The item in my wardrobe I have chosen to look at for this blog post is a cami top from Velvet and is pictured above. The ‘green-ness’ of fashion can be considered through the sustainability, organic, economical and ethical aspects of the garments including the whole manufacturing process.

The garment I have chosen is made form 100% silk which is the only natural filament fibre. Although the fibres origins are natural rather than man-made the production of silk certainly has its moral impacts. To obtain raw silk the silk worms in their cocoons need to be boiled alive enabling a complete, unbroken fibre to be taken from the cocoon. this of course results in the death of the worms posing a moral issue to the harvesting of the silk fibre. This method also means that new silk worms are needed on a regular basis and isn’t very sustainable. A more moral and sustainable method of harvesting the silk fibre is to cut the cocoons, although does not given you a fibre as long and a finished fabric as smooth.

The garment was made in USA which is usual as most manufacturing nowadays happens across the middle east. This means that the manufacturing standards will of had to adhere to the stricter regulations in the US and are less likely to be subject to the likes of sweatshops and slave labour.



‘fashion revivals’

A fashion revival refers to when a particular design detail become fashionable again years after it was last considered fashionable.  These revived fashions are often slightly altered to suit the time or further technology developments.

discopant black

The disco pant quickly became popular again last year with American Apparel being the to go place to get this must have item. Although no longer holding the fashion limelight disco pants are still seen in stores and on your average walk to town. The American Apparel version clocks in at £74.00 making them slightly out of the average students price range, many other high street stores have sold more affordable versions. Having not tried any make of disco pants on its hard to comment, but these strike me as something that you will want in a high quality fabric that will hold you in as opposed to you pushing it out. Perhaps the extra money will be worth it.

grease disco pantThe disco pant can be said to have hit it’s first height in popularity in 1978 when Olivia Newton-John was so famously sewn into her pair for the final fun fair scenes in the film Grease.

One difference from this pair to the contemporary versions of the disco pant is that people aren’t typically being sewn into their pairs or making them themselves. American Apparel have taken the famous disco pant design and adapted it into a range of products seen bellow.

disco pant short disco pant skirt disco pant pattern

As well as being available in any colour you could possibly want you can now get disco pants in a variety of prints. If trousers aren’t your cup of tea perhaps a disco skirt? or short shorts?



‘fashion marketing and brands’

The market mixing of a company consists of the four P’s; price, product, place and promotion. This week in my blog post I am going to be analysing my chosen stores marketing mix.

I have chosen to look at Topshop a popular high street store.  The specific ‘bricks and mortar’ store I will be looking at is the branch within the Highcross shopping centre in the city centre of Leicester. As far as shop placement goes this is a very good retailer space to have due to the high foot traffic from costumers and the surrounding shops. Topshop has an online website you can purchase their products from as well as their many stores. They also have official accounts with many of the social media sites and apps meaning they have a wide reach to their customers.

image (8)

In the window of their stores Topshop currently have this sign advertising a 30% off sale, the ‘limited time only’ gives a sense of urgency to the customers.


Topshop have used the internet site ‘Pinterest’ and have in their stores highlighted to the customer the most ‘pinned’ items of their’s on this site. This is picking out the garments the public have chosen to be the most popular.

image (17)

Within their stores as well as online Topshop has garments that fit into different price points. They sell various concession brands within stores depending on the size of that store including names such as; Oh My Love, Jones and Jones, Ragged Priest and many more. These brands are often placed at a higher price point to the main bulk of the Topshop’s own stuff. The basic jersey range within Topshop appeals to a lower price point, but overall the store, price wise, is about the middle of the high street. Topshop isn’t the cheapest but certainly isn’t the most expensive high street store. They also have a ‘Last Chance To Buy’ section in most of their stores which is a clever marketing tool to encourage customer to buy up stock that is going out of season by providing a sense of urgency.

The typical Topshop customer is typically 25-35 years old and will be fashion concious as Topshop is a store other high street stores look to for trends. The marketing and promotion of their products is very extensive and thorough. Although cheaper versions of their garments may be found in stores such as New Look, Topshop is perceived to be of higher quality due to the increased price.



