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Wear and Tear: the nits and grits of fast fashion retail
Ano topic mo, fashion?
(What’s your topic, fashion?) The guy who asked me that sounded as if I was predictable and that he’s tired of me dealing with fashion-related projects in school. Little boy, this one is different. Yes, I’ve done many fashion-focused projects such as a Vogue interactive storybook, a summer fashion shoot, a 20-paged fashion magazine, a Spring/Summer paperdoll game,Manila fashion website, Fast Fashion e-commerce website and the list goes on. It’s true that fashion is the easiest subject for me to take on and it never gets tiring because of its many branches. It just so happens that I’m interested and knowledgeable in it at the same time.
Picking this topic wasn’t easy—I begged my thesis level one adviser to pick my literary topics but she thought they stood for nothing but literature. My fashion topics on the other hand, had more substance and showed more concern for the society, which is the main goal of our thesis.
Fashion may seem like a very petty issue—it is, and it’s a shame that I’m wasting effort in fighting for a topic that gets looked down all the time. Fashion is not superficial. Retail profit amounts to billions of dollars annually. If fashion production is abused like it is already, the global economic status will be affected. These garments are sourced from different continents. While one’s loss is another’s gain, fast fashion production will be a lose-lose situation in the long run. My project aims to contribute to a better understanding of this dilemma, and hopefully I can get my message across with ease.
Why am I scared to start this project?
First, it’s my first time to create a project of my own and it just had to be a very ambitious one. I’m not a hypocrite, I like Topshop and Zara and I know that most kids my age do, too. They’re pretty, and it always feels good to be wearing something pretty. The internet dictates that these fast fashion retail brands have good garments—they do, I don’t even want to touch that—but to what extent does “good” serve its purpose? Fabric-wise, are they sturdy? When it comes to affordability, do they fit our budget? Based on design, are they at par with runway fashion? For the last question, that’s a big yes because most of these designs are based from runway trends, sometimes even translated into many different versions to avoid infringement. This is why they’re cheap and appealing. What you saw in the Versace show yesterday can be in the racks of Zara 2 weeks from now. With 200 designers on board and underpaid workers, it’s so easy to have the garments delivered to all outlets. How do you think does Donatella feel about that?
Second, it’s never been done. I’ve searched for similar subjects but there is not one website that denounced fast fashion retail directly. I’m not sure if there’s a treaty between fashion bloggers and these brands but it just bothers me that of the millions of style bloggers all over the globe, not one of them ever thought of discussing the disadvantages of fast fashion retail. It pains me that the first word has to come from a girl hailing from a third world country. When I was drafting my plans for my project during the first of three thesis levels, one professor told me to go beyond the borders ofManila. At first, I only wanted to discuss the effect of fast fashion in the Philippine setting, how we’re not ready for disposable fashion and how the sprouting of these fast fashion retail brands will ruin the consumerism of Filipinos. We all know that our economy has suicidal tendencies instigated by no other than its people. We’re naturally drawn to imported products thanks to American colonization and bringing in these imported brands which sell cheap, trendy clothing is almost the same as stabbing our local retailers in the face.
Third, I will get nasty comments. I don’t look like an advocate of anything, and it might seem weird that I am against one of my interests but don’t get me wrong—I have not fallen out of love with fashion. This involvement is actually a manifestation of that overflowing love for it, so much, that I have gone beyond patriotism; I now want to understand the effect of my buying behavior and the fashion production processes that my rompers have undergone before they reached me. It’s not easy to confront a multi-billion dollar issue especially if you’re not of position, but I’m hoping that with the support of everyone, this project would be successful.
I was very upset that my thesis got revised into a web comic because 1.) I don’t draw and 2.) Fashion addicts don’t read comics. But I’m happy about it now, because I get to insert facts and unspoken truths about fashion without directly offending people or sounding too preachy. After school, I plan to pursue this into the first format I had in mind, either an e-magazine or an informational website where I can speak my mind more through a direct approach.
(c) Fashion Firewoman
This is an editorial. The author does not intend to dispute the aforementioned brands.

