>> There's been a handful of sites that have popped up in attempts to democratise design, in an attempt to put the act of fashion design into the hands of the consumer. Beta Fashion is a fairly new one where they have made a particular niche out of original prints submissions from a design community fostered by the site. So Beta Fashion sets the brief ('autumn flowers' 'poseidon' are some of the themes…), budding designers upload their print, they're critiqued by the community in a rating system and then final winners' print designs are transferred onto easy-to-consume leggings, dresses, tops and scarves. This month, print-mad me has set the brief. My initial ideas were probably a bit obscure… prints themed around 18th century rococo patterns? Dead flowers? ASCII characters?
In the end, I went for something that is seemingly generic but hopefully will yield some unexpected results. Some entries have already started coming in but the competition deadline is 2nd September so I'm expecting lots of escapes to numerous star-scapes and hopefully I find four surprising ones to make it to the final production leg who also get ¬£300 each. Brief is here…
"My own personal style thrives on prints. Actually it's
pretty much a backbone of my wardrobe which is probably why I stumble
out onto the streets looking like I've haphazardly combined 10 different
outfits into one. The breadth of prints available now, especially
bolstered by the techniques of digital print has really come into its
own over the last decade or so with everything and anything being the
literal subject of a fashion print.
The theme that I have
therefore chosen for this project's brief is SPACE SCAPES. It's a broad
term that really stemmed from the cosmic prints that started permeating
designers' work with Peter Pilotto being a prime example, especially
his A/W 08 collection. Designers such as the New York-based Risto
Bimbiloski have also similarly used star scapes in their work.
However, the premise of the brief 'Space Scapes; is that beyond the photographs
captured from Hubble's telescope, there's definitely more scope within
the arena of depicting outerspace. You could imagine new universes,
views from planets overlooking other planets and moons, inject mythical
elements and create your own space scape. A quick Google of 'space art'
and it throws up many imagined instances of space phenomena that I
think, are scientifically impossible.
It doesn't have to be
photographic either. There aren't many examples of space drawn or
painted out because obviously it can't be seen by most first-hand.
Designer Tsumori Chisatohas instead imagined outer space, combined it
with the novella The Little Prince, and has portrayed it through her
distinct way of illustration for her A/W 09 collection. In a more
abstracted direction, Shab D Alexander uses Hubble telescope images to
inspire her no-so-literal tie dye patterns that she transfers onto
leggings and t-shirts.
In short, whilst designers have explored the theme of space scapes mainly through photographic digital prints, I think there's more that can be done with the theme using different methods as well as drawing from different sides to the universe. Afterall, it
is supposed to be an infinite space out there right? I look forward to
seeing the spaced-out results!"