Suzuki, Tadashi and Best, Joel. “The Emergence of Trendsetters for Fashions and Fads: Kogaru in 1990s Japan.” The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Winter, 2003), pp. 61-79.
In the Japan the 1990’s is remembered as the birth of the kogaru, social type of youth or category of youth that created trends in fashion. They were typically high school girls that had enough time and money to experiment with fashion and establish trends. At first, the public saw the kogaru as a “moral” problem in Japan but that changed overtime, as they were now widely accepted and their trends where used by marketing campaigns to sell products that appealed to young girls as well as other age groups. These trendsetters play a very important role in fashion as their personal choices affect what others will decide to wear. Where in post-World War II Japan adults were the trendsetters the 90’s was a much different decade.
Kogaru was influenced by the social change in Japan in the 1990’s, since the youth population started to drop because parents wanted less competition for their children when applying for university. So, for young women this time was less stressful as competition was lower than before and they have more time for other activities like fashion. Also, the economy was in a recession and cheap and more affordable ways to set trends was the standard. Since there was less worry to study for competing in grades the Japanese youth had more time to get part-time jobs and spend more on shopping in malls and there was more time to start trends that were affordable for all. Although, kogaru was sometimes associated with the sex industry but it was mostly exaggerated by the media.
Kogaru is an interesting topic I have never heard of and it is unique to Japan as well. I believe that fashion trendsetters do not always have to be the elite who display expensive designer dresses on the red carpet. Trendsetting can start from the bottom-up as the authors of the article have explained. Trendsetters like the kogaru have so much influence in a culture and place that they should not be ignored.
Lewis, Cynthia, and Susan Harbage. “Crazy in Love (Women and Shoes).” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 51, no. 1, 2010, pp. 82–94.
The article begins with Cynthia Lewis describing a day at the shoe store with her husband and friends as she was deciding to buy a pair of new metallic shoes. Then she talks about how her husband left her for a college student that was there when she bought the metallic shoes and she doesn’t know if she should keep them or throw them away. As she talks about her “woman disease,” she describes how much she cares about the craftsmanship of quality pair of shoes and the process they require to be made. She is so interested she does some research and goes to a museum to learn about the history in design of shoes. Lewis goes into her fascination with the shoe making process, the inspiration behind the designs and the attention to detail.
Lewis goes in deeper about how a shoe can be the “ultimate aphrodisiac,” how it can make a woman feel sexier, and the attractiveness behind them. She claims that a pair of good shoes can not only make a woman’s foot look sexy but it also creates leg appeal and creates a more eye-catching look. Then she realizes how important footwear has been for popular culture from plays to movies and she discusses how easy it is to obtain designer shoes online for people that have an “addiction” to shoes like Cynthia Lewis. She believes a woman should be able to obtain the as many shoes that she likes as long as she enjoys them and is not afraid to wear them.
Before reading this I didn’t know there was such a long process to make shoes. I had never looked at shoes as Cynthia Lewis has demonstrated in her writing but it is really interesting to read it. Shoes have made a difference in popular culture and do make women feel more confident and sexy. This is why some have an obsession with them and always have to have the right shoes to wear for every occasion.
McCoy, Esther. “Charles and Ray Eames.” Design Quarterly, no. 98/99, 1975, pp. 20–29.
In this article we learn about Eames and his ambitious dreams in the furniture industry. He was a designer that had no architectural background when he started, but then when he took up architecture it seemed a little too late. One of the chairs he design was scheduled to be mass produced, but unfortunately it was too expensive to sale to the general public. Compared to Eero, Eames would rather sacrifice style in order to produce a larger quantity, something that Eero would never do. Although Eames was very disciplined and it showed I his work. When he started working for Herman Miller, his designs were very eye catching and modern.
Many of Eames industrial designs ended up in places like offices and airports. This was due to the lightweight material, portability, and durability of the chairs themselves rather than just for the design. However, one of his most popular chairs was used widely and was the one preferred by most Americans, as it seemed that many had this chair in their living room. This was his version of the Morris chair, that was made popular in the late 50’s. Another of his most famous designs included the aluminum group, which as the name suggests the chairs were made of metal and were commonly used for the outdoor setting.
As a designer, I believe that Eames was trying to reach as many people as he could with his work. Since his focus was more on production, rather than the style of the furniture he made. As time passed, he did manage to get many people to own his designs at home and at the office. His works were not as aesthetically pleasing as Eero’s, but it was more widely used during and after his lifetime. Ray and Charles Eames are an iconic husband and wife duo that left their imprint in the furniture industry.
