ISSUE NO. 12
THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE
Thread is an independent student publication funded by SAFC and the only fashion, lifestyle and art magazine at Cornell. Thread is a conglomeration of student writing, art, photography, styling, and design. Published once per semester, Thread showcases the talents of Cornellians from all disciplines. Web thethreadmagazine.com Email email@example.com Facebook facebook.com/thethreadmagazine Instagram @threadmag
President Kristina Linares
Vice President Brenna Louie
Maggie Canfield Tiffany Chen Joyce Jin Erika Kane Sophia O’Neil Emily Wan Chi Yamakawa Isabella Yang
Michael Choe Savanna Lim Kevin Jiang Alice Rhim Christine Yang Julia Zeng
Styling Savanna Lim
Anika Exum Erika Kane Rory McDermott Finan Malcolm Cameron Pollack Shoshana Swell
Sophia He Peter Sanderson Irene Wu
Christine Yang Cedric Castillo Erin Chen Kelly Fam Grace Han Kaley Mi Lexi Schaff Irene Wu
Susie Chun Vivian Duong Peter Haddad Akua Kwakwa Brenna Louie Oona McCormack Deirdre O’Sullivan
Hebani Duggal Hee Jin Kim Nancy Liang Grace Mehler Cherree Shin Isabella Yang Julia Zeng
Models Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof Pauline Acquah Bukola Anifowoshe Ryan Bane Nouri Beesemeer Ariane Bowers Ihwa Choi
Erin Chen Chi Kyu Lee Victoria Moore Gunner Park Tori Pietsch Eliana Rozinov Teagan Todd
Dan Bromberg Tiffany Chen Louise Hatcher Andrew Jhu Lena Navarro
Andie Orduña Jacob Swaim
Marketing Jackie Han
Editor in Chief Associate Editor in Chief
Liana Perez Allen Porterie Jessie Powell Ameya Rao Elaine Sagalchik Mariel Salinas Peter Sanderson Alexander Schaef
Karson Daecher Julian Ohta Annie Fu
In a world of likes, followers, and “friends” we find ourselves religiously on our phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Technology has revolutionized the world. We perceive the world and ourselves in different ways. Do you find yourself living more on or off the screen? Can human emotion be quantified? Swipe left or right? As you compare the future and the past, what changes do you find? What about the present? How do we determine what’s good and what’s not? Perfection? Reality? Perception? How do you stay connected? Read on.
Letter from the Editor in Chief
Letter from the Creative Director
Like any other typical day where I found myself scrolling, swiping, and clicking through my phone, as I broke free of the world around me and existed in spheres only possible by the tiny device I held in my hands, I stumbled upon “Thread Magazine”. I had heard the name before, but I didn’t know exactly what Thread was about until I found myself weeks deep into the Instagram profile of the creative space that has entrusted me to share and nurture my creative vision. We wanted to bring something different to the forefront, and this issue surely does. Finding myself feeling almost as if I was existing in the present, the past, and the future, I looked at myself as a computer-generated image. Looking past the mesmerizing screen that I held in my hand to see that that reflection was more than just an image, what I held in my hand was a collection of things that was me. These days my phone and devices serve almost as extensions of myself. I lived on them, within them, and for them. They hold my secrets, my lies, and my truths. I feel that these devices allow me to hold on to my past with old contacts and memories, live in the present as my day to day companion, and look forward to a future of opportunities, experiences, and relationships. Today technological devices are one of the truest representations of not just who I am, but for many of our generation, who we are. Technology allows us to exist in virtual and even alternate realities, creating parallels and paradoxes to who we are and who we perceive to be. Some use it to mask their identity, but for others it is their identity. It gives a voice to those who feel silenced, and brings to light, many of the issues that society had decided to leave in the dark. But where there is good, there also is bad. In this issue, we explore the duality of technology and how it shapes us. Although it seems to be second nature, the machines and devices we use daily does impact us. The ways that we choose to interact and “connect” with the individuals and world around us has been transformed by the internet. We live in a time of followers and likes. A time where human emotion seems to be quantified. And where, I think, we often find ourselves living more on than off the screen.
During a trip to New Zealand last year, I embarked on a five-day hike through the mountains. Although we were warned that it would be challenging, it wasn’t until I was standing on top of Gordon’s Pyramid on the first day, encased in clouds 4,885 feet in the sky, that I truly understood the magnitude of the trip we had ahead of us. The physical and emotional exhaustion faded away as a feeling of peace and pride settled over me. My hands instinctively reached for my backpack, where my phone was conveniently waiting for me to bring it out and snap a picture. That was how I knew it was a memory worth saving. Even in that moment, completely unplugged and isolated in nature, it was obvious that technology reigned supreme. Our relationship with technology is ever changing – how do we find a balance? Where is the line between enhancing a moment and not experiencing it at all? In a world where private becomes public with the click of a button, how do we reclaim our own identities? Can an algorithm accurately quantify human emotion and produce true love? As future, and present, contributors to this digital revolution, our writers explore what it means to live in a generation so intertwined with technology through the lens of fashion, pop culture, and photography. There is no doubt that technology has played an important role in the advancement of society. However, all good things must be enjoyed in moderation. I appreciate the ability to preserve a fleeting moment of time in my camera roll, but I also enjoy the sensation of watching a warm sunset slowly dripping into the ocean. I respect messages of awareness and change posted on my Facebook news feed, but I also admire those who actively march for gun control across the nation. As we move forward in this digital age, it is important to preserve our humanity by having faith in man, not in machine. This issue acts not as a condemnation nor as a devotion towards technology, but rather as an acknowledgement for its existence and our desire to coexist.
Exposed? : What We Donâ€™t See in Nude Portraiture and Photography
LOVE IN THE DIGITAL AGE 16
Have You Met Your Person?
