It is important for every designer to have a philosophy. A meaning behind their work, a purpose, or guidelines to create to. This does not have to be set in stone and may change and evolve over time, however it’s a good idea to have a basic plan.
Further on in the year, we will be writing our own design philosophies so we were asked to look at the philosophies of two designers in order to start thinking about what we might include in our own. I choose to look into the beliefs of Stella McCartney and Katherine Hamnett, as I find they both have interesting ethical reasons behind the design choices.
For example, Stella McCartney choses to not use any fur or leather in her clothing. As she states on her website; “the decision not to use leather or fur is not just because I don’t eat animals or that I think that millions of animals each year shouldn’t be killed for the sake of fashion, it’s because I also believe in the connection between fur and leather and the environment. There’s a huge connection. Many people claim that leather is okay to use because it is a by-product of the meat industry, however, livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”. Read more on Stella’s philosophy HERE
I furthermore explored the philosophy behind the designs of Katherine Hamnett. Over the years Hamnett’s views have evolved in regards to the ethical and environmental production behind clothes. Hamnett claims to have invented stone-washed denim, stretch and distressed denim, all of which are harmful to the environment. In her design and production today she has ‘gone green’ in order to reflect her political views. I think Katherine Hamnett is an interesting designer to look at as her work always puts out a powerful message. Read more about Katherine Hamnett’s philosophy HERE
Hamnett also states that; “Nobody buys clothes out of pity. People buys clothes they want to wear”. This relates to a quote from Stella McCartney in which she says; “I don’t think that ‘eco’ should be a word that immediately conjures up images of oatmeal-coloured garments or garments that are oversized or lacking in any sort of luxury or beauty or detailing or desirability. I don’t think that things have to look ugly because they’re organic; why can’t they be beautiful as well?”.
The link between ethical and environmental fashion and it it still being aesthetically pleasing is something I believe strongly in and want to research further.