Bergin, Paul. “Andy Warhol: The Artist as Machine.” Art Journal, vol. 26, no. 4, 1967, pp. 359–363.
Andy Warhol is the beloved pop artist that many know very well and we can recognize through his various works immediately. However, we only know the public Warhol and have no clue about his private life because he would not share any information. He simply wants to be known as the Andy Warhol that he has created for everyone to see. His art is not just for entertainment or for it to be stored and be put in a pedestal, but rather it was meant to be a statement. They were not meant to describe or portray the subject but it let the subject define itself. He did this in to procedures and the first was to let the subject be represented by itself; mostly by copying the subject exactly as it is (i.e. the Campbell’s soup can.) just as a machine would do.
Next, is the use of silk screening for his work and preferred this method over painting with a brush. This was because it was an easier process and because it also simulated a machine and it worked for whatever statement Warhol was presenting his audience with the particular piece. He basically wanted anyone to try and do his work if they wanted to. His work could be separated into phases, one of them being the commercial phase were he took emphasis on food that was mechanically processed for the first time in history. Another phase was flowers which represented the lack of real flowers in the city. Third, is the death images that he would silkscreen from newspapers. Lastly, he also made a few portraits.
I believe Warhol’s works made and continue to make a statement. He is always considered to be the pop culture artist but he was more than that. He is basically a historian that was capturing daily images and scenes that most would grow accustomed to and never think much about. He wanted to make sure that people would see these everyday items and pictures and think about them for a minute.
Rossi, Catharine. “Furniture, Feminism and the Feminine: Women Designers in Post-War Italy, 1945 to 1970.” Journal of Design History, vol. 22, no. 3, 2009, pp. 243–257.
Gibson, Pamela Church. “‘To Care for Her Beauty, to Dress Up, Is a Kind of Work’: Simone De Beauvoir, Fashion, and Feminism.” Women’s Studies Quarterly, vol. 41, no. 1/2, 2012, pp. 197–201.
After both world wars, many countries were severely impacted and a lot of lives were lost. This post-war time brought out many young and talented women which held jobs that were only held by men before. Especially in design, were many new artists and creators changed the landscape of design in the European war-afflicted nations like Italy. These women were game-changers in their respective professions; For example, the incredible architect Boeri was also a very successful furniture designer. Unfortunately, like many other professional and educated women of the time she was underappreciated, overlooked, and not rewarded equally for her work, when compared to her male counterparts.
Women were basically a minority in the design industry at this time, especially in Italy were this was a male dominated part of the economy. For a woman to be successful or even prosperous in their studies and work, they first had to be given menial contracts and jobs, regardless of their skill and knowledge. In the patriarchal society that was left over by the fascist regime in Italy, women were basically marginalized and discriminated simply because of their gender and forced to work in a group with men to be able to be part of a pronounced job. This was how they were treated as professionals but as women they were expected to have children, raise the kids and attend to their husband. This obviously made life more difficult and burdensome just for a woman to be able to do what she enjoys.
I think it is very unfortunate what these women had to go through just to make their dreams come true. They worked so hard just to get around the patriarchal rules of their society to design, build and create their very skilled and unique designs. All these Italian women, as well as all woman who suffered and grieved quietly to be able to practice their professions, should be respected and rewarded for their contributions to fashion, design, and architecture.
The Space Age Body
The space race not only brought competition in international space operations but also in fashion. This was seen mainly in streetwear, as designers were adapting to the new technological advances and as the public prepared for the future. Outfits were aesthetically simple, assisting mostly as practical urban wear, where women outfits were closely comparable to men’s. There were jumpsuits, one-piece suits, and even helmets. Sometimes this space-age fashion had a very militarized look to it. Metallic colored fabrics, Plexiglas, and plastic were all materials used to create these interesting garments, as well as zippers, Velcro, and even metal were used for welding accessories. Various famous designers of the futuristic style included Cardin, Courréges, and Paco Rabanne.
Rabanne experimented with various materials like metal. He made an all-aluminum dress which was heavy, sharp, and cold. He also used plastic to create one-piece rain suits and hats that were well adjusted to the curves of the body. Some of these pieces look very extreme to me, and they are definitely not usable as every day clothes. Although, a metal dress those look very appealing but in reality is not a functional design. Some of the accessories from the late 60’s and early 70’s, were also a little bit ridiculous, like the metal sheets, stove pipe necklace, and aluminum shoulder ornament.
Most of these garments my not seem appropriate for casual wear but it is not about the garment itself. This is about the idea of the future and the vision that these designers had. Their vision entailed metals, plastics, and sophisticated design. As artists, designers are always forced to think out of the box and come up with unique design ideas. Perhaps not all of these ideas shown in these garments are completely functional but it does not hurt to try.
