Category Archives: Coursework



Maiko Takeda – Atmospheric Collection

“Hundreds of plastic elements project from the surface of her millinery pieces.  They create a defined silhouette, while coloured tips create a floating outline of that silhouette”.

accessed July 9, 2019

Balenciaga’s Coat – Design

The design of the coat with its soft folds down the sleeves, appeared effortless, however to achieve this effect it was very skillful to avoid a bulky look.  The look of the coat was from the 1950’s and created a “luxurious statement”.

(accessed 7th July 2019)

Richard Ardavedon – Veruschka Dress by Bill Blass 1967

Drape and Movement – This photo captures the movement of textiles by the way the model has been photographed adding a kinetic energy to the garments

(accessed July 9 2019)



  • A Vogue Photographer – 163 Covers in all (Jones 2019)
  • Renowned for breakikng down the boundary between commercial and fine-art photography, working in a style of refined, elegant minimalism (Jones 2019)
  • Most famous cover Jean Patchet 1950.  Classical symmetry, black and white, netted cover on her face, sophisticated look, use of scarves, hat, extremely sharp using perhaps cotton fabric and

Jones, Rebecca – Article on Irving Penn (2019) can be found here (accessed July 14, 2019)


  • “she works in a very specific world: very intimate, full of softness and beauty like a dream world” (Attwood 2016)
  • Came to prominence in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Her work is painterly and otherworldly (Attwood 2016)
  • Teamed up with NARS makeup to produce fashion photos on the theme ‘transparency’.
  • Pictures look to be of plastic material, see through, although tinged in white with dramatic red lipstick and nail polish.
  • Very dreamy image using plastic jewellery, bodice, face shield

Attwood, Naomi – The Independent newspaper online – article can be found here:


(accessed 14th July 2019)


How beautiful and chic and comfortable the girls looked in their slender floor-sweeping tweed coatdresses, soft and lithe as robes; in the high-waisted pants paired with abbreviated or slim-fitted versions of the signature CHANEL jacket; in the seductive evening dresses, concocted by the incomparable maîtrise of the flou ateliers. Walking with calm grace wearing flats, they were the epitome of modern, effortless, luxurious chic. Mademoiselle, with her formidable, implacable eye, would have certainly approved.”  (Cardini 2019)

Mademoiselle Chanel famous for her elegant, chic, luxurious, tweed jackets, dresses, bags and perfumes, to name but a few.  A lifetime ambition is to own one of these jackets, there is just something magical when you know it’s a ‘Chanel’.

Cardini, Tiziana – Fashion Writer – Article regarding the Fall-Winter 2019/2020 Chanel Haute Couture Show – can be found here: (accessed July 16, 2019)





  • intricate design details, colourful prints, fabrics or embellishments. We design in-house, source globally and ethically, and are dedicated to delivering keepsake quality.
  • It is a journey that started on a hippy commune in Ibiza, 1970, and finished with an overland trip east, through Afghanistan and India.
  • vibrant, colourful, hand-crafted artisan clothes
  •  beautiful, bohemian-inspired pieces with hand-printed, hand-woven and crochet design details
  • made with hand-loomed cotton and silk fabrics, organic vegetable dyes and artisan block-printing techniques.
  •  Indian villages using hand-loomed cotton fabrics, organic vegetable dyes and artisanal block-printing techniques
  • Women clothes, children clothes, fashion accessories, wedding outfits, homeware.

It is a brand that uses designs that are mostly of  distinctive, colourful and vibrant pattern and design.  The original designs began in Ibiza, 1970, and then Afghanistan and India using hand loomed cotton and silk fabrics using organic vegetable dyes and artisan block-printing techniques.  They have since progressed into homeware, such as throws, cushions and furniture using using designs from  woodblock-printing to intricate embroideries.   “Artisanal handcraft techniques make their mark throughout the range, lending a touch of bohemian glamour to any home”.

(accessed 14th July 2019)


‘The room on the woman’ and ‘the woman in the room’.  Unfortunately the link given was blocked on my internet (as it sometimes is in Saudi Arabia if there are models wearing unusual or see through garments), so I am not sure what the article was however, I further researched and came across an article in the Standard Newspaper, a London on line evening paper.  The article mentions this very same saying, as Katrnatzou had a show at the London Fashion Week in 2011 and 20 of her models were modeling items that were similar to that of domestic furnishings.  “Some wore skirts shaped as Victorian lampshades, others had necklines cut like curtain pelmets and all had an architectural graphic – a Palm Beach villa or grand hotel lobby – spliced vividly on to the very fabric of their garments. The fashion press went mad with delight”. (Corner 2011).