‘gender and fashion’

Gender refers to ‘the behavioural, cultural or psychological traits typically associated with one sex’. Clothing and adornment is used to portray different genders, the response to these different items of clothing can be interpreted differently depending on who is reading them; this relates back to semiotics and the signified and signifier. This week I will be exploring the ideas associated with gender and fashion by looking at one item of dress/accessory that is worn in today’s culture.

gender and fashion high heel

The picture above shows a high heel from Christian Louboutin’s current collection. In today’s society high heels are predominately associated with women and being feminine and this is the learn response in western culture. Heels first started as a symbol of power and status for men, yes men, in the 16th century. Persian soldiers are known to have worn heels as they were seen as practical wear for horse riding. In Europe aristocrats worn heels for a completely different reason, they chose to wear this type of shoe for its uncomforted and impracticality, as a symbol of luxury. There is no denying that all these years later high heels are still considered uncomfortable and by many impractical as well. When social ideas of gender changed and women were seen as emotional and weaker than the male sex and men became to gender for practicality the decline of the male heel and gender swap associated with this shoe happen. By the end of te 17th century heels where a purely female fashion.

In today’s western society high heels are the top symbol for femininity and female sexuality. I for one wear heels to make myself feels sexier and certainly more powerful; so in that sense the power aspect to the heel hasn’t changed. although you wouldn’t think of it but every shoe designer that designs heels for women is in fact challenging it’s original gender. Louboutin is famous for his heels with their iconic red sole.



The image above is another from Christian Louboutin’s current collection. This shoe is the highest ‘heel’ in the men’s collection.

The film ‘Kinky Boots’ is true story about the family run factory that makes shoes that then to save it from bankruptcy begins making heels for transvestite men. In modern society this is where you will find the most men wearing high heels , when they are portraying women. This shows just how genderised the high heels has become, for even when they are worn by men it is to show femininity and as a symbol of them dressing as a female.


Kinky Boots (2005)




‘Semiotics’ refers to the study of signs. It looks at anything that is used to stand for something else. Semiotics is made up of two different parts; the signifier (anything that stands for something else) and the signified (the something else that is being represented). This week I am going to be using semiotics to analyse an advert from a fashion related brand.


m&s advert

The link above will hopefully take you to a YouTube clip of the advert I have chosen, fingers crossed!

M&S are a brand that are widely associated with high quality and does have that image of being for the where the older generation shops. For most the M&S logo on a garment symbolises quality. The M&S logo to those wearing it says that they want quality in their clothes, for them to last, and are prepared to pay more for their clothes to get this higher quality.

This new M&S advert is clearly based around fairy tales. This can be gathered from certain signifiers and learn semiotics of the viewer, for instance; the white dog down the pothole symbolises Alice in Wonderland, and the four friends walking to the green man is The Wizard of Oz. They have used very well known stories and used very well known symbols of these to ensure that the biggest possible proportion of their audience will understand what is being signified. The advert also features 3 big names, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in fairytale scenes, David Gandy plays the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham-Carter as the Wizard of Oz. Using celebrities endorsements gives a sense of quality and an idea that the products are for those of an upper class


‘youth subcultures’

punk, youth subcultures week4

A subculture is defined as, ‘a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture.’ by the Oxford dictionary. People will often categorise people into various subcultures and stereotype them accordingly. There have been many subcultures in the past and subcultures still very much exist now in modern day society.

The image above is taken from The Gazette, a local newspaper in Basingstoke and North Hants, from August 26th 1980. The article itself is entitled ‘THE PUNK SHOCKER’, this for some will sum up what they believe punk to have been about, ‘shocking’. Marc (yes the article spelt his name wrong, much to his annoyance) was a 20 year old from Basingstoke living in London at the time and without a doubt was a part of the punk subculture taking the UK by storm. But what exactly was ‘Punk’?  ‘punk n. 1. A youth movement of the late 70’s characterized by anti-establishment slogans and outrageous clothes and hairstyles. 2. An inferior, rotten or worthless person or thing. 3. Worthless articles collectively. 4. Short for punk rock. 5. Obs. A young male homosexual; cat 6. Obs. A prostitute- adj. 7. Rotten or worthless’ is how the book ‘Punk’ (2001) has defined the term. To me Punk was about anti establishment and challenging social conventions.

The T-shirt Marc is wearing in the photograph above was a Vivienne Westwood design bought from her and Malcom McLaren’s store ‘SEX’ on The Kings Road, London. Shocking and often pornographic prints were typical of the Punk look; a look which often fuel certain stereotypes and assumptions about those that worn them. This particular print caused Marc to be stopped by the police and arrested. The cowboys ‘showing a good bit more than their six guns’ was deemed just too outrageous by the arresting officers and he was subsequently fined. It seems ridiculous considering the boobs you see on printed tops all over the place now days. Punks where often stereotype was being aggressive or out to cause trouble, which Marc certainly wasn’t, meaning they were often stopped and search by the police just because of the way they looked. In the case of this article Marc was actually warned about the presence of police by a fellow punk and had zipped his leather jacket up to hide the print. Back in the late 70s the leather clothes, bright hair and piercings was seen as confrontational and shocking.