The Cybernetic Body
During the space age there was more than just the suited space body. There were also many more technological advances that were seen during the cold war. While some designers were interested in how humans will look when traveling through outer space, others were focused on the technologies here on earth and how they could possibly be combined with fashion. There was clothing with added lighting that connected with the music scenes. There was an idea of creating a cyborg look which is, half human half robot, in the fashion trends of this time. While many people were becoming more skeptical and distrustful of new technology, some fashion designers were embracing it.
This was not just a trend that was going on during this time but it was actually a studied matter. Cybernetics which is the study of man and its relationship with machine was the reason behind many of the aspects of this Cold War era. Just like with the space age body, the cybernetic body has some militaristic features. There were some designs in clothing that implemented communication, as they believed that cyborgs would need to communicate with their machine counterparts.
Personally, I see how the inspiration came for these designs. There is always technological advances by governments during war times and its soon after that the public can get a hold of similar technologies and manipulate them in to something functional. Whether it is for everyday use or for recreation, in this case it is for fashion and art. We are still not wearing augmented reality headsets or glasses everyday but we are seeing a major shift in new relationships between humans and current advances in technology.
PARKINS, ILYA, and LARA HAWORTH. “THE PUBLIC TIME OF PRIVATE SPACE IN ‘DIOR BY DIOR.’” Biography, vol. 35, no. 4, 2012, pp. 668–689.
Christian Dior’s life was more than complicated than it might seem at first glance. As a designer in post-world war II, he had much to prove not only to himself but to the public who was hungry for the visually pleasing couture fashion trends of the time. He wanted to change the ugly wartime look for a more feminine look. Shortly before his death, Dior had written a book of his feelings towards his short lived fame. In his memoir Dior by Dior, he tries to publicize an internal conflict that has been looming inside him since his rise to fame.
According to the article, in order to understand Dior’s situation, we must have an understanding of the fashion industry during this era. Time is a very important factor in fashion, as we look at the past for guidance towards future looks by creating something new in the present. We must also take notice of his background, he is both Parisian and Norman, still fully French. As a Norman he displays the spirit in revolution in his vision for design and planning. Then the Parisian half created the “famous couturier” that we all know today. Going back to the Time Space subject, Dior had inspiration come from nostalgic times and places. Mostly from places he visited and from historical times he longed for.
I believe Dior is one of the most iconic designers of his period and even today. His vision in this art was far more advanced than anyone else at that moment in time. I feel like there was a realness and authenticity to his work behind all of sparkling and shiny garments. He really wanted people to know this. It is like he did not want to be known for a design or a piece of work, but rather the meaning and inspiration behind it. This was a difficult thing for him to achieve because of his celebrity status.
Albers, and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen. “Interacting with Albers.” AA Files, no. 67, 2013, pp. 119–128.
Josef Albers was an artist that study all over the world and taught all over the place. He was also an instructor at the Bauhaus in the Weimar Republic and educated in a more unique way to his students. He taught that color was something that we made in our mind and it is constantly tricking the way we see things. According to Albers, color is transformed in our minds psychologically and physically. He also showed students how to “feel” the items they are studying and helped them to try to understand the features of a piece a material instead of just letting the teacher trying to explain everything. Albers believed that a more hands on approach would serve the students a whole lot better than just by reading about it. He had a an mysterious way of teaching students to draw, by letting them connect with the subject, sometimes asking them to close their eyes as they drew.
I believe this is one of the best artist to live. He had such an amazing approach to the arts, very unconventional and unique. He inspired many with his unusual perspectives when it came to the practice of art. He knew that the psychological had to connect with the physical in order to fully understand the subject matter. His way of approaching a new topic and material was to experience it first hand with an interactive attitude. His view was to always approach something from a unique angle.
Space was also something really important for Albers, as he believed like Kant that it was a medium connecting the artist to the material. Space played a major role in the way the artist views and interprets other objects. His view on space inspired and motivated architects to rethink space in the modern era. We still have so much more to learn from Albers to try and fully understand his ideas and concepts.
Koss, Juliet. “Bauhaus Theater of Human Dolls.” The Art Bulletin, vol. 85, no. 4, 2003, pp. 724–745.
The famous Bauhaus was a school in the Weimar Republic, which is now Germany. During the time after the first world war, the school opened with many eager students wanting to attend. One of the instructors was Schlemmer, who was an artist known for his doll like figures in photographs, sketches and paintings. One particular photograph the Space Walk, is three doll like figures, seemingly of different sizes doing random poses. In this piece Schlemmer is showing early signs of abstract art that was heavily influenced by the political climate of the time were the people of the Weimar Republic were awaiting change after the first war. Another artist in the Bauhaus school was Schmidt, whose doll-like puppets were admired by children and adults of all ages.