Lost and, Found Out
PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH TIME 34
A Photographerâ€™s Perspective
Fashion as Foreshadowing in Black Mirror
Sustainability and Fashion
“Draw me like one of your French girls,” Rose seductively tells Jack in the iconic Titanic scene. While this line has been reproduced in numerous memes and social media posts, its significance stems far beyond the humor our generation has found in it. Nude portraiture has been around for centuries, but the modern culture surrounding photography and social media has enabled images to circulate in a greater capacity than ever before. However, physical art forms can often conceal the true messages and desires of their subjects. In order to appreciate beauty and art it its purest form, one must look past the superficial images and into the stories of those painted on the easel or behind the camera screen. What differentiates a Renaissance portrait from an Instagram post? Since the early 19th century, photographs and images across cultures have come to define bodily perfection and how to attain it, especially for women. Comparing modern portraiture to those of Baroque and Renaissance Europe shows how the camera has enabled idealization of the female form. Yet, early conceptions of men with the mind and females with bodily loathing became encoded into portraiture long before photography. Extra weight, once viewed as a sign of wealth and childbearing, as seen in Titian’s Venus and the Lute
Player (1560), came to suggest sloth and undesirability. Women began wearing stiff corsets to give the illusion that they were more slender, which led to them being depicted in portraits with waists narrower than physically attainable. Of course, garments – whether it be a corset or a pair of Spanx – can easily be taken off to show one’s true form, but the use of Photoshop today engrains images into our minds that are seldom erased. While artists like Pierre Carrier-Belleuse have tried to debunk perfection with paintings like the Young Woman Adjusting her Corset (1893), the majority of today’s magazine covers are anything but authentic. The unattainable portraits in magazines and in the media have instigated body dysmorphia in both women and men. In years past, weight has been an issue particularly relevant to the fashion industry. Models were restricted from walking runways because they were deemed overweight, when in actuality, their BMIs were substantially lower than others in their height and age range. Part of this discrepancy was a result of prior images in circulation, especially those of subjects posing (partially) exposed. Regrettably, eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia became more common in young women; even after overcoming the diseases, they still felt the effects by being unable to
bear children or to trust the self-image reflected in their mirrors. Fortunately, countries like France have set legal standards which restrict unhealthily underweight models from participating in events. However, attaining a portrait we are comfortable with is much more complicated than a number on a scale. Although a desire to attain perfection may originate from staring at ourselves in the mirror, it is severely perpetuated and enforced by social media. How can we learn to accept our self-image in relation to our incessant Instagram feeds of others? In America and elsewhere, activists have taken to media platforms to advocate body positivity. Ashley Graham, a model, has been one of the most impactful advocates of this cause in recent years. In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Graham’s appearance in this issue was a catalyst for more physical diversity in the fashion industry. Graham currently serves as a judge on the TV show America’s Next Top Model, where she and Tyra Banks have inspired women to not only positively expose themselves physically, but also emotionally.
Each episode, the models uncover their vulnerability for the judges, photographers, and most importantly, for themselves. The movement for body positivity can be seen on a much smaller, local scale as well. Recently, Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo Movement, came to Cornell to share her story. During the talk, she reiterated that we live in a society of spectacle, where it is easy to become enthralled by the images that surround us. However, we must learn to take control of these images. In order to overcome unattainable standards or trauma of any sort, it is necessary to look past the screen. By taking the images circulated for only what we think they are, we fail to reflect on what the individuals portrayed are trying to relate. Burke made it clear that while disclosing our truths is unquestionably daunting, exposing ourselves does not necessarily need to be physical. Nonetheless, if we cannot internalize our own flaws and fears, there is no possibility for others to share theirs. For as Tarana’s grandmother poignantly told her, “If you’re not really scared then it’s not really courage.”
Love in the Digital Age Chi Kyu Lee According to Plato’s Symposium, Aristophanes argued that we, humans, originally had four legs, four arms, and two heads, but were separated by the vengeful Greek gods. (NPH’s “The Origin of Love,” anyone?) This could explain why finding our soulmates has become our lifelong obsession and why we take huge risks in the melodramatic business of romanticism. This process makes the internship search seem bearable (but who are we kidding?). But, oftentimes, we become frustrated at our “Find-True-Love Projects” so we convert to Romanticism—with a capital ‘R’—hoping the other will find us serendipitously.
Have You Met Your Person?
My middle school Latin teacher married his high school darling. My parents met in college and have never looked back since. Apparently, we’re supposed to meet our soulmates by the age of 21 among the seven billion people (and counting). If you’ve already met your true one, congratulations! (Not being sarcastic at all.) For the rest of us, perhaps a myth about soulmates could encourage us. In East Asia, some believe the existence of the “red strings of fate.” According to this absolutely true fact, a single red string connects two people who are destined to be together. We can find solace in this mythical certainty that governs our entanglement with one other human being who could be anywhere, anytime, in any circumstance. The temporal, geographical, and social dimensions seeking to confine us within the particular time, place, and circumstance that we inhabit lose their authority under the auspices of the red strings. We just need to trace the red string tied onto our pinkie fingers patiently until it leads us to our destined lovers, collaborators, partners. So why is it so hard?
The digital era has introduced numerous platforms aimed to find us love, but the online matchmakers’ algorithms fail to trace the red strings and even distract us from doing so. They only care about ad revenues, it seems, and they aren’t immune to exploitative strategies either. How should we go about finding the person at the other end of our red strings? What can we do? The “red strings of fate,” interestingly, refuse to be limited by the constraints of romantic love. In other words, the other person connected to our pinkies might be concerned with love of all kinds. Consider this hypothetical: you’re a person destined to bring change to the misrepresentation and the underrepresentation of minorities in films, whether or not you’re aware of your purpose as of now. Instead of your “string-mate” being your one true love, they might be an executive at a film production company or an agent of a struggling actress, waiting to help you in achieving your part, your destiny. My point is, the red strings don’t just play in the arena of love; they exist to better this human timeline we live in. Your person may be a historical figure, and you’re called by the red strings to continue their work in the present tense. Or perhaps your person is in the future, waiting to be inspired by you.
To return to the questions of what and how, it’s terribly important to remember romantic love isn’t everything, and that our purpose is not to find true love. Yes, our partners and spouses can encourage us, but true love isn’t a prerequisite for a meaningful life. We can swipe right all day long, but I strongly believe there is another, better way to meet our string-mates. We can search, research, read voraciously (just in case our string-mate has a biography or even an autobiography), travel (just in case our string-mate is in a different place), walk around, go to events, write random emails, upload your thoughts on the web, watch movies, go to museums (an artist string-mate?), etc. We can do this.