Wear and Tear: the nits and grits of fast fashion retail

Ano topic mo, fashion?

(What’s your topic, fashion?) The guy who asked me that sounded as if I was predictable and that he’s tired of me dealing with fashion-related projects in school. Little boy, this one is different. Yes, I’ve done many fashion-focused projects such as a Vogue interactive storybook, a summer fashion shoot, a 20-paged fashion magazine, a Spring/Summer paperdoll game,Manila fashion website, Fast Fashion e-commerce website and the list goes on. It’s true that fashion is the easiest subject for me to take on and it never gets tiring because of its many branches. It just so happens that I’m interested and knowledgeable in it at the same time.

Picking this topic wasn’t easy—I begged my thesis level one adviser to pick my literary topics but she thought they stood for nothing but literature. My fashion topics on the other hand, had more substance and showed more concern for the society, which is the main goal of our thesis.

Fashion may seem like a very petty issue—it is, and it’s a shame that I’m wasting effort in fighting for a topic that gets looked down all the time. Fashion is not superficial. Retail profit amounts to billions of dollars annually. If fashion production is abused like it is already, the global economic status will be affected. These garments are sourced from different continents. While one’s loss is another’s gain, fast fashion production will be a lose-lose situation in the long run. My project aims to contribute to a better understanding of this dilemma, and hopefully I can get my message across with ease.

Why am I scared to start this project?

First, it’s my first time to create a project of my own and it just had to be a very ambitious one. I’m not a hypocrite, I like Topshop and Zara and I know that most kids my age do, too. They’re pretty, and it always feels good to be wearing something pretty. The internet dictates that these fast fashion retail brands have good garments—they do, I don’t even want to touch that—but to what extent does “good” serve its purpose? Fabric-wise, are they sturdy? When it comes to affordability, do they fit our budget? Based on design, are they at par with runway fashion? For the last question, that’s a big yes because most of these designs are based from runway trends, sometimes even translated into many different versions to avoid infringement. This is why they’re cheap and appealing. What you saw in the Versace show yesterday can be in the racks of Zara 2 weeks from now. With 200 designers on board and underpaid workers, it’s so easy to have the garments delivered to all outlets. How do you think does Donatella feel about that?

Second, it’s never been done. I’ve searched for similar subjects but there is not one website that denounced fast fashion retail directly. I’m not sure if there’s a treaty between fashion bloggers and these brands but it just bothers me that of the millions of style bloggers all over the globe, not one of them ever thought of discussing the disadvantages of fast fashion retail. It pains me that the first word has to come from a girl hailing from a third world country. When I was drafting my plans for my project during the first of three thesis levels, one professor told me to go beyond the borders ofManila. At first, I only wanted to discuss the effect of fast fashion in the Philippine setting, how we’re not ready for disposable fashion and how the sprouting of these fast fashion retail brands will ruin the consumerism of Filipinos. We all know that our economy has suicidal tendencies instigated by no other than its people. We’re naturally drawn to imported products thanks to American colonization and bringing in these imported brands which sell cheap, trendy clothing is almost the same as stabbing our local retailers in the face.

Third, I will get nasty comments. I don’t look like an advocate of anything, and it might seem weird that I am against one of my interests but don’t get me wrong—I have not fallen out of love with fashion. This involvement is actually a manifestation of that overflowing love for it, so much, that I have gone beyond patriotism; I now want to understand the effect of my buying behavior and the fashion production processes that my rompers have undergone before they reached me. It’s not easy to confront a multi-billion dollar issue especially if you’re not of position, but I’m hoping that with the support of everyone, this project would be successful.

I was very upset that my thesis got revised into a web comic because 1.) I don’t draw and 2.) Fashion addicts don’t read comics. But I’m happy about it now, because I get to insert facts and unspoken truths about fashion without directly offending people or sounding too preachy. After school, I plan to pursue this into the first format I had in mind, either an e-magazine or an informational website where I can speak my mind more through a direct approach.

(c) Fashion Firewoman

This is an editorial. The author does not intend to dispute the aforementioned brands.