This was definitely an interesting time were people just seemed to be waiting to see what happened next in the war torn Weimar Republic. With differences in ideologies Germany was leaning to fascism while others were leaning towards communism. The art of these artists reflected the sort of smoothness and serenity of the time but then the fear and anxiety of pre-Nazi Germany. All the figures in the arts were sort of faceless with very few but prominent abstract shapes.
In my opinion, this was one of the most noteworthy times as the art of this era, particularly from this school changed the way: architects, painters, sculptors, and other artists displayed and created their art. As we read in a previous reading, even some Japanese photographers were influenced by German artists. We saw in this reading photomontages which is also something the Japanese also imitated.
Weisenfeld, Gennifer. “Publicity and Propaganda in 1930s Japan: Modernism as Method.” Design Issues, vol. 25, no. 4, 2009, pp. 13–28.
In prewar Japan, advertising was hard to distinguish with propaganda, as they both were created by the same artists which used similar approaches in their art forms. Modernism was the style that these Japanese artist, mostly photographers, practiced during the time of growth and development in japan. Chocolate bars were advertised as a nutritional product that would help feed the starving population at the time. Also, outdoor sports like skiing, we’re becoming more popular in Japan. Even some of the product advertisements had some element of propaganda in them and the propaganda photos had some elements of advertisements. Some of the inspirations for these new age Japanese photographers came from Germany in the form of magazines from architecture to state issued pamphlets. Some magazines they viewed, came from the USSR.
I personally think that this art form was one of the most progressives at the moment. Especially, the method of superimposing images and this was done before Photoshop. The way the artist wanted to send out the message was pretty clear and straight forward but done in very creatives ways. They used various perspectives, and shadows, as well as zooming very close to the subjects. Their unique blend of oriental and western style of photography changed the way visual arts were performed in Japan.
It is interesting to see that the Japanese got some of their inspirations from the USSR and Germany. Mostly, because these three nations ended up being the three axis powers. Perhaps they felt like they had many things in common since all of these countries were in a period of transition and were becoming highly industrialized. This modernist approach in photography continued on into the war years and even after.
Jones, Angelina R., and Nancy J. Parezo. “TUCSON’S SQUAW DRESS INDUSTRY.” The Journal of Arizona History, vol. 51, no. 4, 2010, pp. 299–320.
The Squaw dress is one of Arizonans most popular inventions of the 1950’s that was worn in special festivals and celebrations in the Tucson area. In a city where no one expected to be known for fashion soon became a giant in the fashion industry that was worth more than 4 million dollars. It housed many women entrepreneurs like Dolores Gonzalez who made the greatest impact with the squaw dress in the 50’s, (although she did not help make it popular; this would be credited to Cele Peterson). Also, many women were now employed in factories that produced several variations of the dress.
The fact the dress was created as a combination of various cultures fascinates me. It has features of Native American style clothing, specifically the skirt which is copied from the Navajo style. The there is also Mexican American flair added to it as well with a pleated skirt. They were mostly all V-neck dresses which is still popular today. What varied was the sleeves some were longer and others sleeveless. Most of them were bright colored and some even had accessories hanging from them.
It is great to see that a local trend can go mainstream and appreciated by many cultures in one country. This was a great piece of work for all people of Tucson and Arizona in general. Specially, for women entrepreneurs and female factory workers who became more independent and more recognized, even though this was post World War II. It is interesting to note that a fashion trend like this can influence even later generations and future trends.
Risch, William Jay. “Soviet ‘Flower Children’. Hippies and the Youth Counter-Culture in 1970s L’Viv.” Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 565–584.
Hippies and flower children were not only abundant in the Western and heavily industrialized United States during the 1960’s, but were also living in a more unexpected place in the world: L’viv Ukraine. Basically separated and excluded from the rest of society these Ukrainian hippies were like nomads moving from place to place. Whenever confronted by the state police or military they were forced to leave their current home and disgraced only because of their ideas, appearance and “western fashion.” This included long hair and facial hair on men, bell-bottomed jeans for all, and crazy get-ups. Accessories included: string of beads and necklaces with crosses.
In my opinion, these times were definitely interesting and included and original sense of style and it showed in its fashion. These iconic trademarks of the 60’s can have left an immense impact in the history of fashion and will forever be recognized by their flair. The themes during this period of time were mostly: love, peace, and no-war. This carefree and counter culture attitude established a look that displayed harmony and serenity in a conflictual time.