Lost and, Found Out Anonymous
Fall semester of my Sophomore year will go down as a semester of highs and lows. Fresh out of a pretty rough breakup, I decided to finally spread my wings and dive headfirst into the world of dating apps. I found my first boyfriend quickly and relatively innocuously through Tinder, but things failed to be as shiny and perfect as they are on those Match. com commercials. For gay men, Grindr is the hookup app to use if you want quick, no-stringsattached sex, and who could ask for anything more? When you are on Grindr for long enough, you get to know a lot of the faces that appear on your screen. You figure out who’s weird, who’s nice enough, and who you’ve never talked to. When Chris first messaged me, he checked all my boxes; he seemed like a nice enough person who wanted to get to know me, and he didn’t even ask me for pictures or sex. Anyone who’s used Grindr before would know this was rare, so I gave him my number and we texted for a couple of days. I learned more about him - he was the head of a few large clubs on campus and was planning on going to law school in a couple of years. As the conversation progressed, he invited me to come along to the Halloween party that his fraternity was hosting, even offering to help me create a costume. I always hated Halloween and never went out that day. Having someone drag me out of the house was somewhat charming. On Thursday, the party was on Saturday, he asked me randomly if I wanted to come over and watch a movie. Next thing I knew, I was standing outside his door, waiting for him to come down. After greeting me, he walked me upstairs to his room, which happened to have a
broken window pane. Kind of ratchet, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. We sat down, and he put on Mean Girls: the epitome of romantic movies to watch with someone you are about to hookup with. To be honest, it was my first time watching it, and I was really enjoying the movie, laughing softly to not embarrass myself. Towards the end of the movie (yes, we watched the ENTIRE movie before anything happened), he put his hand on my knee, slowly inching it to my inner thigh. I reciprocated with a kiss. He softly grabbed my head and inched himself closer to me. I brought my body closer to his, letting him touch my back as he brought his hands lower and lower. He guided me to the bed as we continued to kiss, taking off his sports jacket and unbuttoning his shirt. This story should now take an obviously explicit turn. This story should get steamy and X-rated. But it doesn’t. He suddenly stops kissing me. He turns on his side. He falls asleep. With all his clothes on, he falls asleep. And I’m laying on the bed in a button-down and jeans. What the fuck just happened? I’m paralyzed. I am afraid to move in case I wake him. What the fuck just happened? Do I leave? Do I take off my clothes? Can I even sleep with my clothes on? I look to my left; there’s an open bottle of lube and condoms right next to the bed. Was I here to just to have sex with him? Did he not actually care about who I was? I notice the condoms are in a huge pack of 100. Was I just one more guy that he had charmed? What about the Halloween party? Was that just another part of this complex ruse? Am I actually going to sleep in front of a broken window in 30-degree weather? My mind was swimming with these questions and more--I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night; my only comfort was the fact that I got my socks off.
After opening the door and giving me a big hug, he said I had this huge grin on as if I was nervous as hell. He wittily added that I looked much cuter in real life than in my profile picture where I was making a strained face trying to look “hot.” Laughing, we went upstairs and laid down, where he patiently waited for me to sing. I sung a couple of romantic songs like “All of Me” by John Legend, while he “aww-ed” and closed his eyes, listening intently. Up until then, I had never met anyone who wanted to just sit there and let me perform for them, and it melted my heart. After I finished my third song, I kissed him and we hookedup. Would I have expected after the first messagefrom this guy that I would be introducing him to my family a couple of months later? That it would have me professing my love for him four months later? That it would blossom into a two-year relationship with someone I couldn’t imagine my life without? In the online dating world, we use technology as an invisible barrier, a shield to keep intimacy an arm’s length away. We lower the shield to allow some people in closer, whether that be for a casual hookup or a date. If any problems arise, whether they be large or small, a simple block will suffice to permanently delete that person from your life. Sex is no longer the next step after an emotional connection, but the expected first step with someone you barely know. It has transformed from the most intimate act into the most impersonal. This is the key aspect that differentiates us from our parents’ generation and the reason you feel a strong divide when talking to older people about dating. My advice? Relax, let yourself truly feel, and be honest. Tell your date what you want and what you are looking for. Treat every experience as a learning experience - you could find yourself with a broken heart or a loving, fulfilling relationship. Either way, you are discovering who you are.
The next morning was awkward, to say the least. He said he had to go to class, and then we went our separate ways. I never got a text again, and I understood that it was over. No party, no costume, no possible relationship. Just absolute silence. This was the first time I’d ever been ghosted, a common practice in the dating app world, and I was devastated. I cried. I yelled. I talked to my mom for hours. Nothing ended that strange, empty, cold feeling of being rejected in a simple, impersonal way. I deleted the apps for a couple of months, but soon found myself came crawling back to them for that daily dose of social interaction and sexual communication. I got a message from this new guy named Josh. Josh thought I was cute and was trying to get me to come over his place “for some fun,” offering me his king-sized bed as some sort of barter. I originally said no, but after a couple of lonely nights singing on the slope and talking to this guy, he asked me if I wanted to sing for him (I should mention I’m in an acapella group, hence the constant singing). I’m fickle and I love singing for others, so I agreed, knowing that trading in my twin sized bed for a king for one night wouldn’t hurt. I drove to his apartment that was a mile and a half away, ending up in a strange-looking apartment complex where I figured I was probably going to get murdered.
diVine Nature Victoria Moore
You worship the iPhone. I worship Nature. “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot burn without a spiritual life” – Buddha I give my praise to the natural wonders of the world. My sacred temple is a blossoming garden in the springtime. Here, sunshine is a blessing us New Yorkers have been deprived for the last, oh, only five or six months. Sunflowers bow down to the wind in graceful, freeflowing motion. Honey bees dance around me, parading their black-and-yellow tuxedos, and lovely little ladybugs waddle across green vines like they’re waltzing down the Red Carpet. The soil is a cushion underneath my bare feet, the breeze a revitalizing breath of life in my lungs. The world stops turning for a moment. I’m in tune with my surroundings, yet off the grid. I stand in this sanctuary, where a flurry of group text messages and stress-inducing emails cannot reach me. I pray to a god who may or may not be out there and, accompanied by a choir of birds, sing a song of praise to the Earth and all Her beauty.
