Fashion Revolution

This week we were exploring sustainable fashion and how we might affect change  with Linda Mackie, Senior Teaching Fellow on Fashion Marketing and Management along with two student ambassadors Ashwinnie and Yijing.

Linda began by showing us some successful campaigns and talked about how designers, artists, photographers and stylists all work together to develop a brands message.  She introduced us to Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign to improve working conditions of those in the fashion industry after a tragic disaster killed many workers in a factory in Bangladesh in 2013.  In response to Fashion Revolution’s call to reduce cheap, fast fashion and respect the human and environmental resources it takes to produce clothing, our brief was to create a new advertising campaign for the charity Oxfam. The local store had kindly given us a heap of donated items they had not been able to sell despite all being in excellent condition and some even big name labels.

The brief: Oxfam is a leading charity in second hand clothes and great advocators of sustainable living.  Consumers are more and more in tune with the issues of sustainability and Oxfam could really potentialise this opportunity in sales if they develop a clear message to their consumers. But who are their consumers? How could they drive more business, and how could art, design, photography, graphics or fashion designers use their skills to work towards a more sustainable future and raise awareness.

The group were given a bundle of clothes and asked to explore how they might style them to work alongside a message to encourage consumers to rethink their attitude to buying second hand clothes.

Each group approached the task differently, some thinking through their ideas and getting their campaign message clear before they began exploring their garments and others getting excited about the styling possibilities straight away.  The groups elected models, photographers and art directors and we headed out onto the WSA campus to hunt for shoot locations. This was a lot of fun!

Back in the studio each group used photoshop to work into the photographs, incorporating their campaign message and the Oxfam logo. The ideas were really strong, several groups played with incorporating the hash tag into their text to encourage others to respond and share their interpretation. Some focused on waste such as  ‘Keep it’ and ‘New? No, landfill’, others focusing on the fun you can have with fashion ‘Be different’ and ‘Keep it colourful’.  At the end of session the outcomes were shared and Linda selected several strong candidates to take back to Oxfam Winchester to see if they would like to display them in store. We hope they do!

The mighty Riso

Katie had ambitious plans for us during this session!

One group began by selecting from last weeks’ artworks to create a showcase of the processes and ideas they had explored. Each member had their own individual  publication that documented their outcomes from the previous week. As a group they worked together to design a collaborative cover which was then printed on the Risograph using coloured paper and the ‘Riso’ trademark fluro inks. Georgia de Buriatte (Saturday Club assistant and BA Printmaking 3rd year student) shared her bookbinding skills with the group, showing us how to fold and saddle stitch the pages so we all had our own finished book.

The other half of the group became an editorial team; selecting images and developing text about the Saturday Club projects this year, which will become a publication for us to keep and share. Katie talked about working with Studio 3015 at Winchester School of Art and the process of designing in a team to create books, magazines, posters, prospectus and all kinds of printed matter. She showed us some examples of the projects she has worked on and how different printing methods, binding and paper choices all affect the visual message of the content. The publication team annotated and edited text about each workshop session and chose from the stock of photographs taken each week to showcase both the outcomes as well as the materials and methods used.

Half way through the morning we swapped around so everyone got a chance to use the mighty Risograph, make their own book and have their input into the publication.

The WSA Saturday Club year book will also be printed on the Risograph, when it is finished we will share on the blog so keep your eyes peeled…

Here is bit more about the Risograph:

“The Risograph is an environmentally friendly and cost effective printer, which uses soy-based inks to produce unique outcomes. Each stencil (master) is made from thermal sensitive paper and unlike offset printing it only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready to print thousands of copies. The Risograph is extremely energy efficient and generates a minimal amount of waste.” – Hato Press

layer, edit, scan, copy…repeat

Graphic Designer Katie Evans (WSA graduate, current MA student and designer with WSA 3015 studio) led us in a session exploring techniques linked to Risograph printing. We used processes which mimicked the Risograph, getting to grips with the concepts of how you might create an edition or publication.

Using scanners, in built mac cameras, the photocopier (a pretty fancy one) and straight forward cutting and sticking we physically recreated the Risograph process to understand its pro’s and cons.

A set of found objects were given as a starting point and members were divided up into groups and worked their way around ‘stations’ in the room; each had a different set of equipment and a series of action words as prompts.

The groups then had free reign to respond in any way they chose; which ranged from creating 3D sculptures combining cutlery and fruit, to layering their own portraits over photocopied cassette tapes, perspex remnants from the laser cutter and stencilled shapes cut and repeated to form abstract patterns.

The outcomes were so varied and showed us how often having constraints can stop you worrying about outcomes and allow you to focus on exploring the possibilities in the process. Some of the layered single coloured photocopied objects were really very beautiful.

Take a look at our next post when we actually got to use the Risograph itself!