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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Horace, Copywrong & The Labour Of Love

The end of LFW officially, and I just came back from the Horace show at The Hospital Club.
Adam Entwistle, Emma Hales and Philip Grisewood showed their AW11 collection in a huge dark room, with a square marked out in gaffer tape in the center for us all to stand in, facing a screen onto which a montage of images was projected, featuring atom bombs, crowds, fast food and production lines, interspersed with Grisewood's graphics of triangles, cubes & prisims combining to make 3D isometric block illusions.
The models came out of a door to our left, and walked around the taped off area, posing at the end in front of the screen, which made for some interesting pattern mixes.

The ever present Vitamin Water gets given the glow stick treatment
I loved the banana print, and the dress with the skeletal type overlay (skeletons are a re-occuring reference point for me) there was also some lovely stud detailing on the leather jackets.
Black dominated the colour pallette, and there was a definete grunge vibe about the collection which fused tribal influences with a dystopian feel.
I think they were spot on to show the collection alongside the video - brands like Horace should be exhibited in engaging, challenging ways that feel part art installation part catwalk
The lack of front row seating (and all the politics that go with it) certainly helped cement the egalitarian vibe.

On the way home I read in the Evening Standard about the artist Marc Quinn and his spat with Wunderkind, over use of his floral paintings, without permission in their collection.
The paintings in question frankly look like the kind of pre-framed tat you can pick up in any branch of Ikea for around £20, so quite why Wunderkind were silly enough (if in fact they did) to use them, is beyond me, they could have picked up near identical photographs out of any copyright free book.

There was also an article about unpaid internships at museums & art gallerys, and about how unfair it is that people often have to work for nine months, free of charge, and how its exploitation really....erm, hello, how do they think the fashion industry operates??
If it wasn't for the unpaid workforce in fashion not only in London, but Paris, NY & Milan, the industry would grind to a halt.
With something like 800 students a year graduating, and all prepared to work for their favorite designers free of charge - sometimes for years - there is always a fresh batch of the eager and willing available
Of course they don't get totally nothing- they get credits, which then enable them to go onto jobs that actually do pay (although ironically its the bargain end of the high street that pays the highest) or gain enough knowledge to set up on their own
See also styling- even established stylists still do the odd free editorial shoot for certain cool, credible magazines which then enable them to get the big commercial jobs that do pay- but that no PR company wants to lend clothes for (so they have to bend the truth & hope is passes unnoticed)
The article further cemented my belief that the fashion industry really is the hardest in the world, this business of beauty is often very ugly on the inside, nepotism rules over talent and the amount of free and ludicrously long hours people are often made to work is astounding
(can't see an accountant putting in 15 hours per day, six days a week, can you? but I could tell you now of half a dozen fashion brands where this is commonplace)
So why do we do it?
Love. Love is the reason we put in the hours, loose sleep, and give our all. That or insanity...the jury is out.

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