You seem to believe you’ll find heaven in that rectangular little, black-glass box you carry around 24/7. At night, it sleeps on your bedside table, like it’s a prayer book. It recharges and wakes in the morning, the same time as you do. It offers you everything you might look for in a religion. Love is at the double-tap of your fingers, as you scroll through social media, amassing likes and followers. Wisdom is as easy as one…two…three…Google search loaded! Fellowship comes from texts and calls—who needs to walk from Court to Kay when there’s FaceTime? You call your crystal ball “Apple,” but it in no way resembles the dining hall Honeycrisps I know and love. It’s as though you think divine nature refers to those hilarious six-second video clips. You follow your religion, and I’ll follow mine. “At the bottom of patience, one finds heaven” ~ West African proverb We both wear our hearts on our sleeves. My aesthetic is defined by the natural beauty I see in the world. I gravitate toward floral patterns and borrow colors from nature, such as the crimsons, peaches, and lavenders of a sunset hanging over the Slope. Your style boasts futuristic designs, as if you’re en route to Saturn, and you love your metallic
silver and rose gold. Whereas I resemble Artemis in my diaphanous spring dress, you’ve stepped right of Blade Runner, wearing a clear plastic jacket and an asymmetric top with one too many cutouts. Fashion is an expression of our beliefs—what matters to us. So, whereas my heart is woven into the rose embroidery on my jeans, yours has been stolen by the smartwatch, laptop case, or cellphone permanently attached to your body. “Religion is a matter of the heart” ~ Mahatma Gandhi But your fashion and mine don’t have to be so different. My silk scarf’s minute threads were painstakingly spun by silkworms, and my wool bomber jacket was stitched from sheep’s wool. Your phone is made from ultrathin glass, plastic, and various metals. Yet, my clothes and your accessories were both manufactured by machines. With the industrial revolution and the rise of technology, there’s been a shift from a reliance on manual labor and natural resources to technology and machines. However, that doesn’t mean the fashion industry disregards nature. I choose Bolt Threads, which imitates spiders’ spinning technique to produce sustainable silk, as well as Patagonia because it supports environmental groups and advocates for sustainable practices. Thus, our styles meet, where nature and industry collide. “The calmer we are and the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be” ~ Swami Vivekananda Yet, your faith hardly resembles mine. You worship Technology day and night. Doesn’t it get exhausting? To keep up with daily devotions, beginning with Facebook, followed by Instagram and Snapchat—God forbid you miss a day and break a streak. Religion isn’t meant to be like this. There’s a fine line between veneration and obsession; there is a balance between Technology and the Earth. Your saints—phones, social media, the Internet—are holy in their own way. Apps like Reminder add ease to your life, and you can store photos so you’ll always have those memories (and evidence to blackmail your friends). But you’re so caught up in virtual reality you get lost. You fix your eyes on the love of your life and disconnect with Nature, forgetting natural beauty is greater than technological beauty. So, I ask you: why do you follow your religion? If you wish to be loved by the whole wide social media world, you will not be fulfilled. But if your goal is solely to spread love by sending out kind messages to others, your heart will be full. If you seek the secrets of the universe, Googling the Big Bang Theory cannot answer all your questions. Instead, have an open mind, and let your curiosity lead you down a wikihole of art and creation to find true enlightenment. If you practice your faith for the right reasons, those luminous, exquisite glass screens and shimmering, stellar silver edges can be beautiful like the moon and stars in the heavens.
“There is reward for kindness to every living thing” ~ Muhammad I revere the Heavens and the Earth with every fiber in my being, so with that comes a devotion to care for every living thing, mainly the 7.6 billion people on this planet. In faith, I not only sweep up the spider in the bathroom and release him outside, but I also talk to the old man sitting next to you at Starbucks and befriend the girl who may not have as many followers as you. But you probably don’t save unwelcome household insectguests; you hold the entire world in that wonderful little box of yours. There’s a network at the fingertips—you can extend kindness to virtually anyone on Earth. I care for one Nature’s greatest creations: humankind. But maybe, you adhere to the same altruistic doctrine. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage” ~ Lao Tzu Maybe, those moments you pass a rushing waterfall and blooming spring flowers without lifting your gaze, you are choosing to put your powerful rectangular little, black-glass box to good use. You continue to wear your transparent futuristic plastic jacket, but you also share a video advocating for recycling. You send a video of a Corgi’s long, disproportionate body falling head over paws as it runs toward the camera, to that crazy, wonderful dog-lover you know. You text your best friend seconds before she takes her prelim, reminding her she’s literally made of stardust. You share Facebook events and sign petitions to support human rights for the Rohingya people. Your divine little box actually enhances your ability to show compassion to humankind. “Do everything in love” ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14 I, the author (yes, all that BS about the author not necessarily being the speaker is true), am just as devout of a follower of Technology as you are. I would surround myself by a field of sunflowers if I could, but technology is an integral part of my life. Though I give my praise to Nature, I also admire Technology: how far it has come and how it makes it easier to reach out to other people. I cling to my devices, as if they were my bible and soul all in one, but through them, I also express love to others. If I choose to love, how can believing in Technology be wrong? If Technology is a god, let following Him look like communicating love to others. If Nature is a goddess, let glorifying Her mean appreciating all the plants, animals, and people of the Earth.