Unfortunately, these young people were discriminated by the way that they dressed and their physical appearance. They were seen as criminals, vagrants, and drug addicts. All of these accusations were made by state police and the KGB to make them look like they were a menace to society. Manny were arrested and put in jail or asylums for no good reason. Here we can see how society perceives people with the misinformation they here from one source and do not care to investigate the issue a little further.
Paulicelli, Eugenia. “Fashion and Futurism: Performing Dress.” Annali d’Italianistica, vol. 27, 2009, pp. 187–207.
Futurism in fashion cannot be explained without including the fast development in urbanization after the industrial revolution. What drove futurists to create their designs was the connection to society in their time, thus the style formed a graphic impression or a translation of the current political climate. Futurism also played a major role in men’s fashion, since after the industrial revolution men had no interest in it. Sometimes, it was hard to tell the difference between art and the latest futurist fashion since they blended so seamlessly. The one that started the futurist movement was Giacomo Balla after showing interest while painting someone’s villa. He released various fashion “manifestos” during the fascist regime in Italy, which are the base for Italian men’s fashion.
In my opinion, it is interesting that a painter such as Balla grew any interest in design and even photography and other visual arts. Also, it is interesting to see how he felt about his people during the fascist regime, he thought they were not brave enough to create a fashionable men’s suit or even tie. He felt that dressing nice was not something reserved only for women, or the French but that men should look good too. He and other futurist artist had a vision, as well as a nationalist view of what the Italian men’s fashion should look like.
If it was not for the futurist movement, perhaps Italy would not be so famous for their couture fashion and there would not be many Italian fashion designers. The inspiration for a design can come from the most unthinkable places and often during the most politically dynamic times. For Balla and all the Italian futurists it took a little bit of nationalism and a fascist regime to reinvent men’s fashion.
Harris, Daniel. “The Aesthetic of Drag.” Salmagundi, no. 108, 1995, pp. 62–74.
In the Aesthetic of Drag, the author Daniel Harris clearly wants the reader to understand that Drag is not transvestitism. It is more or less a costume for parties or parades. It does not copy the female casual ware but tries to stay away from it. As it is losing touch from the everyday fashion trends, it looks deeper and deeper into the past for inspiration. The flamboyant style was used to catch people’s attention, whether the spectator was gay or straight. Drag was also used during the gay movement almost as a civil disobedience act, and we can say that drag sort of adapts to the current political situations of the country. According to the author Drag has ironically lost its femininity and is at “war” with itself. Drag queens now, are not open to displaying their shows for heterosexuals but only gays. This has completely changed the style of props and fashion from extravagant to lewd and obscene.
In my opinion, I don’t know very much about the subject, but I believe that fashion is constantly changing and adapting to what is trending. If Drag is changing, it is because of the political climate and the external circumstances surrounding the art. Like the author said Drag started as a movement for the gay community to express themselves in the mainstream. Unfortunately, the mainstream created a sort of stereotype around drag and probably many in the gay community did not appreciate this.
In fashion, change is important and essential. It might not always make sense to most people but it is the interpretation of an artist, designer or even an entire community. There is always a meaning behind the garments, accessories and props used by Drag queens and we cannot assume that the message is exclusion or separation. It might be that it is losing its popularity on the mainstream, but gaining momentum in the LGBTQ community.
Minstrel: a medieval singer or musician, especially one who sang or recited lyric or heroic poetry to a musical accompaniment for the nobility.
half-jokingly: said, done, or acting in a seemingly jokey manner, but with some serious intent
Lesson 1: Bizarre Bijoux: Surrealism in Jewelry
Panacea: a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases.
Dictum: a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source.
Titillate: stimulate or excite (someone), especially in a sexual way.
Lesson 2: Streamlining Breasts
Perfectible: capable of improvement or perfection (as in moral state)
Epitomize: be a perfect example of
Quintessential: representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.
Lesson 1: The Multifibre Arrangement and Its Effects on Developing Countries
Derogate: detract from; diminish or reduce
Auspice: a divine or prophetic token
Stagnant: 1.having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence. 2.showing no activity; dull and sluggish
The Promise: Communist Organizing in the Needle Trades, the Dressmakers’ Campaign
Bureaucratization: 1.to divide an administrative agency or office into bureaus.2. to increase the number of government or business bureaus. 3. to cause to become bureaucratic or to resemble a bureaucracy: to bureaucratize a city’s social services.
Factionalism is a concept in political anthropology that is used to describe groups of people formed around a leader who reject the status quo and actively work against established authority within a society, such as state institutions, political parties, or economic interests
Proletarian: relating to the proletariat. workers or working-class people, regarded collectively