According to Japan Vogue “The collection, entitled Ceci n’est pas une chambre (This is not a room; very Magritte), was a surrealist masterpiece of trompe l’oeil and fantasy. Inspired by the fashion photo-graphy of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, Katrantzou had, instead of putting the woman in the room, quite simply put the room on the woman. She knew that sending girls out dressed more World of Interiors than any fashion glossy was a risk, but she did it anyway. ‘It was on the verge of being too gimmicky and a total flop,’ she says. ‘I had the fear all the way through designing it that it was all too much. I remember telling my boyfriend, “If people actually like this it will give me a huge boost to trust my instincts, but if it’s a disaster I’m going have to start again.”

‘The room on the woman’ and ‘the woman in the room’.  It would seem the collection was about the models wearing the clothes that were inspired from objects you would find in a room such as a skirt shaped like a lampshape, or necklines that were shaped with material like a pelmet, this would then be referring to “The room on the woman”, instead of the other way round of the “woman in the room”.

Corner, Lena – The Standard Newspaper – website – article can be found here at: (accessed July 15, 2019) (accessed July 15, 2019) (accessed July 15, 2019)







Personnes – Christian Boltanski’s Installation (2010)

Personnes - Christian Boltanski's (2010)

(1) Personnes – Christian Boltanski (2010) Photo courtesy of Didier Plowy © monumenta / MCC

ART or DESIGN – This Installation is considered to be an Art Installation to be conceived as a “gigantic animated tableau”.

literally both ‘people’ and ‘nobodies’) proposes reflections on the inescapability of death and how chance watches over the destiny of each. ‘art consists of asking questions, giving rise to emotion, without having any answers.’ – C.B. ‘personnes’ transforms the entire nave of the grand palais through the creation of a coherent, intensely moving installation conceived as a gigantic animated tableau.

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT – Considered to be a temporary installation that was part of the Grand Palais, Paris from January 13 to February 21, 2010.

LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – Taking over the whole floor area of the Grand Palais


IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – The installation has been created to allow the spectator to view the textiles up close and be part of the whole experience

“the grand palais is a place encouraging an experience in which the spectator immerges himself, since the entire space is part of the work”.

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – The colours of the textiles are all different and are of different shapes and sizes, however the layout of the textiles are all on rectangle shaped pieces that are repeated in identical shapes across the floor of the palaice

‘what principally interests me today is that the spectator is not placed before the work, but that he goes inside it. in opposition to a classic museum exhibition, where the art goes by as we watch it, the grand palais is a place encouraging an experience in which the spectator immerges himself, since the entire space is part of the work. the sound, the ambiance, the way of walking about it, including the trouble caused by certain places you need to go through, the materials used, all these elements make up an artistic project that becomes an overall work


This article was well written and described the installation very well, as before I had read this I had not made any connections of the clothes being about dead bodies, about life and death.  The sound of read heartbeats can be heard throughout the exhibition which is indicating life as compared to the clothes that associate to death.  The clothes represent dead bodies, possibly a mass execution or a cemetery, there are clothes that once belonged to a child or old person such as a baby’s knitted cardigan or corduroy jacket.  The clothes appear to be “humanity en masse, flattened like biblical crops”.  (Cumming 2010) The description is vivid, and horrific even though there is no sign of blood and yet the feeling is a lot of people lie dead, huddled together.

The title Personnes means people, and yet there are no people, the clothes represent people, in one area of the exhibition there is a pile of “people” whereby a crane moves its long five-fingered claw over the clothes and picks some up and then drops them, representing the “hand of God”, as if picking up people “personnes” that are already dead.

The association is between life and death, the beating heart versus the clothes representing dead bodies, the association between god and his people, whether old or young.

Although I haven’t been to the exhibition, it conjures up a very sad and horrific occurrence, the feeling of loss and abandonment, a feeling that a lot of people had died both young and old and for what reason?