D E A
T E R
Tori Pietsch At Parsons Paris on March 7th, Vogue editor Lynn Yaeger argued that the obsolescence of printed publications has been taken care of, now that articles have migrated towards online platforms. I had the pleasure of attending her talk during my semester abroad in Paris, but this particularly breezy statement didn’t blow by me quite as peacefully as it seemed to for everyone else. The dyingout of printed publications isn’t an unfamiliar anxiety in the age of technology, but it’s a problem we verbally excuse under cover of a keyboard and a computer screen. A conversion to easy accessibility through online media was a quick transition, followed by a too-quick acceptance — never fully questioned and instantly taken for granted. Introducing a six-word story: An aspiring writer who doesn’t read. Perhaps it’s more of a confession. As a hopeful fashion journalist, this is both my truth and a guilt I’ve carried with me for the last three years, since I chose my future career. I do read. I read the Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, and Harper’s Bazaar articles as often as they’re updated on my Snapchat Discover. I love a good bi-annual book during my winter or summer break from school. But I’m not buying many magazines anymore, and I’m not devoting time to catching up on news or politics or the fashion industry in the way I know I should. Neither is anyone else. My friends and I aren’t reading the latest printed newspaper between classes, and a book recommendation is seldom overheard in daily conversation. Few of my peers are carving time out of their schedules to stay informed, as our regular coursework consumes their time, leaving an elusive minute of free time compatible only with sleep, food, and friends. Already hardly reading the literature assigned for schoolwork, we’re not supplementing it with our own personal homework, too. It’s not just the printed publication that’s dying out – it’s our desire and passion to use our free time to read. Modern intellectual conversation and pop culture references congregate around the meme, a crude joke at the expense of a past reference or laughable moment. We laugh, we share, we move on. The modern fashion show critique has no power compared to the viral meme that relates a Balenciaga look to Joey Tribbiani’s comical outfit on an episode of Friends. We’re liking photos of our friends and receiving attention for our own visual public appeal. Emotion and critical opinions are disguised as punny photo captions. The concept of sharing becomes as obsolete as the printed magazine: by sharing everything, we share nothing. Fashion publications are making clear strides to compete with our fickle interests and attention spans, fueled by
social media scrolling habits. They’re establishing their relevance in the changing literary climate through quick links and likable posts. They’re infiltrating our private sphere through features such as Snapchat’s Discover page. They’re fueling our desire for self-serving flattery through personalized customization: Vogue’s mobile app showcases the latest articles curated just “For You.” Through likes and comments comprising a constant stream of validation, we crave connectedness and instant gratification. At the click of a button, you fulfill a desire: like a photo, view a video, talk to a friend. We feel comfortable with constant change; without it, we grow bored. While the narrative of the fashion magazine is struggling to meet such high demands, the industry itself is rising to the challenge. Influencers share where to shop and how to construct the look. Pinterest and Tumblr allow us to repost and express our style. Polyvore, in its socially acceptable form of adult-playing-dress-up, provides us with our dream closet. Retailers create strikingly innovative store displays nestled among the mannequins in the graphics of their homepages. YouTube and Facebook Live provide streams of the runway shows so we can experience them from the comfort of a laptop, at home, in bed, in sweatpants. The fashion world is stripped of its glamorous façade. With all these fashion updates and tools at our disposal, one wonders if the publications are becoming as obsolete as their printed counterparts. You could read a professional’s artfully crafted interpretation of a Fashion Week collection, but you’d hardly want to after seeing the show online for yourself. Without the formal report however, we lose the art of the written word. Without fictional narratives, we lose perspective and empathy and the ability to reflect; we grapple with personal relationships, the political climate, and self-identity. The modern fashion publication is a socially awkward friend from your past. As your tastes evolved, it remained the same, pouting over its being left behind. Clunky and overbearing, it forces itself into your daily routine with a linear narrative you never asked for. It leads the discourse, never hesitating to acknowledge the complexity of developing tastes and conversational styles. While its time-tested loyalty and companionship can’t be criticized, the old age of its practice is nakedly apparent. Far from an inherent flaw or an inevitable fate, the problem with today’s printed media and accompanying online formats lies in their approach to a rapidly evolving and highly demanding intellectual population. Hoping a platform refocus and some innovative features will be enough to save their brands, they falter in their ability to comprehend the mind of the millennial or generation Z reader. Unfocused attention spans require a decentralized format; while the medium can transform itself from print to online, the traditional written article must take new shape. Perhaps they should start with their choice of button.
photography through time
A Photographer’s Perspective Cameron Pollack
How does a photograph change based on the camera used, if you hold everything else — composition, poses, camera-subject distances — constant? Principally, I find, it changes depending on a particular camera’s social perception. I used five cameras in this shoot; a polaroid, an underwater disposable film camera, a 35mm SLR, a digital SLR, and my iPhone. Different cameras forced me to prioritize different things, even though I was shooting the same models the entire time. The polaroid, the disposable, and the 35mm camera all evoke a sense of nostalgia, an aesthetic that our generation adores; they create the appearance of older, treasured moments, limited film, and as such, I took increased care in making sure every shot counted. The DSLR, my main imaging tool that I use for professional work, was a different challenge; my only constraint was the space on my memory card, and as such I took increased freedom to try different angles, and file different permutations of the same pose. Lastly, I used the iPhone, what I consider to be the most revolutionary camera since the Leica. It made photography into the most accessible art form in human history, one that people still doubt the power of. In an ideal world, it would be hard to tell the difference between photos that I took with different cameras. However, this is not an ideal world, and while the cameras came from different eras, I certainly did not. Every other element of this shoot remained unchanged, but I still thought about making images differently, depending on the camera I held as I made them.
HI-TECH THREADS Erin Chen
We are in a fashion revolution. These days, technology isn’t just about algorithms and data, in the same way that fashion isn’t just about chic apparel. The two have long existed in separate spheres, but designers from the fields of fashion and engineering have teamed up to find a stylish yet practical fusion. While it’s difficult to exactly define this emerging trend, there is certainly a spectrum that most of these new pieces fall onto. Spanning from wearable gadgets to digitally-enhanced couture, high-tech fashion is bringing innovation in both functionality and artistry that we’ve never seen before. Functional On the far end of the fashion-tech spectrum is fabric that has been transformed from lifeless material to a wearable, working tool. As Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, a professor at Pratt Institute puts it, “...what makes smart fabrics revolutionary is that they have the ability to do many things that traditional fabrics cannot, including communicate, transform, conduct energy and even grow.” These smart fabrics, known as e-textiles, have discreetly embedded data-collecting electronics and sensors into its seams. Smart tech is a concept still in the works; it still has yet to dominate the fashion market but the potential that it holds is what makes it so exciting. We’ve all heard of Fitbit, the fitness-monitoring watch that has skyrocketed in popularity recently, and remains as perhaps one of the most well-known examples of everyday wearable technology. Companies like XelfleX are bringing a new dimension of wearable tech -- the usual gadget attached to your wrist with a watch strap, has now been discreetly embedded into the very seams of your shirt . XelfleX’s garments have fiber optic thread woven in, paired with a credit-card-sized electronic component, eliminating the clunkiness of wearable tech accessories. It’s an exciting move past watches that collect data solely from an athlete’s wrist. Now, these clothes can collect data from any part of their body, and act as a virtual coach as they run, ski, or throw a baseball. And how does it work? Fibers detect the changes in light with each bend of the fiber optic thread, allowing the clothing to sense how the person is moving. Give this to athletes and you suddenly have a seamless way of tracking their posture and form as they move, with just the clothes on their backs.
