The finalists in each of the two categories of the Sanlam Fashion Journalism Awards - writing about the fashion industry and fashion editing - have been announced. This year's short lists are:
Ok, so I think the last time we were ( well..I) was excited about seeing what I call a "fashion movie" was when Sex and the City and Devil wears Prada came out. Coco Before Chanel is one of the movies I'm looking forward to see.
The thing about style is that its effortless and simple. I think this photo from Vogue China April 20o9 shows just that. Whenever we try hard we miss the beauty of whats already there...
Personally I'm so tired of seeing the same celebs ( TV personalities, soccer players and the likes) for cosmetics ads and on fashion magazine covers, etc. I don't want to mentions names. This new trend is so boring and not appealing anymore. I believe models know what they are doing and look fierce while doing what they good at that is why the called models. Seeing a celebrity take away the mystery and the elegance of the product. I'm not sure who is being promoted the product or the celebs.
Some International Super models who are of the same Opinion
Production: Workshop Feedback (Producing a Sellable Range)
Recently, the focus of my blog posts has been on the Producing a Sellable Range workshop series hosted by CTFC and the Technology Station at CPUT. Module 4 was about production - something every designer needs to tackle if they wish to see their ideas turn into an actual tangible garment. I remember a time when I did not know the difference between an overlocker and a sewing machine. Thankfully, I've made some progress but this module really took my understanding of the technologies available for the garment industry to another level.
While it is true that 'hand-made' garments can be of a good quality - think haute couture where most of the construction is sewn without machinery - when it comes to ready-to-wear, consistency, speed, and accuracy are better achieved using industrial machinery and industrial manufacturing techniques. This was the basis of this module. To give you an idea of the content we covered topics like stitch types and applications, seam types, machine types, needles, thread and attachments. Asking (and answering) questions like: how do you determine the correct seam types (we were given the international standards for 50 differnt seam types) to use for a given fabric/garment performance/finish requirement/etc?
We also learnt a bit about attachments - like bias binding and hem feet - that fit on industrial machines and make complicated or time consuming tasks a breeze (we even had a little practical session with some of the machines so I can vouch for this). The specialist machines we were exposed to include the industrial bar-tack machines and button hole machines; attaching a button is simply a matter of aligning the button and the needle and watching the machine do the rest - in a couple of seconds! Literally!
Based on discussions after the workshop, this module was really valuable for the designers. I think its because it's a topic which one can see immediate benefits if techniques etc. are implemented, compared to visualising the benefits of implementing a total quality management system; for a start-up at any rate - the latter is actually just as critical but you need more time to get your head around it.
As mentioned before, the technology station makes these specialist machines available to start-up designers - so make an appointment and take a visit if you're in the Cape Town area. You won't be disappointed!
We have started our own little clothing business ( yes we are very proud :)
We are looking for talented designers who are interested in letting us sell their clothes. We are great marketers and have a very large database in which we sell the clothes to. This is done in various strategic ways that enable us to succeed. This is an opportunity for you to not only sell your clothes but establish your name within the market. We can sell on Consignment otherwise we are willing to work out a deal that suits you.
Quality: Workshop Feedback (Producing a Sellable Range)
Instalment three of the series of workshops being organised by CTFC and the Technology Station at CPUT dealt with the issue of quality as it pertains to the manufacturing of garments. Our lecturer (Ntombie Nonxuba) is a garment technologist who works for the technology station and she spends a great deal of time working with companies and CMTs to help them improve the quality of their production through the implementation of quality management systems.
So how does one produce a quality garment?
The workshop first tackled the theoretical underpinnings of quality management. We started at the very beginning - putting together a definition of quality. I think she summed it up best when she said 'it starts with the customer, and ends with the customer'. Ultimately, it is the customer that will set the quality standard for your business.
As always, I really enjoyed the anecdotes and references to actual industry practice. Achieving a good quality garment is not necessarily related to the size of your business or how much experience you have. As a small business, we can actually achieve really high levels of quality; the key is to have a system that ensures this.
We received a very detail pack of notes on the theory behind quality management, including some excerpts form international spec sheets which were really interesting. One German company produced a 139 spec pack for one garment. ONE garment! From how the garment needed to be laid out, what the grading parameters were, each and every stitch type diagrammed and scanned in for appearance, machines and their sewing parameters - all of this is sent to a CMT (and we only got to see 9 of the 139 pages!!!).
Notes on how to measure garments post production for quality checks were also included to assist with the practical application of quality control.
As I noted in my last blog, these are really sophisticated subjects but these workshops really do provide great insight into them. As you business grows, so your systems will develop - the key is to have a quality as a primary objective. That said, I would suggest that you want to start with a high quality garment and maintain your quality level – your reputation will be built from the outset and changing initial perceptions may be more difficult that anticipated!
The technology station does provide assistance to designers who are looking to improve their quality outside the parameters of this workshop series. They truly are a great resource!