Livestream Fashion Bytes tonight at 7 pm (London time)!

I know this is very short notice but there will be really interesting Debate about the future of the Fashion Industry with  top-sepakers. There will be a Live Stream and the possibility to ask questions via Twitter and Facebook. If everything works out, this will be Smartfashioned’s first Live-Tweet Event :-).

PS: Please vote on my Poll on the right side of my Blog, if you have not done so already and also like Smartfashioned on Facebook for even more Updates about anything interesting from politics to fashion…

Good Fashion Show: is real fur more ethical than we think?

Animal Right Activits have long fought for the disappearance of real Fur and labels like Stella McCartney have even made High-Fashion vegan, but have we taken things to far?

Fur Coats

At the Good Fashion Show ethical fashion designers expressed concern about the criminalization of wearing Vintage Fur Coats. Reusing old Fur Coats is more beneficial to the environment than wearing Fake Fur Coats, which are manufactured with harmful chemicals.

Suzanne Rafferty from Fifty-O-Fity, a Vintage Shop, that sells old fur coats and jackets with a part of the profits going to different Charities, said that  up to 4500 pounds per month are spent on burning old fur coats by councils. “People feel bad about wearing them and just throw them away”. She also pointed out that a natural fur coat is the best protection against the cold and can keep you from getting ill (saving the environment the chemicals in medicines).

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Vintage Fair and One Day Designer Sale in Clerkenwell

2 events to attend this week
Vintage has been a a London obsession for a long time and the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair on February 19th  is an  opportunity to vamp up your wardrobe without environmental consequences. There will be Fashion from 1800 (!) to the more recent 1980s. on offer.

11 am -4:30 pm

Old Finsbury Town Hall on Rosebury Avenue

admission: 4£

…and there is also the One Day Designer Sale at discounted prices on Tuesday, February 21st, noon-7pm at the Craft Central in St. John’s Square. Support local talents, have a chat with the designers and pick up distinctive pieces of jewelry, fashion and accessories.

PS: Don’t forget to the enter a competition for free tickets to the Good Fashion Show here.

Photo Credit: Aurelia Seidlhofer for Smartfashioned

Win free tickets to the Good Fashion Show!

This Saturday The Good Fashion Show, an event dedicated to showcase sustainable fashion labels will take place for the first time at the London House in Bloomsbury. It’s a great opportunity for environmentally conscious fashionistas as well as newbies to discover new concepts and emerging designers. I am happy that the organisers have agreed to give 2 free tickets to Smartfashioned readers.

There will be 25-30 international and UK Labels to buy from and talk to. Several Speakers, including the Head of the London College of Fashion have been invited to inspire visitors how to make changes in their wardrobe and live a little bit more ‘green’.  Alongside the fashion there will also be an exhibition of more than 100 unique proactive artworks to enjoy.

To take part in the Prize draw:

  • Leave a comment with a way for me to contact you below (your E-Mail will not be displayed publicly)
  • Like Smartfashioned on Facebook

The Prize draw will be this Friday at 12 pm  via random.org and the winners will be directly notified.

Good luck!

Image via

Clothes Swapping

In a world of Throw-Away-Fashion and Wage-Dumping, associated even with luxury firms it is sometimes hard to make conscious choices without taking the fun out of fashion. One opportunity to spice up your wardrobe without spending money or harming the environment is the fast growing trend  “Swishing”.

Don’t know what to do with all your clothes?

The concept is simple: You bring up to 7 items of clothing for which you are rewarded coupons (depending on how valuable your clothes are).  After all items are collected the shopping begins and you can redeem your coupons for someone else’s clothes.

The next event takes place on February 4th at Mrs. Bear’s Clothes, Britannia Pub, 360 Victoria Park Road, Hackney.

Other events around the world can be found here.

Photo Credit: Aurelia Seidlhofer

London Art Fair

There is Frieze and there is the London Art Fair, which is conveniently located just a few steps away from my Uni at the Islington Business Design center. With more than 100 galleries representing contemporary and modern British Art  it is slightly overwhelming and is doesn’t lack behind Frieze. For those of you who haven’t had the experience of visiting an Art Fair yet: basically it’s a dry place in which galleries are lined up, exhibiting their most interesting art for potential buyers and saving you the hassle of traveling across London for a gallery tour. At the London Art Fair you can catch up on all the big and/or famous ones like the Saatchi Gallery, the Whitechapel and Serpentine Gallery but also a lot of the small and edgy ones.

It’s always exciting to get inspired by all the creativity around and finding out what I could theoretically invest my money in, should the unlikely event of me getting extremely rich ever take place. Otherwise there is always the possibility of putting your own creativity to work (materials are usually conveniently mentioned on the label). How about a plastic Damien Hirst skull with Gold Spray as bathroom decoration or getting a Map printed on a (summer) dress (also a good way of saving space in the interrail backpack) and if I should get struck by a flash of genius, the lady at “Young Masters” recommends taking part in the  Young Masters Art Prize 2012. The Talks and Tours are free with admission and we decided to go with a Photo Tour, which pointed out the many ways “classical” photography gets enhanced to draw attention to  itself. One of my favourites was a video photo of trees in front of a river. Is this the way the cosmopolitan individual reconnects with nature?

Unfortunately the Short films and Video Installations that were shown were extremely disappointing but the many projects and performances such as the drawing robot, which is able to draw your portrait make up for it. Below a small selection of pictures I took  in the 4 hours I spent wandering around there. I can only recommend going, 11 pounds for students is a small prize to pay for getting to see so much Art!