ARCHITECTURAL PALIMPSEST – Meaning – Cambridge Dictionary

  • A very old text or document in which writing has been removed and covered or replaced by new writing
  • Something such as a work of art that has many levels of meaning, types of style etc that build on each other

Wasn’t quite sure what was meant by this and then came across the graffiti artist, Alexandre Farton (vhils) who creates art work by breaking down walls, taking out pieces of brick, knocking down walls, then painting some areas to create “arresting portraits”.  He also uses this technique by tearing down billboards and posters including wood and metal.  An article showing some of his work can be found here

alexandre farto: subtractive wall art

Georgia English works with old furniture that she strips back and then relayers with new material covering cushions, creating new master pieces which she describes as ‘palimpsest …the unlayering of past upholstery is a discover of past upholsterers or crafty housewives and an exploration into methods that predate staple guns and industrial sewing machines”.


Boltanski’s, Christian – Personnes Installation (2010) – can be found here:

christian boltanski: personnes for monumenta 2010

Cumming, Laura – Guardian – Article on Persones by Christian Boltanski (2010) can be found here:


I am struggling with the Textiles Projects, although I find it interesting each time I start a project, my interest keeps fading, not sure if its because I am nearing the end of the course or whether textiles is just not grabbing my interest like the other courses.  I have started to doubt the reason for doing the degree and wish that the course had only concentrated on the four elements.  I understand that sustainability is a very important part of everyday life and the working environment, and I know this is something that I would not have known about had I not studied this section, possibly due to the company I work for or just the department, for this reason I am glad as it has made me make note of the plastic wastage and material wastage and ethics in the textile industries, for this I am grateful for the knowledge, I’m just not feeling the passion that I have done with the other sections.



Ger Description

A Ger is a traditional Mongolian home, commonly known as a yurt.  In brief it is a round tent that is covered in a hard wearing, waterproof canvas, normally white in colour.  The structure of the Ger is typically made up of “eighty-eight separate wooden poles each measuring around 1.5 metres are used for the Ger frame” according to DMT (Discover Mongolia Travel).  This frame is known as the “khana”, with the central support columns being the “uni” and the smoke hole is “toono”.  According to DMT “the door is always on the southern side facing the sun”.

ART or DESIGN – Functional context


LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – size of a tent not building

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINNIG and/or FORMING – shape of a home in a specific place

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANTdesigned to be lived in and can be viewed from above in a plane

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – The typical pattern and structure of the Gers are the same, as well as colour and shape, the design is repeated throughout a village of Gers

Bedouin Tent ‘The Black Tent” by Aramco World

Traditionally a Bedouin tent was made from a heavy cloth woven from black or brown goat or sheep’s wool.  The cloth would be about 25 foot long and four pieces were needed to form a rectangle shape, to create the roof of the tent followed by another long strip to form the sides of the tent “the ruaq”, six wooden pins were used to pin them to the roof and this was then draped to the surface of the ground according to an article in Aramco World (1966).  Furthermore, the inside of the tent was divided into sections by vertical curtains, qata, a men’s section, a woman’s section called a muharram and a kitchen.  The floor would be the dessert itself or a hand woven carpet.

ART or DESIGN – Functional context


LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – size of a tent not building

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINNIG and/or FORMING – shape of a home in a specific place

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANTdesigned to be lived in and can be viewed from above in a plane

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – The typical pattern and structure of the Bedouin tent are similar although different in size depending on wealth or status, colour was typically black or brown, more modern ones were white and the shape and design have changed over time.


As I live in Saudi Arabia and the project instructions are to go out and see structures and museums, buildings etc rather than just internet, I thought it best to try and concentrate on architecture that is related to this country, in order for me to relate to it when I come to do the Assignment.  I have therefore researched various projects that have been textile based.

A Futuristic Tent for the Sheikh – by Samuel Fournier (2013)

textile architecture

(1) Photo courtesy of Samuel Fournier (2013)

This Tent Pavillion was a proposal for a Saudi Arabian Sheik.  The structure being made of steel with the outer skin made of PTFE and coated with PTFE woven fabric.

ART or DESIGNDesigned to be a reception area


LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – size of building

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINNIG and/or FORMING – shape of a office reception in a specific place

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – designed to have people walk in and congregate

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – The pattern, shape and colour were similar to that of a Bedioun tent, it was a unique design not to be repeated

Fournier, Samuel – Designer – A Futuristic Tent for the Sheikh – – can be found here at:

Design Umbrellas Middle of the Desert – MDT – tex

MDT - Umbrellas

(2) Photo courtesy of Arch Daily (2016) Textile Architecture in Saudi Arabia

The King Abdulaziz Center for Culture (Ithra) is a state of the art building has outside areas needing protection from the severe heat and sun conditions.  MDT provided umbrella like structures that were designed to protect people from the severe weather conditions of Saudi Arabia, particularly the sun, strong winds, dust and rain storms.  A material called PTFE was used and had been TEFLON coated in order to provide the best protection.