Designers have experimented with out-of-the-box methods to push the boundaries of artistic expression, bringing us to the other end of the spectrum: art and fashion, enhanced with a touch of technology. Meet Ying Gao. She’s a fashion designer from Montreal, whose creative projects have been brought to international spotlight. Her work is electrifying -- one of her projects, (NO)WHERE (NOW)HERE, feature two interactive dresses made from photo-luminescent thread that glow in random patterns, activated by viewer’s eye movements. These self-changing light patterns breathe life into the dresses, thanks to glowing ribbons and streaks of fabric that shift across the dress, and strands of thread that curl in response to surrounding light. Although it seems like magic, it’s not. She creates this motion by sewing in light sensors that work with electric motors embedded into the dress. The glow itself is dictated by eye-tracking technology that comprehends a viewer’s blinks and stares, and orchestrates the shimmer of the dress’s photo-luminescent threads. Ying Gao’s works are bringing technology into the realm of art and culture; the (NO)WHERE (NOW)HERE dresses have already been featured in the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art and the Textile Museum of Canada. Her projects show that high tech fashion doesn’t always have to serve a functional purpose - rather it’s a new avenue for designers to stretch the limits of their imagination, and elevate their artistry. Somewhere in-between The categories of high-tech fashion aren’t clear cut. Some of the most interesting blends of fashion and function exist outside the bounds of purely functional and entirely fashionable. These pieces are the ones bringing the two worlds into a realm of an indefinable in-betweenness that is fantastically limitless. Tech and apparel brands have already recognized the potential that lies in high-tech fashion for the everyday consumer. Project Jacquard is a nickname for a product Google and Levi’s have partnered up on: a stylish fusion of denim outerwear and smartphone controls. This $350 jacket is currently available for purchase, and looks like any other Levi’s jacket, except with some extra features hidden up its sleeve (literally). The official Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker Jacket With Jacquard™ By Google features a tag on the left jacket cuff, that interacts and sends data to a smartphone app. This tag, along with the conductive yarn that incorporates thin metal alloys, lets you use your clothing as a touch-sensitive interface that spans across your jacket sleeve without ever needing to pull out your phone. The jacket can measure health stats throughout the day, like heart rate or body temperature, as well as control music and phone call. Swiping and tapping motions on the jacket sleeve lets bike riders change a song or answer a phone call, making our interactions with the digital space more natural than ever.
In the 2016 Paris Fashion Week, spectators saw functional high-tech threads into high fashion. Designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant showcased a new collection of self-heating outerwear on the runway. Models walked down the runway wearing a trio of black, light pink, and black-and-white checkered coats, each fitted with a slimline heater and a rechargeable battery. The coats’ discreet heating systems are similar to that of a car heater, and with buttons on the sleeve that control the temperature of the coats’ backs, shoulders, and pockets. The garments are a tribute to the late designer André Courrèges, whose work played heavily on the 1960s futuristic Space Age styles that featured boxy shapes and astronaut-inspired accessories. This crossover between practicality and style is proof that futuristic fashion is not something that needs to be extremely novel andunfamiliar--it can just as easily blend into our current fashion culture Reinvented Fabrics Tech textiles are not always new in the ways that you’d expect: companies developing spider silk fabrics are using the latest tech to mimic nature’s original elements. While spider silk has long been reserved for science fiction stories, recent tech has found ways to turn this mysterious strand of strong, flexible material into thread woven into our jackets. Companies like Bolt Threads are at the forefront of this innovation, finding ways to cultivate synthetic strands of spider silk. But why all the fuss? Put it this way - take the common military fabric, Kevlar, and imagine an even stronger and more lightweight material. This is the potential that spider silk has on outdoor garments, protective gear, and is even working its way into everyday apparel. Companies like Stella McCartney and Patagonia have partnered up with Bolt Threads, and reimagining its apparel to incorporate spider silk. Amelia Sugianto, a Cornell student and former materials researcher at Bolt Threads, offers a deeper insight into the present and future developments of synthetic spider silk: Q: What’s the science behind what Bolt Threads does? A: Bolt Threads is capitalizing on technology that CRISPR* allows for. They’re using CRISPR to take the gene that makes spider silk out of spiders, putting it into yeast, and then fermenting it like you’d ferment alcohol. So, you can basically train the yeast to produce any sort of protein. Right now, it’s spider silk, but the potential is the crazy part. Because the moment you can engineer yeast to produce spider silk, you can engineer yeast the produce sticky spider silk, extra strong spider silk, or extra elastic spider silk. It’s the gateway to a whole new realm of fiber production.
Q: Why hasn’t this technology emerged until now? A: People have been trying to harvest spider silk for thousands of years. Royalty in the Middle East used to have servants collect the dragline spider silk and painstakingly put it together. People were farming spiders in the Middle Ages for this silk, and there’s tons of myths about the strength of spider silk... Even though [synthetic spider silk] has theoretically been possible maybe twenty or so years ago, now it’s slowly becoming [more popular]. People are starting to focus more on sustainability and fashion, which definitely wasn’t a focus five to ten years ago...and now this is just a new application of that technology. Q: Has spider silk thread been used in art and fashion? A: The only product that was been commercially available was a tie, and that was just through Bolt Threads. Now they’ve partnered with Stella McCartney, and that’s how they got a piece in the MOMA. Their exhibit, [Items: Is Fashion Modern?], goes all the way back from ‘What is a plain white tee? What is a little black dress?’ to ‘What is fashion moving towards now?’. Patagonia is also definitely in the works - they’ve publicly announced that they have a partnership. Q: Do you think synthetic spider silk is sort of a fad, or do you see its potential to become a large influencer in the garment industry? A: I think this technology, and what it implies for the future, is super impactful and will definitely change the way that the garment industry functions. The fact that we’re moving away from cheap, non-biodegradable, unsustainable threads like polyester and nylon, and moving towards something that will degrade but have those superior qualities, is definitely the way that the industry is going.
Fashion is always moving forward: what is already an art of endless possibilities in color, shape, and texture, has been pushed into another open door of possibilities through technology. Whether it’s wearable tech, innovative fabric, or e-textiles, the blend of fashion and technology is undoubtedly on the rise, holding the potential to transform the world of clothing and fashion as we know it.
1. Xelflex smart fabric gives intelligent feedback for athletes. (2015, March 19). 2. Gaddis, R. (2016, February 26). What Is The Future Of Fabric? These Smart Textiles Will Blow Your Mind. 3. Jones, C. (2013, June 19). What You Staring At? Ying Gao’s Gaze-Activated Dresses. 4. Bohn, D. (2017, September 25). This Levi’s jacket with a smart sleeve is finally going on sale for $350 5. Sawh, M. (2017, September 25). Project Jacquard guide: The lowdown on Google and Levi’s smart jacket 6. Bain, M. (2016, March 03). This high-fashion coat has a warming system like a heated car seat. 7. Space Age Style by André Courrèges. (2014, November 03). 8. Laboratories, K. B. (n.d.). Spider silk, the newest fabric for military uniforms. 9 Vidyasagar, A. (2017, April 21). What Is CRISPR?