The London Art Fair is on till Sunday. Don’t miss it!

A cocktail of theory and aesthetics

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Review: Postmodernism Style and Subversion 1970-1990 at the V&A

There is so hard to define that we are not even sure if it is alive or dead.  In the 70ies it radically broke with the expired hipster Modernism. Minimalism wasn’t avant-garde anymore and the world wanted something new. In one way it made art much more commercial and decorative and in another way it was also extremely ironic and critical towards consumption. Carol McNicoll, an artist featured in the exhibition recalls: “When I studied Art in Leeds, decorative art was an absolute no-no. But then we realised, actually, we could do it- and people liked it”. Postmodernism didn’t want to be a smart-aleck it wanted to be playful, seducing and entertaining. It stood for a radical freedom of art. Its critics regarded it as the “end of culture”.

The V&A takes a first major Look at this movement with the Blockbuster exhibition “Postmodernism- Style and Subversion 197-1990”. The exhibition completely sucks its viewers up in a visually thrilling kaleidoscope of all what Postmodernism was about. It leads the visitors through a neon-lit landscape of fashion, art, film and music.  Exhibits have been put in their natural habitat by surrounding them with replicas of postmodernist architecture such as the Beach House by Charles Jencks , metal fences to represent Urban wastelands and club culture elements. 80ies music is dripping from speakers and video installations bedazzle its audience. It feels much more like walking on an abandoned film set than being in a museum. Most art works evolve around the boundaries between high and popular culture, merging them into each other. The exhibitions ends in the museum shop, which seems to be highly appropriate in this context, since the death (if there was a death) of postmodernism was marked when its love affair with commercialism made it blind for the necessary distance for an ironical take on it. The exhibition is quite fragmented, making it at times a tiresome to look at all the little elements of it but may be that’s also what this exhibition and Postmodernism tries to do: to challenge the viewer to make sense of it.

The exhibition is on view until January 15th and concession tickets are 8 pounds. Depending on demand timed-entrys are applicable. It’s probably advisable to go before the last-days-rush.

Ideally. About. Frieze

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Last weekend, the well-known Art Fair Frieze set  up its tents (and a gigantic wood cubicle) in Regent’s Park. Over 170 galleries from all over the world participated and exhibited and along buyers art students, art-related subject students, people, who like the idea of being interested in art, rich girlies, who try to follow their art collector-parents footsteps and so on walked along the endless lines of art gallery stalls. Gallery-owners and their assistants were busy eating sushi from Tesco behind their Apple Computers, while casually ignoring the less-well financially funded ‘window shoppers’. Somewhere in between a blonde girl (me) tried to snap pictures with her mobile phone not knowing that upon coming home she would have to find out that her usb-connect-cable has gone missing.

I like art, especially modern and contemporary art. I know that being art-interested is a cliché and no ‘cultured’ person or hipster would want to be caught not being interested in art but I swear it is not pretentious in my case. I started going to museums and galleries at the age of 15. If you’re not a celebrity’s or artists’ daughter this is an age where this leisure activity isn’t necessarily considered cool. I’ve been to many exhibitions and I was very much looking forward to Frieze.

An Art Fair like Art Frieze gives you the possibility to browse a large number of galleries from all over the world and therefore saves you a lot traveling (costs). This is also the way you have to look at the ticket price, which is even with a discount not tailor-made for students. But if you’re into art it’s probably better to get used to breathtaking sums, anyway.

[portrayed in an artoon from the art newspaper]

 

Gerhard Richter’s hyperrealistic painting “Kerze” (Candle) for example was just sold at Christie’s for 9.3 m pounds. I have to admit it can sometimes be a frustrating to look at works of art you would love to see in your (imaginary) loft, but you know that you’ll never be able to afford. But there’s another side too: going to galleries and looking at sculptures and architecture is usually free and in London most museums are free.Visual Art is actually very accessible and with the emerge of performance and concept-art it is doubtable if possession will bring you closer to Art.

Nevertheless, the investment in a Frieze Ticket definitely paid off. From a very interesting floating silverware (in 2D and 3D) installation to a “cartas al cielo” (letters to heaven/sky) box and an engaging installation, in which you had to use your smartphone camera’s phone camera to discover the actual message there was plenty of inspiration to take home and to indulge in the crazy world of art. One gallery built itself a little house and I also saw quite a few works that included mirrors. (are we going to reflect even more on our own images?).

Noticeable was the interaction with the written word, which appeared in many works. I love that combination, even though it bear a risk of getting too close to being just commercial and plain.

An particularly amusing were the black signs, revealing our secret wishes we may have – completely out of conteext

“This sign has seen you coming”

“ideally behind this wall be a hot spring with beautiful naked women swimming”

“Ideally here a blast of fresh sea wind would surround you”

This random aspect of art, that is probably not meant to be really understood is something I enjoy the most. I always hear people complaining about not understanding contemporary art but  I think they just miss the most important the point. Saatchi (famous british art collector) probably shares my view on this. In his book he says that he used to read so much about an artist and his work that he ended up knowing more than the artists gallery then he stopped and just looked at picture catalogues. That’s also why I think these know-all or pretend-to-know-all freaks are so annoying. You can’t take out the emotion of art, you can’t rate good and bad art. If you look at something you like or not. Sometimes knowing more about a piece might change your mind, but I think this is rather unlikely.