ART or DESIGNThe structures have been designed with weatherproof material to protect against the strong Saudi Arabian weather conditions

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT – Structures were permanent, interlinking buildings and protecting the public from weather conditions

LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – Individual umbrella shaped structures, not a large scale building

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINNIG and/or FORMING – The umbrellas transform the area to protect the public from the severe weather conditions, they define the area they are in by providing a safe link between the buildings and are made out of specific material forming upside umbrella shapes.

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – The structures are of a practical use and can be viewed from building windows or from underneath as the public walk through the walkways they are covering

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – The shape, colour and patterns are all important as they are of shades to protect against the weather elements, along with the shape to protect against wind and rain, the pattern of the umbrellas are repeated throughout the installation of the structures that link buildings together with the protected walkways


Surrounded Islands 1980-83 – Christo and Jeanne-Claud

Wrapped Trees

(3) Surrounded Islands – Christo & Jeanne-Claude (1980) – photo courtesy of

Wolfgang Volz

“In 1983, eleven of the islands situated in Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, were surrounded with 6.5 million square feet of floating pink wove polypropylene fabric covering the surface of the water and extending out from each island into the bay”. (Claude 1980).

  • Marine and land crews cleared the islands of rubbish that included tyres, kitchen sinks, mattresses and everyday rubbish that amounted to approximately forty tons of bagged rubbish.
  • “enjoyed by the public, from the causeways, the land, the water and the air”. (Claude 1980).
  • Financed by the artists.  Sold preparatory drawings, collages and early works.
  • “The art underlined the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live, between land and water”. (Claude 1983).
  • “The fabrics were sewn into 79 patterns to follow the contours of the 11 islands”. (Claude 1983).

ART or DESIGN – Art installation (Same as OCA)

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT – The artwork was temporary from 1980-83 (same as OCA)

LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – It included 11 islands (Same as OCA)

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINING and/or FORMING – The fabric transformed the outer area of the islands.  Islands were all surround by the pink fabric forming outer shapes around them. (I added Transforming and Forming)

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – They are viewed from a distant by the public “enjoyed by the public, from the causeways, the land, the water and the air”. (Claude 1980). (same as OCA)

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – “The pink fabric was sewn into 79 patterns to follow the contours of the 11 islands”.  This was repeated on the other 11 islands making a shape around each island. Apart from two occasions when 2 islands were joined together. (I added Pattern/colour/Repetition)

At first when I studied the pictures of the forested islands I wondered what the point was, all I could see were large pink masses of material floating around tree filled islands, that perhaps could be causing distress to animal life and an awful lot of material being wasted for a piece of art.  On reading about the installation, it would appear that before the material was installed around the islands, they had all previously been cleared of debris that included all sorts of junk from mattresses, kitchen sinks and tyres to general every day rubbish, it made you wonder how did it get there in the first place, as they are not habituated.  This then made me think differently about the project and what it meant.  It would seem it represented the “various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live, between land and water”.  (Claude 1983).  Still not clear how the pink material represented this, but it was described to be “the luminous pink colour of the shiny fabric was in harmony with the tropical vegetation of the uninhabited verdant islands, the light of the Miami sky and the colours of the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay”. (Claud 1983).

I conducted my own analysis and made notes by the different qualities, and notice I had added a few extra qualities to DISTANT and SHAPE sections.

Infinity Mirrored Room 1998 – Yayoi Kusama

Infinity Mirrored Room 1998

(4) Infinity Mirrored Room (1998) Yayoi Kusama

ART or DESIGN – Art installation 

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT – The artwork was temporary


TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINING and/or FORMING – The art work forms shapes on the walls, ceilings and in 3D forms

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – The textiles used are meant for the viewer to see close up and be embedded in the environment and the print.

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – all four elements are applied to this installation, the pattern, shapes and colours are repeated throughout the design of the infinity mirrored room.

Clouds – Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Clouds by Tahon & Bouroullec (2008)

(5) Clouds by Tahon & Bouroullec (2008) Photo courtesy of Kvadrat

ART or DESIGN – Can be used to divide space or to absorb sound

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT – The textiles are used in an interior design environment

LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE – used within homes and offices

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINING and/or FORMING – the connecting elements to the design allow it to transform a living space or office space by dividing it.

