I have attended a number of events recently which have attempted to open up discussion between the fashion and tech communities. I am pleased that these conversations are happening, but they have left me feeling a little disillusioned.
Perhaps it is just the artist in me which is crying out because the conversations I have witnessed so far are too mainstream and commercial. I have come across any number of people who are looking to make the next best app or website which “revolutionizes the way we shop” but I have yet to hear a single acknowledgement in this particular arena of the magic of fashion, the sheer heartbreaking brilliance of fashion as a language which communicates in a unique way.
Fashion is not just about shopping and looking good. It is a method of communication that has defined eras. The entire technological revolution was triggered by the automation of the loom – the science of weaving which led to the web in which we are all now tied up.
I feel that short-sighted “quick buck” thinking is prevalent in the #fashion/tech conversation, (as in most of the tech business conversations). The really revolutionary fashion developments at the moment are not about high heels and pretty girls, they do not really fit old ideas of youth fashion either. It is worth remembering that the money machine which is now Vivienne Westwood inc. developed after years if not decades of experimental non-revenue generating behaviour. The fact is true value often takes years of passion and experimentation. I feel depressed that a conversation in one of the greatest fashion cities in the world, and arguably the most creative city in the world, is so far so bland. I wish there were more conversations happening about fashion projects such as Catalytic Clothing or stealth wear Perhaps my taste is unusual.
London is the city that spawned and houses Showstudio.com, arguably the world forerunner in the web/fashion/tech arena. Surely we should be trying to move forward from that point, keep raising the bar. One of the main suggestions from the recent event I attended was the importance of content, but I’m not sure I heard any mention of the quality of that content. I can’t be the only person who never wants to see another bad quality photograph/video online, can I? If people coded the way many take photos the web would be unusable, professionalism should be visible in every aspect of an enterprise.
I am writing this as a way of clarifying my thoughts, perhaps as a way of thinking out the conversation I would like to see happen between the fashion and tech communities. All I know for certain right now is that it doesn’t relate to an app which shifts bags or shoes. It is telling that not that high a proportion of fashion retail happens online, I feel it shouldn’t be overlooked that the reason for this may well be that the web lacks the personal touch, the web will not tell you honestly if that suits you, or recommend a tailor to make adjustments. Buying from the web may give you a small rush of acquisition adrenaline, but I suspect that most people will continue to prefer the touch of clothes on a rail and the conversation and support of a skilled knowledgable vendor. Clothes are our second skin, an intimate and integral part of our lives, and as such deserve due respect as more than pure commodity.
The fashion tech I want to know more about is stuff like this glove that changes colour when there are toxins near – clothes can literally save our lives, it’s a mistake to treat them as frippery. Perhaps we just need two seperate terms #fashionretailtech and #fashiontech
2013 © R Megawhat
Great to see these images of Andy Warhol, on show at the fantastic South Place Hotel, which have never previously been shown after languishing in the photographer’s draw.They are in London and New York simultaneously this weekend. The most arresting image I found was the off guard street shot, above right, where Warhol seems relaxed and somehow more human less iconic – more info here on the photographer Steve Wood http://www.interiorangle.co.uk/consultancy.cfm?ArticleID=313
This is from Red gallery London 2010, for some reason loads of people were checking it on another site today so I thought i’d share it here also. The sort of moment that makes you glad you have a camera. I remember at least half the people there that night were huge Adam Ant fans and after he showed up I heard about 10 stories of people going to his concerts as teenagers.
Posted in art, fashion, music, photography, sex
Tagged Adam ant, art, Ben westwood, gallery visits, london, london living, photography
The results are in on the big data survey, keeping my head in the cloud.
Boarded up block of flats with new shipping containers in front, not sure yet what the containers are to be used for, accommodation maybe?…watch this space.
People have always travelled seeking wealth and better lives. The centres to which they travel differ but the human desire for success stays the same.The expression, known worldwide, that “the streets were paved with gold” is thought to originate from the tale of Dick Whittington. In the story he is a poor boy who came to london seeking riches and found them unexpectedly through his cat ( if you don’t know the story get a copy, top read!) It seems that the real Richard Whittington, actually thrice Lord Mayor of London between 1397-1423, kept a house in the parish of St Luke’s, now known as silicon roundabout. It was his weekend house outside the city, most likely where his cat lived. I hope a statue to the awesomeness of cats is included in the design of the tech city building.
I have been thinking about what separates London, and specifically silicon roundabout from other tech centres in the world and, as usual with London, history plays a big part. Where silicon valley in America was still a fruit-growing area until about 60 years ago, silicon roundabout in London has well over 600 yrs of history of wealth seeking and creation, including this connection to a story of a cat being the actual bringer of success and wealth. There are lots of modern web stories of cats bringing wealth, even big stars such as grumpy cat , but Dick Whittington’s cat got there first. For all its modernity the web is just playing out stories that have been circulating for centuries.
This is probably one of the most famous stories of London as a destination for seeking wealth, but as with some modern success stories it’s not exactly as it seems. In the story Whittington is a poor orphan who comes to London looking for gold paved streets, in reality he was the son of a wealthy man and not an orphan. There has been a lot of press lately about the 17-year-old who has made a fortune selling an app to yahoo, but not much mention of the fact he is the son of the vice president of Morgan Stanley who had a macbook bought for him at age 9. Of course both of these people only got their success through their own hard work but it is disingenuous to suggest that the starting point does not make a huge difference. If you are born walking on the gold paved road is it’s a lot easier to reach down and pick up your share before those who are still searching for proof of its existence. It is verging on immoral to suggest to all our youth that hard work alone will get them everywhere, the app business arose from nowhere 5 years ago , it could disappear just as quickly and we have no real idea whats next. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/22/young-appmakers-cant-job-life.
I just hope that those who are becoming rich now are as diligent in their charitable works as the real Richard Whittington who still benefits London today via the charities he established. One lesson we should definitely learn from silicon valley is that everyone needs looking after so this doesn’t happen http://billmoyers.com/content/homeless-in-high-techs-shadow/
As for the rest of us – there are always cats.my cat Marlon
Posted in computers, design, economy, finance, london, photography
Tagged britain, cats, data, government, london, money, silicon roundabout, silicon valley
This gallery contains 5 photos.
I went to the protest at parliament today against pesticides that kill bees. Sign the petitionban-the-pesticides-petition You can find all the details here http://www.ejfoundation.org/bees/issues It is estimated that it would cost over £1.8 billion a year to do the work … Continue reading