A lot of the iconic Punk pieces are currently back in stores such as the tartan that is seen everywhere at the moment. There are also a lot of ‘Ramones’ T-shirts about. a punk band from the 70s. When certain subcultural fashions hit mainstream fashion some many years later one question that arises is, has the original meaning been lost? From personal experiences i know that quite a few people wearing the ‘Ramones’ T-shirts will have no clue  who they are and what they were about. So yes, I do believe that as time passes the original meaning gets lost and things just become another ‘fashion’.

‘looking at the news’

For my blog post this week I am going to be looking at a recent news article and explore the different issues and opinions surrounding this. The link below will take you to the article I have chosen.


The proposed reform of the current exam system in the UK has been a hot topic for a while now with arguments for each side. It is an issue many feel very strongly about, especially students who have recently completed or are still studying A-levels and GCSEs.

The above article from The Independent reports on Mike Nicholson’s views on the government’s proposed plans for the educational overhaul. He is quoted as commenting on Michael Grove’s plans as, “another great example of the Government’s tendency to meddle in things they should probably really leave alone”. This alone shows that he feels quite strongly opposed to the government’s plans, and as someone who is working within the educational system his views have some backing to them. there is a definite general feels that there is little evidence that the current A-level and GCSE system needs changing at all; with Mike Griffiths, head of Northampton School for Boys and former president of the Association of School and College Leaders, stating the plans were ‘a solution in search of problem’.

There are strong arguments against the exam overhaul, but the government certainly feels that there is a need for change within the current educational system. Michael Grove feels that the current A-level system does not allow for pupils to develop a ‘deeper understanding’,  and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report has stated that 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK came 21st out of 24 nations in English and 22nd out of a total 24 in Maths. the OECD statistics do give strong weighting behind a change to the educational system, the question is then what change needs to be made? As many feel the current plan won’t be beneficial.


additional sources:

‘mini dress’

so here goes with my second blog post! Little bit nervous, little bit excited.


—–>> BLOGWEEK2minidress <<——

Fingers crossed that this actually works!!

If you fancy clicking the link above it should hopefully open up the little poster I’ve created giving you lovely readers a little bit of information on the object I have chosen to focus on in my ‘Critical and Contextual Studies’ (CCS) this year.

I guess I should probably explain a bit about what CCS is. Although you may be just as clueless as me 😉 In a nutshell it is basically looking about all the outside factors surrounding an object and relating these back to our areas of study.


Bibliography For Poster

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/m/mary-quant/, Biography of Mary Quant.

The Fashion Gallery, Snibston Discovery Park, Leicester, 2013.

‘about me’

hmm lets see, where to begin…

My parents ingeniously named me ‘Indiana Storm’ and come on with a name like I wasn’t going to be doing something boring now was I. So here I am sat in my little student bedroom writing my first blog post as a proud De Montfort Contour Fashion student! I’ve managed to make it to 18 years of age, move out, and through freshers without too many hiccups.

When the cute elderly customers at work and very straight family friends asked me what course I was going to be studying at university there was always a few funny looks when I explained I was doing my degree in ‘lingerie’. Perhaps the little village I’m from just couldn’t handle the idea of nudity. Luckily for me my 6th form was very supportive in my obsession as in year 12 this was were I had my first encounter with making a corset. I was definitely the little nerd that spent hours on the internet looking at corsets and then making more at home. I found myself completely falling in love with the works of ‘Mr. Pearl’ and the intricate detail that went into the corsets he made.

The next stop on my contour journey was finding out about the course at De Montfort and attending the open day. I sat in the course talk, pen in hand, utterly gob-smacked with a stupid grin on my face. I had always known I wanted to go into fashion but something was never quite right. The difference with this course was the technical element and precision that was needed, calling Indie the maths nerd, this was perfect.

I’ve decided that writing a blog post about yourself is really hard. I just have no idea what people would actually care to know about me. For instance; would you be interested in the fact I have a scar in my knee from running up the down escalator and tripping over? or that i sometimes sit in my room stroking my high heel collection? perhaps you’d want to known that I suck at anything and everything remotely sporty? I’m not joking I just wasn’t built for exercise…maybe I’m allergic? Just stick me in front of a sewing machine with perhaps a fancy dress party to plan for and I’ll be like a child at Christmas.