Fashion as Foreshadowing in Black Mirror Teagan Todd
“San Junipero” and “U.S.S. Callister” are, without question, two of my favorite episodes from Charlie Brooker’s British anthology series, Black Mirror. As everyone and their mother’s mother knows, Black Mirror explores the influence, or potential influence, of technology on contemporary and future life. “San Junipero” and “U.S.S. Callister” in particular utilize nostalgia to explore love, loss, desire, and freedom, all within the context of simulated or “virtual” reality. In the former episode, characters Kelly and Yorkie meet and fall in love during a trial run in the VR beach town of San Junipero; both women are close to death outside the simulation, and when they die, they have the option of “uploading” their consciousness to San Junipero in whatever time period they prefer- 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, etc. Meanwhile, in “U.S.S. Callister”, a jilted computer genius constructs a secret virtual game à la Star Trek, which he populates with sentient replications of co-workers he believes have wronged him. For a period of time in each episode, the VR that the characters inhabit is presented as being their genuine, or non-simulated, reality. However, at some point in each episode, the wool is removed from the viewers’ eyes, and we as an audience learn that
this shiny, idealized environment of the characters feels shiny and idealized for a reason. In other words, in Black Mirror we observe an environment that has been manufactured through the lens of nostalgia; it exists as a result of artificial, remembered time, as opposed to genuine being. Prior to this reveal, however, there are cracks within the foundation of “San Junipero” and “U.S.S. Callister”, and particularly modern cracks, at that. As an observer, one of the first things I noticed about the 80’s simulation in “San Junipero” was Yorkie’s discordant haircut. In the midst of a what otherwise appears to be a veritable orgy of cultural homage, Yorkie’s “lob” is too straight, too long, and too lacking in hairspray to quite “fit” amongst the denim jackets, high waisted jeans, and her own pair of wire-rimmed glasses. Given the contrast of Yorkie’s modern cut to the hair of her romantic counterpart, Kelly (teased at the top and pulled back with an oversized bow), as well as its contrast to Yorkie’s hair in the 90’s, 70’s, and 00’s simulations (wherein her hair always befits the period), we as viewers can infer that Black Mirror is trying to tell us Yorkie and Kelly’s reality is simulated, long before they ever reveal this fact in the show.
Although the disclosure of virtual reality in “U.S.S. Callister” comes far sooner than the revelation in “San Junipero”, the fashion rupture embedded within the episode’s cultural fabric is far more obvious from its inception. “U.S.S. Callister” opens with a parodic rendering of the beloved space series Star Trek. The scene’s antiquated dialogue, 4:3 aspect ratio, and the hair, makeup, and general silhouettes of the characters’ outfits all indicate that the segment is a visual call-back to the 1960s run of the original series. However,
amongst the characters’ cat-eye liner, minidresses, and carefully gelled side parts, one element reigns amiss: the cutouts in the midriff of the female officers’ space uniforms. While this could also serve as commentary regarding the redundant sexualization of female characters in American media, it is also a subtle clue to the Black Mirror viewer that “U.S.S. Callister” is not, in fact, set in the 1960s, nor is it truly set in space. Rather, it is a world of imitation designed for one man’s sadistic entertainment and escape.
Perhaps it is inevitable that any television show will, upon revisiting a previous time period, emphasize styles of the time period that have fallen back into favor; perhaps it is inevitable that the show will make “mistakes” or try too hard to make the fashion of the time period more palatable for a modern audience. The fashion disruptions in Black Mirror, however, do not feel inevitable; rather, they feel purposeful. Yorkie’s lob and the midriff cutouts serve as tantalizing inclinations that all is not what it seems. What does it mean, “San Junipero” and
“U.S.S. Callister” ask us, to view the past from the present, particularly through the lens of technology or simulated reality? What are the shortcomings and disadvantages of sentimentality? Can we, as creators of TV, fashion, literature, and art as a collective entity, ever truly recreate an experience or an era in which we do not currently inhabit? And if we find that we cannot, perhaps we ought to focus less on reviving our past, and more on understanding it- especially as we look to create our future.
Sustainability and Fashion Gunner Park
Sustainability is at the center of innovation in the fashion industryâ€™s current climate. Front-runners are harnessing the circular economy to unlock technical innovations, efficiencies, and mission orientation. Fashion companies have begun to embrace the importance of sustainability, with 42 out of 100 fashion brands in 2017 disclosing supplier information to inform their customer about waste. Leading companies will go even further, moving to close the loop of the entire product lifecycle by means of recycling and regenerations. In this generation, sustainability is slowly evolving from being a menu of fragmented initiatives to being an integral and defining part of the entire fashion product chain. Designers and labels are making an effort to emphasise sustainability through their product design and marketing initiatives. While some of these initiatives merely serve as a ploy to attract consumers, there are a handful of companies that hold an uncompromising brand ethos and attitude towards offering sustainable garments. These labels design clothing for themselves and for their respective target markets, but still maintain a significant concern for their holistic footprint. Here are three major, players in the fashion industry who offer cutting-edge designs with a focus on sustainability.