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT – The textiles are both immersive and distant allowing the viewer to be part of the interior close up but also to view it from a distance across a room.

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE – all four elements are applied in the unique shape of the clouds being able to be repeated in order to interconnect with the other shapes that are of various colours and patterns.

“Clouds enables all imaginable uses, as it can be hung on walls or from the ceiling, placed on the floor or add colourful liveliness to railings and stairs. In other words, Clouds represents a new typology, or a new interpretation of the use of textiles,” concludes Anders Byriel.


Discover Mongolia – Ger description – Discover Mongolia, can be found here:

De Cruz, Daniel – Aramco world – Bedouin Tent description (The Black Tent) – (1966) article can be found here in the archives of Aramco World brochure:

Fournier, Samuel – Designer – A Futuristic Tent for the Sheikh – – can be found here at:

Claude, Christo and Jeanne – Designers – Surrounded Islands (1980-83) – – article can be found here:

Kusama, Yayoi – Infinity Mirrored Room (1998) – – Image can be found here:

Kusama mania

Byriel, Anders – Clouds – (2008) – – Image and article can be found here:

Clouds by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec





What does craft mean to me.  I personally think craft is something special, you can learn a craft such as knitting, sewing, embroidery, pottery, woodwork and shoe making to name but a few.  It’s a skill that if your good at can be very profitable and is today’s marketplace items that have been ‘hand made’ seem to be the most expensive, they are considered unique, ‘one offs’, limited edition and perhaps are then treasured more rather than those items that are mass produced.


According to Kendall Robbins of the British Council she states “The circular economy model advocates extending the lifespan of products; the introduction of more durable materials can help this. The idea of slowing down has given rise to a more craft-based approach, celebrating the hand-made, local ecological contexts and natural materials as well as community”.  The meaning behind slowing down in the fashion and design industries is due to several reasons, clothing items have been produced on such a large scale production that there has been so much wastage that some manufacturers have been known to burn their surplus stock or certain designers have decided not to showcase their designs every season due to sometimes having to create around 30 collections, causing mental stress issues and clothing that is discarded. (Robbins 2019).  Thus resulting in Georgina Johnson of Laundry Arts proposed a new way of thinking in the fashion and design industry to increase awareness of the coalition between mental health and sustainability and launched her “Slow Fashion to Save Minds manifesto, to propose a new way of thinking about fashion at levels from design to production to consumption and increase awareness of its relationship with mental health and sustainability.  Burn out is becoming a trend associated with young adults, and the fashion and design industries are suffering from it as well”. (Johnson 2016)

The community is now looking for more personal items rather than mass produced, even if they have to pay more money for it, our morals also have taken a beating when we hear of seamstress’ earning a pittance and in poor working conditions just for us to be able to wear and item of clothing at a fraction of the cost.  Ethically we don’t want that as a consumer, we want to know nobody has come to harm and that the item of clothing hasn’t been made from something that has died that it is a natural grown fibre and not treated with harmful pesticides.  This is now leading to traditional crafts such as knitting and embroidery returning to school curriculums and for designers such as Katie Jones producing luxury fashion collections that offers ‘make-it-yourself patterns and workshops so that consumers can learn the skill themselves and make their own clothes”.  (Jones 2019)

Exercise 1

  • Hand made objects have become more expensive because they are unique, one offs, whether its a coffee table or designer jumper, for some people a Habitat table would be unacceptable in their home as it could be found in a thousand other people’s homes, same as a Primark jumper compared to the latest Victoria Beckham design.   In my youth a hand made jumper meant you were poor and couldn’t afford the latest fashion jumper from Debenhams.  My mother would sit at her knitting machine making jumper after jumper for my sister and brothers, friends would notice and say did your mum make that, I felt I was the odd one out.  It’s different now to make your own clothes, to be a designer is a totally different feeling.
  • True craftsmen/women enjoy what they do and seek perfection in their craft, unlike factory staff creating the same item time after time, with boredom and lack of care in the finished product.  It’s only natural that those who can afford it will buy an item that has been made out of love and desire to produce an item of high quality and finish.
  • I think nowadays hand-made items are seen as luxury items in terms of craftsmen/women producing quality products, however items that are mass produced in countries like India who use child labour and underpaid workforce have now raised awareness of quality and the throw away item, the quality is not good but is cheap and therefore to only wear it once and throw it away doesn’t seem a bad idea, until now, the waste has been recognized and people now want to pay more for an item of quality and one that hasn’t been produced by a 7 year old child earning 50p a day.
  • I own several handmade notebooks, one made from elephant dung! others made from resin, all unique, all special and meaning so much to me, some I will never write in for fear of damaging it, all notebooks are special to me, I have chosen them because of their appearance, their ethical background and the country or place I have bought them in means something to me.  Other everyday notebooks, do not take on the same meaning.  Some are priced cheaper than industrially produced equivalent depending on the country it was bought in, in England if you buy a hand made one you pay a lot more than an industrial produced one.

