Sunday Digest

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I decided to copy one of my favourite videogame blogs and a post they make every Sunday, by compiling a list of links that I found interesting or worthwhile that are related to fashion and design in general and post them for your own perusal.

Hopefully, you all might find them interesting as well.

Over at Not Just A Label, Lavinia Ban writes about inspiration in fashion and how it is not just a version of the "Eureka! Moment", but actually a whole bunch of research, hard work and experience - The Myth of Inspiration.

To sum it up, the greatest challenge is not finding original sources of inspiration, but developing them into a successful final product. After all, we’re talking about clothes that ultimately have to be worn. How does one translate ideas into coherent fashion products? How does one re-invent a concept to deliver something new? That is the point where designers really need to be ‘inspired’.

Still at Not Just A Label, American designer Geoffrey B Smalls writes a very candid and sobering view of the global fashion industry and what it takes as a young designer to survive swimming in its waters - The Environment Of Young Designers.

Achieving mastery at the Paris level requires a lot of skills: artistic, fashion, technical, research, commercial, production, logistical, financial, accounting, language, media savvy, graphics, textiles and legal skills. You need physical energy and endurance, stress prevention, the ability to handle money, people, and more. Sadly, there isn't a fashion school programme in the world that comes even close to preparing people for what they really need to pursue this thing and survive, let alone do it right. You are on your own. If you are lucky you may find a mentor who is not greedy, who will share information, knowledge and experience with you. I was once given advice from someone who worked for England's most successful independent designer company (sorry, no names here). Their motto: "No agents. Do everything yourself. Trust no one."

Brendan Vance is a game designer that had a bit of an epiphany regarding why he made videogames and the sort of messages he wanted to communicate with the rest of the world through his chosen medium of expression. Here is one of the essays where he laid out his thought process and I think it is relevant for anybody interested in creating honest and good design that means something greater than the sum of its parts Fashion, Emptiness and Problem Attic

Whereas to design a hammer involves finding ways of realizing features whose value is readily apparent, to make Art is to search for value lying beyond the edges of our understanding: To capture something we know is important to us even though we cannot quite say why. This is what makes ‘Art’ so famously difficult to define, and why we speak not about ‘novel designers’ or ‘film designers’ but about the authors of these works. Authors are a specialized type of designer who work to realize feelings, concepts or moments; often they attempt to connect in some fashion with our shared humanity. We cannot fully express what their work is for because its value transcends understanding.

I am a big fan of Daft Punk and this post chronicling the evolution of their helmets and costumes was extremely fascinating and well researched. It shows how much thought goes into details that most fans would probably never even get the chance to see. Some phenomenal design work right there - A Visual History Of Daft Punk's Helmets

During this period backup helmets were also made to serve as backups should something happen to the 'Hero Helmets' Daft Punk wore most frequently. These helmets were seemingly identical to their 'Hero' counterparts, other than lacking the finer details - making them cheaper to produce. These helmets were also worn by the extras in Daft Punk's film, Electroma.

I really enjoyed this short post on an Italo Calvino lecture in 1967 called Cybernetics and Ghosts. Mythology and its relation to the growth of culture and society is something that really fascinates me and I think can be useful in any creative endeavor trying to communicate a little bit of the unknown to both members of ones social tribe and mainstream society at large - Italo Calvino on Myth

Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. The narrator's voice in the daily tribal assemblies is not enough to relate the myth. One needs special times and places, exclusive meetings; the words alone are not enough, and we need a whole series of signs with many meanings, which is to say a rite.

Finally, here's a link to a very timely article on Nigeria's independence over at the Nsibidi Institute. I say timely because of all the trouble going on in the country and also in relation to he last couple of posts I have put up on the blog - A Proud, Free and All But Forgotten Nigeria

And to complete the dubbing of the format of this post, I will add some music that I have been listening to this week. In order to add a little bit more content that is specific to this blog, I will also take the opportunity to add a random image or two that I took during the week.

Today's music is Hidden XS by the Fuck Buttons which was also used as the opening track for the Comme des Garcons Homme Plus Autumn/Winter 2014 show.

Sticking with the Comme des Garcons theme, here is an image from a Vogue Japan spread called "Icons of Perfection" celebrating its 15th anniversary. With only two non-white models - Tao Okamoto and Naomi Campbell - in the entire spread, I am a bit uncomfortable with the editorial as a whole, but taken on its own merit, there are some stunning images and the styling, using Comme and Yohji is really, really good.

random image of the week taken from The Icons of Perfection Vogue Japan September 2014 editorial. Modelled by Linda Evangelista; Photography by Luigi + Iango; Styling by  Giovanna Battaglia

Yegwa Ukpo

Yegwa Ukpo

Lagos, Nigeria