Pictures from the Fair Fashion parade, part of the fair@square festival. 2 December 2011 at Federation Square. My collection was styled with Leeyong Soo’s accessory label Fourth Daughter.
These photos all by Chealse Vo.
Reviews of the show were featured by Couturing (including host Em Rusciano’s turmeric dyed silk dress that I designed and made) and by Style Melbourne;
“The Red Carpet Project showed a kind of broken-down glamour in their dreamy frocks.”
and also The Vine;
“Georgia McCorkill’s Red Carpet Project raises awareness of environmental problems faced by the fashion industry via special occasion dresses made of silk fabric sourced from Melbourne based designers’ remnants. She showed a cohesive catwalk with pales nudes providing a backdrop to her skills in hand detailing, and creating interesting silhouettes.”
While Leeyong Soo, event organiser and stylist extraordinaire’s wrap up is at The City Weekly, as well as on her own blog including styling details here. (Check out the necklaces made from empty soy sauce fishes by Mainichi!
At the end of last year I hosted a session in the fair talks series at the fair@square fair trade and ethical festival.
The topic of the session was “fashion and consumption” and on the panel was Jill Chivers of My Year Without Clothes Shopping, a program based on Jill’s own experience where participants who consider themselves to have a over-shopping problem pledge to spend a year without shopping for clothes, and instead “shop your wardrobe” learning to make better use of the clothes they already own.
Jo Cramer is a lecturer in fashion design in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University and she is also studying for a PhD titled “The Living Wardrobe” that addresses relationships between consumers and their clothing from the perspective of a fashion designer.
The third panel member was Kate Luckins, a founder of The Clothing Exchange who has recently completed a PhD at RMIT University on young people’s sustainable lifestyles.
As my research focuses on ethical issues within the cultural and material production of fashion, this talk was a great opportunity for me to consider fashion from a different perspective – that of the consumer and consumption.
When thinking about ethical consumption, my observation is that there are two schools of thought, one argues for consumption avoidance complimented by the development of alternative means of satisfying the desires that would otherwise trigger shopping. This has a strong non-monetary component, for example, activities such as swapping, sharing and mending satisfy desires for things such as sociability and the new but are generally undertaken in ways that don’t require as great an exchange of money as conventional shopping. The principal beneficiary in this case is the individual consumer who has saved money whilst having an enjoyable and sociable experience. The environment also benefits through the avoidance of waste creation.
The other approach to ethical consumption is through switching purchasing decisions from conventional products to products that have a considered and harm minimizing supply chain, or better still, are made in such a way as to actively benefit the people who produce them. Fair trade systems, for instance take an active role in ensuring that not only are workers fairly remunerated for their work, the financial arrangement in place ensure groups are able to self manage the production of goods to the benefit of their community. Certified organic systems are another example where both people and environment benefit from reduced or no chemical use as well as the price premium attached to such a product. Certification exists to ensure the robustness of the system and aid in its consumer adoption, but many other variations exist on this model of ethical consumption that don’t involve formal certification.
It is this framework that the fair@square festival exists within. It is a fair trade and ethical festival that aims to demonstrate that business can be profitable without compromising social issues. Held in the lead-up to Christmas time, it targets consumers at a time when shopping is at its peak and suggests that some of that Christmas spending might be done on fair trade or ethically produced products.
Back to work for 2012, just a little bit refreshed from the Christmas break! I have an upcoming project that is more gallery than strictly red carpet, and I’m very excited about it.
I’ve been invited to take part in an exhibition at Object titled EVERGREEN: fresh sustainable fashion, alongside designers Julia Knupfer of Germany and Holly McQuillan of New Zealand. Three of my dresses will be included, employing the use of silk remnants, plant dyes and principles of design for disassembly. The above picture is of designs I sent the gallery so they could choose the best colour palette and designs for the space. I like that even though it’s for an exhibition as opposed to a person there’s still aspects of the “made to measure” process involved.
January 27 – March 6 2012
Object: Australian Centre for Design
St. Margarets, 417 Bourke St
Surry Hills NSW 2010