McGuirk, Justin – The Art of Craft: the rise of the designer-maker – Article written by McGuirk in The Guardian August 1, 2011 can be found at

Robbins, K – Could Design Save the World British Council can be found at (accessed May 7, 2019)

Jones K,





Everyone knows Victoria Beckham, either as a member of the girl pop band ‘The Spice Girls” or as the wife of x England football player, David Beckham.  Fewer know her as an award winning Fashion Designer.  I have followed her as much as I can, she is British, beautiful, talented, mother of four and a great ambassador for the British fashion industry.  Her designs are described as classic, elegant, cutting edge and expensive!  I love her designs and therefore have chosen to research her work for this project ‘Research Point’

My first stop was to go to her website, which doesn’t say to much about her personal or company’s stance on Sustainability, which surprised me.  There is just a brief history on the About section stating when the fashion brand was launched “Since launching in 2008 the Victoria Beckham fashion brand has developed a distinctive and modern language of clothing”.  Nothing is said about sustainability.  Further research took me to the fashion news website called WWW which had an article quoting the spokesperson for Victoria Beckham brand saying that they had never used fur however they have now also banned the use of exotic animal skins of any kind in their quest to be sustainable in the fashion industry and use ethically sources products.

“As a business, we have been looking to action the use of more ethically sourced products that have less environmental impact for some time. We are happy to confirm that we will cease using exotic skins in all future collections as of our main autumn/winter 19 ready-to-wear presentation. This decision reflects the wishes of not only the brand, but also that of our customers.”

  • The Victoria Beckham clothing designs is the craft behind the business.  However I am unable to find anything on their website or fashion articles that explains anything about how their clothes are made except that they provide a ‘Modern Slavery Statement’, therefore stating they don’t use suppliers that are unethical, however that perhaps suggests they do use resources abroad and that means VBL products are not made by only British crafts people.  A ‘Modern Slavery Statement’ also mentions “At VBL, we value human rights and dignity and are committed to maintaining and improving practices to combat modern slavery and human trafficking throughout our business.   We encourage our suppliers to share our commitment to providing an ethical work environment”. (VBL 2016).
  • I can’t find anything on Slow Design that relates to Victoria Beckham designs.  The only fact is that her clothing is expensive and therefor not perhaps destined to Landfill sites and likely to be worn again and sold rather then thrown away.
  • From what I understand Victoria and David Beckham contribute a lot to charity both in time and financially, they are a business partnership and would not want to endanger their reputation by being unethical.  Their business brand is very important to them and in latest news reports Victoria is keen to keep improving her brand both ethically and financially.
  • I do value craft and craftsmanship, quality is important, although I have been known to buy from high street chain stores not knowing how the items are supplied or the ethics behind them.  Handmade notebooks are extremely important to me and I am becoming more aware of designers that are making their items from plastic from the sea, I would not have known the full extent of Sustainability if it wasn’t for this course, it has really opened up a wide range of topics in this respect.
  • Modern Society is embracing ‘Craft’, looking for clothes that haven’t been made in sweat shops by children on a meager wage, they are looking for quality and a feeling the item is worth more if it is made well and with love instead of rushed and without care and attention.  The whole idea of sustainability is now reaching higher levels, I have certainly had my eyes opened to a situation that I hadn’t know excited to this degree.


Beckham, Victoria.  Online shopping site.  About the brand can be found here –

Beckham, Victoria.  Online shopping site.  Mission statement on how their designs are made can be found here

WWD online fashion news – Article describing Victoria Beckham brand ditching fur and exotic animal skins in future designs – can be found here

Victoria Beckham Ditches Exotic Skins, Reconfirms No-Fur Stance



Raeburn Products

“Christopher Raeburn has established his eponymous brand with sustainable and intelligent fashion design for a global audience. The RÆMADE ethos in particular has pioneered the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments to create distinctive and functional pieces”.

