Occupied Thoughts

Occupied Thoughts

>> Guerilla, flash-mob type fashion shows in any centralised fashion week locations are par for course.  They are the perfect venues for parading your wares unannounced and holding people's attention (although it's not necessarily sustained).  At the Lincoln Centre in New York, these parades are pretty much two a penny.  Some good, some horrifically bad.  Andrea Diodati, a NY-based artist/designer behind label Electric Lovelight, staged a mini Occupy protest a few days ago that got my attention.  At least, enough to ask Diodati why she was doing this.  She said she was protesting against the prohibitive costs of showing at fashion week as part of the struggle of an independent designer.  Her point was a valid one and potent especially in New York, where you can basically buy your way on to the schedule, resulting in a three hundred and fifty plus show jammed schedule that no singular human being could or ever want to possibly cover in its entirity.  Indie designers like Diodati may not get as raw a deal all over the world and LFW is about to begin where show sponsorship based on merit is very much alive and well but Occupy as a theme to link with fashion has definitely been at the forefront of my mind, especially when commentors during the August riots were rather disparaging towards me for even deigning to talk about fashion at a time when it seemed the least tactful to do so.

I was wondering when Occupy's movement in the political/economic world would find its way transplanting itself to fashion, an industry of inequality, that is so arbritary that frankly, I'm too bewildered to even question why things are, the way they are.  Diodati's protest can all too easily lead you to go down the slippery road of drawing parallels between the Occupy movement and fashion, until you do wonder in amidst the throng of fashion weeks, is this fair?  Well, this is THE fashion week to believe in meritocracy so this post isn't a sour bum note to begin London Fashion Week with, but rather one of optimisim at the level that Diodati's work exudes.  Alright, it's all a little Meadham Kirchhoff-y, Keisuke Kanda-esque, Harajuku/dolly-kei.  There'll be those that appreciate her work though and she probably doesn't need to wave a cardboard sign around the money-talks fashion stomping ground of Lincoln Centre to garner attention.   



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  1. disneyrollergirl

    2012-02-17 at 8:56 AM

    I LOVE those placards!

  2. C A T H

    2012-02-17 at 10:02 AM

    wow..this is such a quirky & fun parade!!
    would want to be part of the picture. holding the occupy cards. but probably…minus the candy cotton hair ><"

  3. Serdane

    2012-02-17 at 11:26 AM


  4. Acid Wallpaper

    2012-02-17 at 12:01 PM

    I never knew that was the criteria for getting a show. How else they would do it I’m not sure, but it’s bizarre that that’s the case. Good luck to Diodati anyway and let’s hope for a more democratic way about it (doubtful but hopeful!).
    Sarah @ Acid Wallpaper

  5. mouse

    2012-02-17 at 1:29 PM

    the most gorgeous protest 🙂

  6. Kate

    2012-02-17 at 1:31 PM

    How totally beautiful. The colors and materials…so fun and whimsical! Best kind of protest out there 🙂

  7. Tinacious.Me

    2012-02-17 at 2:36 PM
  8. Lydia

    2012-02-17 at 4:16 PM

    Well her work is beautiful, but from what I can see of it, more as a total picture than individual garments. I love the look of these girls all together, with the hair and pastel layers, and their signs. I will say that at first glance, I would assume this is a joke, sort of poking fun at Occupy. I would not take seriously the message unless I read this post or talked to the designer. People passing by would likely have the same first impression. It IS unfair that independent designers are financially unable to participate in FW, but this is an industry where some are quickly escorted in based on connections, and some have to work their way up and earn it. If she works at it and is truly talented, in time she can get to where she wants to be. You become what you make yourself, and I believe everyone has the same essential opportunities if they’re willing to do the work.

  9. Material Fixations

    2012-02-17 at 4:24 PM

    Interesting, I’m glad you posted this, since I haven’t heard a single word about this before. I have to admire the dedication and boldness of the move, plus the obvious showiness of the costumes and placards. I understand the issue, and appriciate the gesture.

  10. La Vie Quoridienne

    2012-02-17 at 6:13 PM

    Total lovely people…great pics my dear. Have a nice weekend.
    Today you can check my new look with Yello neon sweater and Burberry scarf:
    You can translate my blog in the frame of upright corner.
    XOXO from Munich
    La Vie Quotidienne

  11. vicky

    2012-02-17 at 11:34 PM

    She would though fit better in London Fashion Week, since New York is more conservative…

  12. Indian Tag

    2012-02-18 at 6:49 AM

    This is one of the sophisticated blog i have visited in my recent times…its very unexpected, but quite creative… Salwar kameez

  13. discount coupons

    2012-02-18 at 8:09 AM

    Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful nice and useful!.. Amazing …
    thank you!

  14. Raphaëlle Lavielle

    2012-02-18 at 10:40 AM

    I’m wondering what the impact of such an initiative can be in the midst of such a huge event.

  15. Erika

    2012-02-18 at 8:44 PM

    This is really cool and they all look so cute!

  16. Goldsuzi

    2012-02-19 at 1:26 PM

    This is funny and creative and seems to be fun for the ladies but I am not sure if they will really reach their (political) goal.

  17. Andrea Diodati

    2012-02-19 at 2:00 PM

    Thank you Susie for continuing the discussion online that we tried to spark at the Lincoln Center this past week. The structure of the current fashion system requires independent designers to compete and act like conglomerate brands, throwing money away to PR, fashion shows, showrooms, etc to try to build the aura of a brand. It seems ridiculous and unethical that these tiny companies who are not yet making a profit are expected to pour money into gaining status instead of focusing on product, and nurturing a sustainable business model. I do believe fashion is the most democratic art form, in that everyone, everyday uses it, wears it, and expresses themselves in it! That is a beautiful thing! We need to imagine how to restructure the system into reflecting what fashion essentially is- a democracy!
    ~in hope, andrea diodati http://www.electriclovelight.com

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