Friday 5: Five Stories That Changed The Way We Think About Fashion

Every week we put together our Friday 5 -five stories that compel us to read the lead sentence to the last sentence of an article. Here are our top 5 this week.

mcCall pattern

The head of patternmaking, Behnaz Livian, center, and Jacqueline Polikoff, a designer, discuss the cut of a dress. Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Do-It-Yourself Fashion Thrives at the McCall Pattern Company

“…if there is a sense in the broader culture that the McCall Pattern Company belongs to the Betty Draper past, the opposite view is held among 21st-century sewers. The patterns created here are blueprints, essential enablers for do-it-yourself-minded women and men who want to look stylish without plunking down thousands at a department store or the latest pop-up shop.”

Read the full article on the New York Times.

garment workers

Why do Beyonce, Ellen and Melissa’s clothing lines empower only the women buying the clothes, not making them?

“I’m wary every time I hear of a new celebrity line attached to a cause. It’s not the opportunism that bothers me and certainly not the cause itself. I support that a person of high esteem in our society is willing to champion a meaningful cause. In the cases of Ellen and Melissa, their lines provide a positive voice and identity to girls and women often overlooked by the fashion industry. They offer a set of values and identity the shopper can ascribe to themselves when they wear the clothing.

Rather, what bothers me is that so many of these lines manufactured in the name of empowerment are feeding a fashion system which disempowers millions of people each day…”

Read the full article on Project Just.

reformation cotton

Image: Reformation

The Fabric of Our Lives or the Planet’s Latest Threat? Fashion Startups Look Into Cotton Alternatives

“The fashion business is in the midst of a reset, waking up to a whole new set of fabrics that go beyond the polyesters and synthetics of previous generations to find solutions that are both eco-friendly and fashion-forward. It’s about time: The fashion industry is the second-most-polluting industry in the world, just behind oil. Cotton, which has long been regarded as the most breathable and natural fabric, takes acres of land to grow and significant inputs of water. The average cotton T-shirt requires 2,700 liters of water from cultivation to dyeing, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Plus, conventional cotton uses pesticides, which are detrimental both to farmers and the soil that they work.”

Read the full article on Vogue.

Iris van Herpen: “I try to stretch the boundaries”

“I don’t think perfection exists in any way — that’s the beauty of making something. And a lot of the things I make come from mistakes. When I start on a collection, I don’t pick materials; a lot of designers go to a supplier where they can find fabrics but we already start one step earlier where we develop the materials ourselves, that’s a big part of the process. Maybe half of the materials we develop aren’t suitable or don’t end up in that collection. I guess you could call them ‘failed’ in that sense but often they do come back in another state of being later on. My whole process is going forward and backward all the time.”

Read the full article on The Talks.

wen zhou

PHILLIP Lim co-founder Wen Zhou

Why 3.1 Phillip Lim CEO Wen Zhou shuns fast food and fast fashion

“Phillip Lim could be so much bigger—not just in terms of volume; I don’t care so much about volume—but in a more meaningful kind of way. You know, my next 10 years is going to be very, very different. It will be more socially aware and conscious, and I want to do things in a way that I can effect changes or start a dialogue.”

Read the full article on the Inquirer.