Cutting edge designer Christopher Raeburn has created a brand that has the sustainable Ethos of 4 Rs – “Remade, Reduced, Recycled and Raeburn”.  This means items are either made out of recycled items such as parachutes and mesh, or remade out of previous clothing items such as parkas.  Using local manufacturing, the company highlights the minimum carbon footprint by not importing goods or using ‘slave labour’ abroad.  Items are either made in small batches to avoid waste or made to order.

Items for sale include, a variety of tote bags, bum bags, rucksacks, men and womens wear along with luggage accessories and cute little pin badges mostly of pandas, sharks and orangutans.  Most of the clothing and bags are labeled with the ethos branding of Remade, Reduced and Recycled, clearly showing the item is part of this ‘unique and ethical’ brand.

Looking at their website and seeing the media coverage the brand has received its credentials appear sound, and having visited the workshop myself I know it does exist.  The brand has appeared in a major Woman’s fashion magazine called Elle, the September 2018 issue featured the attitudes and awareness on ‘Sustainability’ particularly aimed at fashion conscious  young women.  The AW18 IMMERSE collection was featured, making the brand a part of the movement to improve the fashion industry’s knowledge on how it can make substantial changes on environmental issues currently facing the fashion industry.

The products look to be of high quality and gaining respect in not just the fashion world but the music world too as the famous Rap Artist ’50 cent’ was seen wearing a jacket and joggers from the AW18 collection, at his recent tour at the 02 Arena in London.

These designs are exceptional and it really is a great feeling to know that sustainability is being practiced by such a young company and showcasing how changes can be made in the fashion industry, by reusing surplus materials and products, employing locally and using local products and manufacturing locally.  They are producing smaller amounts of  items being made, or make an item to order, thereby avoiding vast amounts of waste, all of which contribute to reduced carbon print, waste reduction, and ethical manufacturing.  The founder of the company Christopher Raeburn is outstanding as a leader for change in the fashion industry

“I think as a designer you have an obligation to consider what you are doing and why; ultimately, we want to make strong, sustainable choices that provide our customers with a completely unique and desirable product”. (Raeburn 2019)


Raeburn, C – Raeburn Design – can be found here online,

(accessed May 5, 2019)




  1. Agriculture/raw fibre production – Sheep have woolen coats that are shaven off and then put through a process to make woolCotton fields, slave labor, people have to pick the cotton buds from pods to make into cotton
  2. Ginning – No idea what this means
  3. Spinning – Cotton balls are spun into thread
  4. Weaving – Cotton is intertwined to make material
  5. Processing – Material is old to buyers/designers
  6. Stitching – material is stitched together by hand or machinery using cotton to make items such as clothes, blankets, sheets, seat covers
  7. Distribution/retail – Clothes, bedding, furniture covers etc are distributed to retailers such as Next, Marks and Spencers, Harrods
  8. Use/Consumption and end of life – Businesses, general public buy material items wear them until old and put them in the bin, or recyle them in charity shops and friends.


  1. Agriculture/raw fibre production – Agriculture is farming and the methods that are used to raise and look after crops and animals. (Collins Dictionary Online)/Raw material  is any material, such as oil, cotton, or sugar in its natural condition, before it has been processed for (Cambridge Dictionary) and fibre means any thread-like parts that form plant or artificial material and can be made into cloth (Cambridge Dictionary)
  2. Ginning – the process of removing the seeds and debris from cotton. The term comes from the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1794. In modern ginning, the cotton is first dried to remove moisture, then cleaned to remove any burs, stems, leaves, or other foreign matter. A series of rotating saws with teeth then remove the fibers from the seeds. Afterwards, the cotton fibers are compressed into 500-pound bales to be sent to textiles mills.  Heddels
  3. Spinning – to make thread by twisting fibres , or to produce something using thread (Cambridge Dictionary)
  4. Weaving – Production of fabric by interlacing two sets of yarns so that they cross each other, normally at right angles, usually accomplished with a hand- or power-operated loom.  Encyclopaedia Britannica 
  5. Processing – the series of actions that are taken to change raw materials during the production of goods.  Cambridge Dictionary
  6. Stitching – a line or lines of thread that has been sewn in something.   Cambridge Dictionary
  7. Distribution/retail – the activity of getting goods into stores where they are sold to the public.  Cambridge Dictionary
  8. Use/Consumption and end of life – to put something such as a tool, skill or building to a particular purpose/the act of using, eating, or drinking.  Cambridge Dictionary


My personal impression of ‘sustainability’, would be something that lasts a long time, an item of clothing or piece of furniture that has been made or built to last.