image from stellamccartney.com
Stella McCartney Long before consumers recognized the importance of sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney pioneered a revolutionary stance in the industry that is somewhat lost in the thick of current mainstream fashion trends. Best known for her eponymous label, McCartney is one of the most interesting designers to have become victim to the mass appeal and competition of the very trends she pioneered. In recent years, numerous labels have joined the circuit in offering sustainable garments that exude natural confidence and subtle femininity. However, no one is able to recreate McCartney’s signature mix of environmentally friendly materials and sharp, simple tailoring. Before sustainability was a topic in fashion, McCartney advocated for the use of environmentally-friendly materials. Similar to her father’s support for PETA, she protested against designers who used animal fur and those who wore it. McCartney refrained from using wool, silk, and any other animal-derived fabrics in her designs. Her vision was acknowledged in 1998 when McCartney was appointed Creative Director of Paris fashion house Chloé for her innovative, yet questioned approach to sustainable design. In recent years, McCartney’s collections have put a far greater, more literal emphasis on sustainability, a factor that inspired her earlier work. For McCartney’s Spring 2018 ready-to-wear show, the invitations came with a roll of trashion bags—recyclable bin liners made of recycled linear low-density polyethylene with the designer’s logo printed on them. The bags served as a message her to green-leaning ethos: Fashion show invitations should be strictly digital in 2017, but this was a gesture in the
right direction, she stated. In the same announcement, McCartney shared her new strategic relationship with luxury online sale destination, The Real Real, to foster future consignment. For years, McCartney’s endeavors were mostly reserved for bags and shoes—as evident in the widespread popularity of her Falabella bags— however, McCartney began expanding into sweats and knitwear as well. Utilizing a new material—Skin-Free Skin, she calls it—McCartney is able to recreate the supplelooking effect of leather on pieces like a clingy black twistfront top or a pair of relaxed caramel-colored trousers. Beyond her design, McCartney is outspoken about the state of our environment. Back in July, McCartney upheld her ongoing commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental waste by shooting her signature textures surrounded by garbage. Against the tunes of Australian rapper Tkay Maidza, models can be seen bopping around a waste area, quite literally stepping over, frolicking in, and laying on heaps of smoking debris. In collaboration with artist Urs Fischer and shot by photographer Harley Weir, the designer brings literal light to issues like over consumption and single-use fashion. On a similar note, after a recent report published on November 28th, 2017, round-the-world sailor and environmental campaigner Dame Ellen MacArthur called for a systemic change in the way clothing is produced and consumed. The throwaway nature of fashion has created a business which creates greenhouse emissions of 1.2bn tons per year—larger than that of international flights and shipping combined. McCartney backed the report, condemning the industry as incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment.
Unlike McCartney’s work, Patagonia, one of America’s most respected outdoor brands, offers a heavier emphasis on everyday wear and lifestyle in lieu of runway shows and high-end designs. The label is famous for its longstanding influence on American culture, and it is also championed for its numerous initiates supporting sustainability and waste reduction within the company. The secret behind its success is simple: while many brands try to cultivate a particular image depending on the ebbs and flows of the marketplace, Patagonia has had a consistent identity from day one. As a privately held company with a small group of visionaries at its center, the company continues to soldier on, serving its core customers while innovating and propagating sustainability through their garments.
Though the company has found success among the style-conscious crowd, innovation is still key at Patagonia. Recent breakthroughs in materials include Tencel, a lyocell fiber built from the pulp of trees grown on sustainably run farms, and Yulex, a natural rubber for wetsuits that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent over competing manufacturing processes. Some of their most impressive recent technological breakthroughs include H2No waterproofing—one of the most rigorous waterproofing standards in clothing retail—and superior wind protection provided by their signature multilayer Gore-Tex fabrics. Even with all this product-facing innovation, Patagonia has always kept the environmental impact at the forefront of what and how they create.
Though Yvon Chouinard (the founder of Patagonia) designed outdoor clothing throughout the ‘70s, it was the release of the signature Pile Fleece jacket in 1977 that solidified the label as an innovator. In 1985, Patagonia introduced both fleece jackets made of Sychilla and Capilene polyester long underwear products in the same season. These two revolutionary fabrics deepened the culture of innovation at Patagonia. The company understood that they were no longer constrained by materials already being used in the industry. This realization marked the beginning of prioritizing recycled materials at the company. Fleece jackets have since become a staple outdoor garment, imitated by Patagonia’s competitors and big box retailers alike.
Though Patagonia had always been environmentally conscious, the ‘90s called for a head-to-toe environmental audit of the company (including a look at sustainability). The company pledged to donate one percent of sales (or 10 percent of profits, whatever is higher) to grassroots environmental organizations, a practice that continues today. By 1996, the company was using 100% organic cotton. This culture has continued through to present-day. In 2011, it launched the “Common Threads” program aimed at making its clothes repairable and recyclable. Its famous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign called attention to the amount of resources it takes to produce clothing, and urged customers not to buy more than they need. Patagonia even offers free repairs on all its products and operates a store that only sells refurbished products.
image from grailed.com
image from grailed.com
Abasi Rosborough is disrupting the industry with a cutting-edge approach to sustainable menswear. With a combined design history that includes stints at Ralph Lauren and Nepenthes, Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough have honed their respective vision into a uniquely unified—yet multi-faceted—lens that fuses the realms of American sportswear, Japanese simplicity, and sustainable design. The young designers met while attending FIT in NYC, launching their first collection in 2013. Since then, they has received numerous accolades for their unique approach to men’s tailoring. The duo saw the way garments evolved over time, garnering interest in the ‘uniform,’ and eventually coming up with the daunting task of reinventing the suit. Using a convergence of military activewear, sport, and the traditional codes of menswear in clothing, Abasi Rosborough offers anatomical tailoring with asymmetric paneling made of technical fabrics. In addition to innovating the silhouette and fit of their garments, Abasi Rosborough also places a heavy influence on sustainability and their environment. Each collection is produced ethically in New York City, using deadstock fabrics found in warehouses throughout the city. With the fashion industry being the second largest polluting industry in the world, both designers aim to eliminate the unnecessary waste. 80% of Abasi Rosborough’s collections are made of recycled fabrics,
and the natural fibers allow each garment to be biodegradable. Furthermore, the company ships and sources locally to reduce carbon emissions. When Abasi Rosborough first began designing, they considered the life cycle of the product—something typically ignored in favor of mass-production and cost. They understood that most people simply toss their garments out after a few years, and that they eventually end up in a landfill for thousands of years. Abdul Abasi believed his a job as a designer and problem solver was to consider his holistic footprint and how it affects the world. Additionally, both designers found a love for natural fibers due to their nuanced processes that developed over eons of work. For example, wool is a technical fiber typically utilized by the brand since it is four times more durable than cotton. It takes less water. It is pesticide resistant. It can grow in a week. It has numerous properties that can already be utilized, instead of synthetic fibers such as GORE-TEX. In short, 2018 will bring to fruition the “next level” of sustainability and offer the potential of a competitive advantage for fashion companies who embrace it fully. As the commercial advantages become apparent, a dedicated group of sustainability champions will lead the way, showing the fashion industry how to drive innovation and value by integrating sustainability across the entire value chain.
A special thank you to Argos Inn, The Laundress, Julie A Stone Salon and The Cornell Store