We had out first lecture by Emmanuelle Dirix on friday and it was incredible. We are going to have about 6 lectures by her based on Globalisation and Consumption and this first one was brilliant. First thing we had to do was after meeting Emmanuelle for 5mins and less was judge her on what we have just seen, say what music she listens to, where she lives, her lifestyle basically, was really hard. We then said we found and thought in the seminar after the lecture, I'll write about that after.
A lot of the lecture was about how we automatically judge a person on their apearence and culture, a modern way of this is Facebook, is a way a person can show of on what their lifestyle is whether its money, clothes, family, career. We also discussed how this happenend in the industrial revolution. The industrail revolution had two faces. It was system called the Cottage System in which a family would run a business at home, weaving fibres a family run buissness almost. Nowadays is a harsh business as you have to factor in aspects you didnt used to have too, the weather is a factor now as this seasons knitwear is still on the shevelves as its been to hot to wear jumpers and knits. Social anxiety has always been an issue within our race as we judge on everything, Charles Dickens picked up on this as in his books he documents what social classes are wearing. In the 1700's its wasnt as such a bigger issue if you didnt have the lastest fashion pieces you could close the door behind you or if you had the money you could and have the lastest hand printed fabric made for you, whereas in todays culture you cant escape vanity as its all over facebook and if you dont have it your made to feel down. Its all about consumption its what the companies want to happen, its all about the food we eat, the music we listen to, consumption is always there so we always judge. The 19th Centurary was the same as today, the lastest fashion publications (Vouge) was there to inform but also had the best trends in fashion patterens women could read about whilest the men read the paper.
Volume consumption existed in the first face of the industrial revolution, in the way that, more is more making you fill a room with fabrics, books china, showing off that you had the money, the more things you crammed in the room the better as it made you look rich and a better class to your friends.
The second face was much different in the way that peolpe were struggling, factories were growing in the outskirts of cities which meant the cottage system was failing, so familys move to get jobs in the factories, but less jobs were going as machines do the jobs for you. The main employee were women as they were cheaper and the bosses feel empowered by using them for other things also. Having women work for you also meant that they brought their children into work and this meant little peolple were working so they could get under the machines if something broke to fix it, this still happens nowadays children working and getting killed so then there is the moral question in do you know who our clothes are being made? Some companies ran a cottage system in the cities, women were working at home which is good as they can look after their children and also the children can help with the work load, then someone came to collect the work produced, with this also rape occured as it was in their home enviroment so it could happen without many peolpe knowing. Karl Marx recongised this as fragmantation of labour as workers were at the mercy of their bosses. This also encourages exploration as there was on security for this not to happen. Marx notes that luxary goods are produced on slave labour. However Marx is obessessed with production he forgets about consumption.
Part of consumption is that we use of eyes and not common sense, if a product looks off then we bin it and dont bother to actually check if its gone out of date, this is good for consumption as we buy more.
Material goods were meant to be just for the upper class, however they started to catch up and had material goods and slightly better looking clothing. This made the upper class need something more, so they took on etiquette to take them into a different league to the middle class.
Consumption was taken into a new league when inventing new markets became fashionable. The 'Family mourning market' was introduced and it made death become fashionable int he sense that the more money you spent on the deceased its shows how much you loved them. You had to have everything to show you cared, everything in black, black pearls, black dresses, black letters, black cloth, and this meant more consumption.
The consumer culture shows we have been spending more time and money on sonsumer activites since at least the 18th Centuray. Barbara Kruger shows this in her advert 'I shop therefore I am'.
the 20th Centuray shows unprecedented development of consumer culture and the values of consumerism, the increase of peolpes spending power, new technologies, credit cards which make buying something so easy so we just have to do it. Also the growing role of advertising and the development of new promotional techniques.
The lyrics in Lilly Allens song are relevent here as it shows consumerism, 'I am a weapon of massive consumption. And its not my fault its how I'm programmed to function'. This shows the 21st Century in its true colours.
First SEMINAR- fashion as lanuage.
We discussed how clothing is more then just fabric draped over the body it makes people judge us, and thats what we did in the first 5 minutes of the lecture judge her by her clothes, whereas in three other photos she showed us we would have said completely different things. Our clothes express our personality but also a group personality also.
It was a really good first lecture and seminar!