Occipital Lobe

3D printing in Amsterdam

Sign of the Times

I recently came back from my first trip to Europe and it truly was the most amazing experience of my life so far.  During my trip I visited Amsterdam and Paris. They are both amazing and completely unique cities that I would love to go back to.  While I was in Amsterdam I saw something that got me really excited, 3D printing!! Although it is still only in its beginning stages, it was great to see 3D printing being used in a retail format.  The items that were being made were small items and knick-knacks.  The coolest place I saw 3D printing was in the airport in Amsterdam.  You were able to customize a phone case from a template and have it 3D printed on the spot.  It’s amazing to see such great acceptance of 3D printing while it is still in such early stages.  For now we will have to wait and see what more is to come.  

I Love 3D Printing!

I am so excited for the future!  One sign of our future that is really starting to grow in popularity is 3D printing.  This technology is already beginning to gain interest by both companies and individuals who recognize that 3D printing is going to change everything.  In a few locations of The UPS Store, 3D printers are available to customers who want to take their designs and turn them into physical products.

As a fashion merchandising student I have learned so much about how a multitude of departments work together to bring a product to life.  3D printing will change the entire manufacturing cycle as we know it.  Although the fashion industry will likely be one of the last adopters of 3D printing, ultimately 3D printing will catapult the industry into the new millennium.  Designing garments to be printed from a 3D printer still needs to be heavily refined, but it is not far away!  

3D printing will affect the environment, medicine, retail and every single industry you can imagine.  The video below is great a showing just how this technology has taken off and how people around the world are already starting to use it.  As one of the people in the video says, “… in the future you are going to see a lot more people unleashing their pent up creativity, and that’s what’s most exciting for me.”  Well I couldn’t agree more. 

Watch this!!  http://youtu.be/X5AZzOw7FwA 


So They Say The 90’s Are Coming Back

During NYFW many responded by saying that the collections were reminiscent of the 1990’s via crop tops and all forms of logo mania.  This got me thinking about the 90’s and why we might be going back to the 90’s as some have mentioned.  

The World Wide Web was created in 1993, and ever since that boom, technology has rapidly enhanced our world.  For the past decade fashion has failed to reflect the world that we live in.  This is the age of technology and advancements and our style has been somewhat stagnant.  I think that this 90’s revival signals that we have now begun to come full circle and fashion will soon be propelled ahead once again.  I think the strongest 90’s comeback has been seen in music.  N’Sync gained huge amounts of attention with their surprise performance at the VMA’s held in Brooklyn.  Also, NYC is seeing a revival of the underground club scene that was strong in the 90’s with openings of clubs that feel more like you would be somewhere in Europe than in the states.  (You can read more about the changing New York club scene in the interesting New York Times article attached)

But really, the 90’s were not a decade so distinct in style for there to be a revival. Overall, I think the 90’s comeback is more of a sign, than a trend, of the bigger shift soon to represent our future.  This is mainly due to the rise of the millennial generation - beginning with date births from early 1980’s through the early 2000’s. The largest part of this generation were either born in the 90’s or has early childhood memories from the 90’s.  To this generation the 90’s represents a time of innocence, where they had no bills to pay and no jobs to interview for.  As they start to enter the workforce, this revival is more of a comfort and reminder of an easier time. 

This generation is known as the technology generation.  They are the first generation that has been raised with technology at their fingertips and are plugged in 24/7.  They understand and are comfortable with technology and because of this they will be the ones to propel our world into the next great age of development.  We have to face the truth; technology is a permanant part of our world and will only continue to gain more significance.

So don’t spend too much money on those acid wash jeans.  I wouldn’t say that you should take the 90’s revival literally.  Take it more as a sign of a generation and the development of a new, interesting and hi-tech world. 


Conversations with Strangers

I find that sometimes you can have the most interesting conversations with people you have never met in your life.  I came across one of these situations the other day.  

I had just come from the eye doctors where they had dilated my eyes.  I couldn’t see very well.  I got on the train and asked the man next to me if he could read a text message I had received.  We soon started talking about a variety of different things; the government shutdown, politics, the evolving business environment.  This man was satellite systems programmer in New York for business and on his way back home to Washington D.C.  There was something interesting he brought up however that made me think about how business would be conducted in the future.  He said, “I was going to take a plane to D.C. but whats the rush? I can do business right on here (pointing to his cell phone).  I don’t even think that there is a need for offices anymore, that’s what the future will be like”.  He went on to say that in the future, there will be no need to go into a office from 9 - 5 everyday.  Instead, office buildings will become areas that companies can rent out for a couple of days for meetings every so often (like a hotel).  