Sustainability – the quality of being able to continue over a period of time/the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.  Cambridge Dictionary

Having looked at the context of sustainability I now think I understand what is happening to our environment and what are the main issues that need to be addressed in our world:

  • Water usage – Issues are too much water is wasted, like in washing machines, baths, making of clothes, use of water to dye clothes, amount of water used watering gardens and crops.
  • Climate change –  It is noticeable that their are issues to do with  the climate in the UK and the rest of the world, there has been Snow in April and here in Saudi Arabia we are still having rain in April which is very strange.  Rain forests are being destroyed, ozone layer is being destroyed, icebergs are melting, tsuamies are happening more frequently.
  • Plastic usage – The huge amount of plastic being washed up on our shores is catastrophic, this is besides the plastic that is settling on the bottom of the ocean endangering our sea life.
  • Clothing wastage – clothes are being made so cheaply by third world countries that items are being thrown away instead of being cherished.  Issues are ‘slave labor’ being used to make these items.  Too much wastage of clothing material is being found in landfills.
  • Endangered species/wildlife – The lack of respect of game hunters is outrageous, issues are lack of laws and supervision.  The destruction of rain forests and building of new housing developments are destroying wildlife.
  • Food wastage – the issues of food wastage is extreme, with the introduction of ‘sell by’ and ‘consume by’ dates large amounts of food are just thrown away even if they look perfectly fine
  • Air and Ocean pollution – the issues of fumes produced by aeroplanes and cars is a major issue along with plastic in the ocean
  • Carbon Footprint – issues of amount of time spent in the car getting to work instead of using public transport or bikes or walking.  With the invention of the internet it should have lead to less time spent on planes having to hold face to face meetings.
  • IT and other equipment life cycle – computers, fridges, tvs, irons don’t have the same life span as years ago, most people are likely to throw away an iron if it doesn’t work rather than get it fixed.

These are all issues that are now being addressed by the UK, Europe and other international countries.  It is really good to see our government taking a strong lead in most of the issues mentioned above as indicated in a recent report issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on Sustainability  (FCO 2017-2018).  Some interesting articles about how the Government is progressing with it’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).  The article mentions what the Government is  aiming to achieve in their own working environment and also the progress being made throughout the country and the influence they have on the rest of the world.  There are charts of how well they are reaching their goals (or not) and how they are trying to make a difference to our country and the planet itself by addressing issues such as endangered species, paper and water wastage, plastic recycling, reducing climate change and carbon footprints.  An interesting read as there is still so much more that needs to be done but at least they are taking it seriously now especially about wastage and the damage to our planet.

“The FCO has always worked hard to reduce the amount of waste it disposes, particular when costs continue to rise. Since 2011, the FCO has spent over £1m on waste disposal costs and to deliver better value to the taxpayer we continue to look for innovative ways to drive performance improvements.” (Currie 2017).


Agriculture/raw fibre production – not using child labor or exploiting local employment, using environmentally friendly pesticides, using machines that use energy efficiently and not dangerous to the community

Ginning – Use machines that are energy efficient, avoid wastage

Spinning/weaving/stitching – Use machines that are energy efficient, avoid wastage, don’t exploit local employment market

Distribution/retail – Use transportation that is energy efficient, electric vehicles or low carbon fuel.

Use/consumption and end of life – recycle clothes by giving to charities, friends, family.  Reuse materials by breaking down and remaking a different item using the materials.

TED Have formalized a set of ten criteria for designers and makers to follow, known as TED’s TEN:

  1. Design to Minimise Waste
  2. Design for Recycling/upcycling
  3. Design to Reduce Chemical Impacts
  4. Design to Reduce Energy and Water Use
  5. Design that Explores Clean/Better Technologies
  6. Design that looks at Models from nature and history
  7. Design for Ethical Production
  8. Design to Replace the Need to Consume
  9. Design to Dematerialise and Develop Systems and Services
  10. Design Activism


Currie, Damien – Head, UK Facilities Management – Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Report 2018-2019 on Sustainability can be found at

(accessed April 4, 2019)

TED Research – Set of Ten criteria points for designers and makers to follow ‘TED’s TEN’ can be found at (accessed May 1, 2019)