Welcome! Today on the blog we are discussing fashion as inspiration!
Many cake designers, myself included, look to fashion to dictate the direction we go with the designs we create. This is nothing new, i promise. A bride may be getting a cake and want the beading recreated on their cake. A girl purchasing a sweet 16 cake may want a crocodile texture. The list really is endless.
As a cake designer it is then up to us to “Make it work” in the famous words of Tim Gunn. Shoutout to my Project Runway fans!
The reason that I bring this up today is because last week was the infamous Met Gala in New York City. If you are unfamiliar, it is the fundraiser held the first Monday of May every year to fund the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s a great documentary that covers the event called “The First Monday in May”. I caught it on Netflix. Its very interesting to see behind the scenes of such a large scale event.
Every year they choose a designer to honor and 2017 Honoree was Comme des Garcons, a Japanese label that has been making waves since 1969. Per Wikipedia, The label was started in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and established as a company Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in 1973. It is written in Japanese as コム・デ・ギャルソン (Komu de Gyaruson). It became successful in Japan in the 1970s; a menswear line was added in 1978. The year 1981 saw Comme des Garçons’s debut show in Paris. It created a splash for its predominant use of black and distressed fabrics. Throughout the 1980s, Comme des Garçons’s clothes often were associated with a ‘distressed’ and ‘punk’ oriented style.
Comme des Garçons’s designer fashion lines are designed and produced in Japan. Lines including Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons, Comme des Garçons Noir, Comme des Garçons Homme, Comme des Garçons Plus, Comme des Garçons Man, Comme des Garçons Deux and Comme des Garçons Shirt, are all handmade. This is because Comme des Garçons adamantly values the quality of hand-made garments, reflected in the more expensive price and longevity of their products. Play, the company’s luxury casual streetwear line, is mainly produced in Japan, Spain, and Turkey, with France’s Play factory still utilizing many hand-made procedures as opposed to Japan, Spain, and Turkey’s production line factory. This is because France’s factory also produces hand-made only lines, including Tricot Comme des Garçons, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus Evergreen, and Junya Watanabe Comme Des Garçons. It is believed that all fabrics are produced in Japan, but some China and Australia sold pieces are hand-finished in France for quality control purposes (distinguishable by the hand stitched heart emblem). In an article for Business of Fashion in April 2017, Tim Blanks reported generated revenue for CDG and its affiliates as “over $280 million a year”.
$280 million per year from one company. Impressive! The fashion industry drives a lot of what we do, whether we realize it or not. Per Elite Daily, FIT professor John Mincarelli tells ABC News, “In rough economic times, people shop for replacement clothes,” adding “basics” prevail during an economic downturn.
Economist George Taylor was the first to notice the correlation between fashion and the economy; he developed the “Hemline Theory” to describe his findings. In the 1920s, he noticed hemlines became shorter as a way for women to show off their silk stockings.
Once the market crashed, longer skirts became de rigueur. Why? Because longer skirts allowed women to hide that they weren’t wearing— and couldn’t afford — stockings.
Skirt length isn’t the only indicator, though. Some, like Estee Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder, believe sales of cheaper thrills best indicate the state of the economy.
Small splurges, like lipstick, increase in sales during economic downturns because more expensive indulgences become unrealistic.”
Generally when there is an awards show or a gala, Hollywood weighs in. You may even have weighed in online yourself. There’s even a show dedicated to it on the E! Network, Fashion Police, where they discuss the choices and the designers. I was perusing message boards this morning and I found a common comment: “Maybe I don’t get fashion”. Its not that you don’t understand an event like the Met Gala, its just that the person wearing the design is using art as fashion, which is not ready to wear, the term used for fashion off the rack. Below are some examples of some of the more out there items worn to the Met Gala this year:
You would probably never wear any of these on the street but I’m hoping you can see how they are works of art. The details, the embellishments, they are all inspirational and better yet, aspirational. Thats what fashion is: Something to aspire to.
I hope I’ve been able to shed a little light onto the way designers are inspired by one another.
Until next time,