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Fashion 101: Karl by Karl Lagerfeld

Janine, a blog reader of mine, gave me a tip on an upcoming collection from Karl Lagerfeld. She says she knows I’m not a huge fan of the designer but might like his affordable collection. She could not be more right!

Karl for Karl Lagerfeld is a collection of lower-priced items in Chanel-inspired colors (think…black and white). The pieces range from $50-$1000. The previewed ones are structured and hella androgynous— me likey! Pre-launch is on January 25, 2011. Items will be on sale via KarlLagerfeld.com on February 2012.

(c) Fashion Firewoman

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Fashion 101: Versace for H&M part 2 

Jump-start your new year with the launch of a sold out collection from November 2011. The second installment of Versace for H&M is set to hit the racks on January 19, 2012 tied with a little set of ground rules just like before: no bracelet, no entry. Only 280 bracelets were distributed on a first come, first served basis. 14 batches of 20 women, 15 minutes to shop. And the rules get more extensive: a certain number of a certain design/size allowed per person. So many restrictions!

You should know that unlike here in Manila, women from other countries especially in the United States, flock to the gates of retail stores with their friends during sale season but when upscale fashion houses tie-up with fast fashion brands, it’s every man for himself or should I say, every woman for herself.

What are these rules for:

For order and safety. When the doors open, game face on; hands become claws and nails become knives. If there aren’t any guidelines in shopping, the store will be crowded and the pieces will be torn apart!

For fairness. These lovely pieces are made for everyone. Hoarding is discouraged because most hoarders will sell them at inflated prices via eBay which wouldn’t be fair to the brands and the consumers.

The second collection called "Cruise" is more wearable than the first one which had trademark Versace colors and prints, think loud and green and pink. This collaboration would have to be one of the best ones from 2011 because it’s equally beneficial to both brands. Versace as a fashion house is able to reach to a younger market with more affordable clothing.

(c) Fashion Firewoman

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Fashion 101: Keeping up with the Holiday Sparkle

Christmas is a season for giving but aside from that, it gets some of us fashion-inhaling ladies giddy because it’s the season where dressing up is mandatory and not optional. Show off your glitter-powdered self and don’t pale to this season’s sparkle. I can already smell Christmas so it’s safe to check your Christmas list. Here’s a rundown of some bright gift suggestions for friends and loved ones. Don’t forget to reward yourself, too. :)

POSH Pocket Shoes has a new installment for the classic femme. The collection called “POSH Brides” showcases flats in pink, beige and silver— champagne tones perfectly fit for brides. The glitter toe detail gives oomph to the Prima bow-flats. POSH makes bows look good; see the other bow-embellished styles in their Facebook.

If you’re looking for unique accessories, might as well drop by Unique Creations to have some trinkets customized. Can’t go to Paris? Might as well start by wearing this pendant and feel like you’re there. ;) Trust me; they’re really affordable and they have a wide variety of pieces, too. If you plan to give these away to friends, I’m pretty sure they’ll give you a discount for bulk orders. :)

Extreme Finds did a good variation of their well-known frenchbraid necklace (as seen here) for the holiday season. Pieces in red, green, purple and gold say nothing but a warm, heartfelt Christmas. Too bad they’re out of bow necklaces, but at least now they have more necklaces and bangles!

Glitter is tacky, but not when used with taste. Trunk Show has a lot of glittered-sequined shoes for those who dare to go all-out sparkling this Christmas. They have ballet flats, oxfords and pumps in different colors but my favorite would have to be the one above. (P.S. Dorothy Perkins has something similar to this with a skyscraping price difference!)

A different kind of sparkle is seen in Mia Casa’s new accessories. Be it a penchant for neck pieces, earrings or stackles, Mia Casa is the perfect online shopping joint for your accessory needs. The necklace above may even double as a lucky charm for those who believe that coins and round stuff bring luck. Hey, you’ll never know. ;)

Well, isn’t Asian Vogue always a sight for sore eyes? Their shoes are too flashy you’re gonna need sunglasses to stare at them! I don’t have to enumerate the reason why Asian Vogue would be a good way to reward yourself or your best friend this Christmas because I believe that the Asian shoe online source is a good place to get gifts whole year round. What’s new? There’s always something new!

