I understand altering professional presentation when working for others on their platforms as that means representing their interests; I have demonstrated the capacity to do so effectively through life. But it's another matter when it comes to my own personal projects as these are examples of results via full unencumbered expression. Doing so required compromise, and I believe I may have insulted you in the process. If so, I hope you can accept my apology as I aim to maintain integrity in all I bring to you.
My blog and the social media that support it are part of a brand initiative I undertake, and it succeeds because I do it my way; your support validates it. And the only reason it's not bigger has been outlined above. This baby has potential to be awesome...no, it's on it's way to where it should have been sooner. Be it courtesy of someone with deep pockets, an abundance of free time and an awareness of the potential contained or through serendipity where my financial abundance sees positive change, this is happening. And integrity is its foundation.
Integrity counts; I also believe one has to "walk the walk". As said already, there is purpose behind the selection which honors the spirit of social media, fits with the branding and does not detract from the professionalism of the site nor the blog it supports. It does so in partnership with values we can all stand behind. But now I stand at a crossroads as I realize my baby is growing up. In the meantime, I choose an icon for my Twitter feed while you weigh in and let me know how you feel as I hope whatever choice made does not compromise the integrity Fashion Observed represents to you.
I thank you for your understanding and your time.
You may be curious as to what is happening. I would like to share that but for now you will have to be content with exercising patience. In the mean time, much of what is happening in the Spring/Summer 2015 collections is a continuation of existing themes, albeit in continuous evolution. Feel free to look at archived articles to see which threads are consistent with past themes. As the smoke clears, I will certainly catch you up on how today's world connects with designers' interpretations.