MA Design graduates 2016: Matea Pelko explores the environmental and human costs of a patriotic symbol

As her final project for the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Matea Pelko investigated what lies beneath the public image of the tie as a symbol of national pride in Croatia.

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How did you decide on neckties as the starting point for your graduation project, and what was your goal for the project?

As I’m originally from Croatia, I wanted to start from my origins and ties were the perfect media to do so. Not so many people know, but the tie was created by Croats, and shortly after it became obligatory wardrobe for French soldiers. The style quickly spread to England, and neckties began [to be] an important part of men’s wardrobes until today. Croats forgot about the tie until 1990, when Marijan Buši, visionary founder of the Croata fashion brand, decided to share his vision and remind the world what is it so special about the Croatian view of the tie, and of the almost forgotten basic values that the cravat or necktie embodies. My goal was to deconstruct that view in order to learn more about my nation, values, and what exactly are we selling to world as a Croatian principle.Read More »

MA Design graduates 2016: Katherine Tse uses home resources to expose the effort behind manufacturing clothes

For her graduation project from the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Yuen Wa Tse (Katherine) took on the laborious task of making silk underwear with home resources, in order to highlight the effort that even the most mundane clothing items require in their manufacturing process. She also aimed to produce items uncoupled from the fetishisation of gender identity:

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How did you decide on fast fashion and gender identity in fashion as the topic for your graduation project?

Fashion is intimately tied to our human bodies and our identity. Fast fashion can been seen as an outgrowth of high fashion in its aim to accommodate a more expressive individuality. I am particularly interested in the authenticity of an individual’s sense of self, gender and sexuality through fashion.Read More »

Critical Practice and Fashion workshop with recent MA graduates

Hannah Korsmeyer and Cyrielle Andre, recent graduates from Critical Practice and Fashion, will be holding a workshop exploring the complementarity of both these fields on Monday 7 December at Goldsmiths. Fashion and Critical Practice students are invited for a collaborative day of learning through making: “Working together in the studio, we will not only be exploring our own understanding of what “critical practice” and “fashion” are, but what unexpected creative insights can be gained from a process of making to question.”

What will the workshop be about? Hannah &Cyrielle provide us with some quotes that reflect their approach:

‘[All] design is ideological, the design process is informed by values based on a specific world view, or way of seeing and understanding reality. Design can be described as falling into two very broad categories: affirmative design and critical design. The former reinforces how things are now, it conforms to cultural, social, technical and economic expectation. Most design falls into this category. The latter rejects how things are now as being the only possibility, it provides critique of the prevailing situation through designs that embody alternative social, cultural, technical or economic values.’
Dunne and Raby, Design Noir, 2001

‘Learning through making, manifesting things in the world, moving away from the narrow notion of “professional” skill in order to produce and manifest. Strategic making is making from below, from the grass roots or the existence of everyday life. It is not a matter of applying means to some utopian end, but instead to manifest new meaning into the current as a proposition, a dialogue”. The Fashion Condition Collective, 2014