This is definitely a topic that interests me for sure :). Some rambling thoughts below:
I think something like a combination of Yoox’s muscle and Notjustalabel.com’s platform would be a great way to get independent designers in front of more people. Easy return policies, good write ups about each brand and nice photography go a long way to helping people spot new talent.
The real issue though is that, unlike videogames, which are of course purely digital, clothing needs to be tried on or at the very least, handled, in order to have any sort of lasting visceral impact for the most part, especially when the brands are unknown and there is no previous context in which to place them.
One of the things we are hoping to do in the future at our store is organise frequent pop-up stores in various places, bringing these brands and their clothes to people as part of some kind do installation.
If one wanted to be even more bullish, then hiring people with high “fashion cache” to wear and talk about the clothing could work - sort of like “new game journalism” videogame reviews, but for clothing items. So maybe people could learn what reviewer had similar tastes to them and use that as some sort of gauge for what to pay attention to.
Fashion forums could also help a lot in this regard. Although a lot (all?) of them still end up being places where new, independent brands are largely ignored unless championed by someone popular.
I like Steam’s integration of tags and reviews and notifying you of what people on your friends list have bought, so maybe this hypothetical digital (and sometimes physical - in the form of pop-up stores or fashion jams) platform would allow something similar, allowing quick browsing of photos uploaded with relevant tags, profiles of creators, reviews and an easy purchasing interface.
Hope any of the above makes some sense.
Oh my god, I hate everything, this fashion writer is citing Memoirs of a Geisha as an actual biography, plumbing it for data on “the economic environment in Japan in the postwar years”.
i honestly cannot name even three fashion writers who have faithfully discussed…
Oh good, it’s not just me? I’ve just started reading this stuff, and I’m, like, smh at all the rando art historians attempting to situate Kawakubo, Yamamoto, et al. in the history of Japanese costume. (Which is maybe a thing you could do? but they’re like, kimonos-samurai-geisha-iki!). And it seriously seems like none of them have ever read a thing in Japanese and maybe just looked at one book apiece by a mid-twentieth century white Japanologist before writing their respective essays?
Maybe I’m unduly privileging/fetishizing Reading Primary Sources in the Original because I come from “classical Sinology” or whatever, but. How is that not irresponsible?
i shouldn’t be talking about this on cough/sleep medication eugh i’ll respond more lucidly after my exam tomorrow but truly, kawakubo + yamamoto + miyake have been subjected to stupid bullshit generalizations just bc they’re asian and design post-war. i have written some about yamamoto trolling us all for the style con……fashion publications and theorists like to be like “ah yes, rei kawakubo the samurai geisha of paris” “ah yes yohji yamamoto the yogi of sexless fashion” “issey miyake is traumatized about war forever”
i think if u approach them through traditional first-source readings about wabi-sabi you will find more fruitful perspectives but mostly the writing on them all is shit. i have read most of the stuff on kawakubo ever written at this point in english and japanese and translated french it is all mostly just ok. dorinne kondo i don’t remember if she’s written about them but i find her writing on fashion + asian relations in the industry incredibly important. i think she talks about yohji + westernization? it’s been a minute. i find kawakubo and yamamoto very interesting as they occupy an inbetween space in fashion…….they brought black to paris and deconstructionism and the theories behind these things could be linked back to japan if u wanna be about it, but they also have specific “west” and “east” lines to cater to specific demographics. their model castings also, are important to the discussion, and their sizing. they are entirely…..unique. i will chew on it more when im not half drooling srrryy
if u are studying fashion theory and history in parsons and fit as a graduate student u are obligated to learn french or another language so u can read primary sources if i recall correctly. but i do not know if that learning also involves a critical approach to dismantling western modes of academic production u know? i kinda doubt it