With these gift suggestions, there’s no reason for you to be lackluster. Just remember to dazzle everyone with a smile and pair of good shoes and you’re all set. Cheers to the wonderful year that has been and to the new one ahead of us!

(c) Fashion Firewoman

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Gen M Season 2: "Back stage is the new front stage" 
From the success of Mega Publishing Group’s initial venture into television comes yet another exciting offering called MEGA Fashion Crew. “Life here in MEGA has been a constant search for these people,” shares Sari Yap, editor in chief of MEGA magazine. Thus, in the same line, the show is dedicated to finding the individuals who will make it big in the fashion industry. With a total of 60 hopefuls, MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 aims to find the next top photographer, fashion stylist, make-up artist, hair stylist and female model. During each episode five members will be grouped as a fashion crew, and they will have to execute a fashion shoot. As Executive Group Creative Director Suki Salvador says, “Backstage is the new front stage” and this show aims to offer a unique peek into the fashion industry.
Experience the drama over 13 weeks as contestants go through a grueling series of shoots where MEGA Publishing Group’s executive creative director Suki Salvador and MEGA Magazine’s publisher and deputy editor Meryll Yan act as mentors for the season. To further the challenge, at the end of each show, fashion crews will be judged by top personalities in each discipline. Together with Ms. Yap, celebrity fashion designer Avel Bacudio and top model Raya Mananquil round up the resident panel. “Aside from fabulous items and cash prize of Php100,000 each, a promising career awaits the winning individuals. The five winners will also have the chance to work with the MEGA editorial team for a fashion editorial,” says Ms. Yan.
MEGA Magazine invites you to witness yet another milestone in the publishing-television industry. MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 airs every Saturday nights at 7:00pm, starting July 30, 2011 on ETC. Catch the replays every Sunday at 10am. MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 is created for television by the MEGA Publishing Group.
Visit www.megastyle.ph and like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/megamagazine and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mega_magazine.www.megastyle.ph and like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/megamagazine and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mega_magazine.

This is a press releasePhoto courtesy of MEGA Publishing

Gen M Season 2: "Back stage is the new front stage"

From the success of Mega Publishing Group’s initial venture into television comes yet another exciting offering called MEGA Fashion Crew. “Life here in MEGA has been a constant search for these people,” shares Sari Yap, editor in chief of MEGA magazine. Thus, in the same line, the show is dedicated to finding the individuals who will make it big in the fashion industry. With a total of 60 hopefuls, MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 aims to find the next top photographer, fashion stylist, make-up artist, hair stylist and female model. During each episode five members will be grouped as a fashion crew, and they will have to execute a fashion shoot. As Executive Group Creative Director Suki Salvador says, “Backstage is the new front stage” and this show aims to offer a unique peek into the fashion industry.

Experience the drama over 13 weeks as contestants go through a grueling series of shoots where MEGA Publishing Group’s executive creative director Suki Salvador and MEGA Magazine’s publisher and deputy editor Meryll Yan act as mentors for the season. To further the challenge, at the end of each show, fashion crews will be judged by top personalities in each discipline. Together with Ms. Yap, celebrity fashion designer Avel Bacudio and top model Raya Mananquil round up the resident panel. “Aside from fabulous items and cash prize of Php100,000 each, a promising career awaits the winning individuals. The five winners will also have the chance to work with the MEGA editorial team for a fashion editorial,” says Ms. Yan.

MEGA Magazine invites you to witness yet another milestone in the publishing-television industry. MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 airs every Saturday nights at 7:00pm, starting July 30, 2011 on ETC. Catch the replays every Sunday at 10am. MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 is created for television by the MEGA Publishing Group.

Visit www.megastyle.ph and like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/megamagazine and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mega_magazine.www.megastyle.ph and like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/megamagazine and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mega_magazine.

This is a press release
Photo courtesy of MEGA Publishing