Is this idea so far fetched?  I think not.  With all the technology that we have available to us today, there is no question that it will continue to change how we conduct business.  I think that it will be even easier for this concept to develop as the millennial generation - those born with technology at their fingertips - starts to grow and take leadership in the work force.  

Trends Are Dead! Long Live Style!

As I have mentioned in a past post, fashion trends have been so clear in past decades.  Editors, forecasters and trend setters have given us a picture of what fashions society should follow, and society did follow these trends.  However, we have now stepped into a new period in fashion direction.  It is clear that anything goes in fashion.  Trends are dead and style is taking over!

Expression!  Expression is the only trend that is in full effect.  We can look through magazines and see all kinds of trends to “wear now” or trends that are “back”.  Grunge, Punk, Byzantine Opulence, Film Noir, Mod; influences from all these trends are worn by fashionable people on the streets today!  Unless people are time traveling from the past, why are we dressing like this?  I think it is because people don’t want to be uniform, they want to be singular.  Humans want to be unique, stand out, make a statement and find a purpose. 

Technology is an ever important part our life.  It consumes and surrounds us.  We have enormous sharing platforms available to us at all times.  If we take a close look at technology, and its appearance, it is very orderly and systematic.  The original Apple iPhone is a perfect example.  Almost everyone has an iPhone; they all look alike and only come in two colors.  Sterile, clean, robotic; that is technology. 

Society has chosen to retain its individualism with fashion, and it is a lovely thing. 

The roles have changed.  The future has previously been depicted as clean, sterile and systematic.  But really, that describes technology and not us.  As human beings it is in our nature to experiment, test, develop, analyze and scrutinize.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to create a future.  It may not be obvious, but the fashion we see now is a reflection of our new world. After all, fashion is feeling.

We are living in the future now ladies and gentleman, just take a look around.

A Wonderful Dinner Party

The other day in one of my classes we were asked to name three people that we would invite to a dinner party and why.  I thought it was so great that I wanted to share my three people plus one more…

1. Katharine Hepburn

Mostly I just want to hear her talk.

2. Oscar de La Renta

He seems like a lovely and sweet person.  He always designs for women and makes them look elegant and beautiful. 

3. Simon & Garfunkel

I can’t say that I am a die hard folk rock fan, but lately I have been listening to more folk rock and they have some of the most beautiful songs.  Plus they look like they would have some very interesting things to say.

4. Albert Einstein 

I would like to hear anything that he has to say. Also I would like to hear his take on what he thinks of technology today. 

Comment on who you would like to invite to your dinner party!!

They Don’t Understand…

I have to admit that sometimes I too get sucked into the never ending vortex of reality TV shows. As I watch these shows I just can’t seem to look away. I know that the shows have no real substance and yet I’m sitting there in a trance listening to people talk about nothing that remotely relates to my existence. (I am convinced it is a vicious cycle created by Bravo)

I’ve noticed that most of the women that have been on these shows for a long period of time feel this entitlement of celebrity (All the Real Housewives of Everywhere).  I have also concluded that most of these people remain on these shows and deal with the drama so that they can have some kind of feeling of fame or so that they can continue to promote a new business venture.  They don’t seem to understand that just because they were chosen (how do they even find these people anyway?) to broadcast their lives to the public on a reality show, it doesn’t make them a celebrity.  Nor does it make them a skilled professional in acting, cooking or singing.   But honestly, who can really blame them for feeling like they have made some kind of big impact in the world by being on a reality show?  As Americans we have chosen to give them attention and fame for just being.  

They don’t understand, it’s true. But maybe the real truth is that we don’t understand.  By "we" I mean those of us who continue to watch the reality shows and go online to read their blogs.  It really makes me question if we, as a society, have chosen to be dumbed  down or ignore what is really happening in the world around us.  When I hear my own mother say that reality shows help her to “escape” it really makes me sad. How could a reality show even do that?    Maybe the truth is that we do want to ignore whats around us.  

As Americans we have been at war or in conflict for over a decade now.  I was eight years old when September 11 happened.  I am now a college student soon to turn 21.  I have learned that socio-cultural movements are a reflection of the world around it.  The sad reality could be that we are tired of fighting, tired of fearing attack and terror.  We have chosen to use the advancements of technology to distract us from our own reality by watching another persons “reality”. 

As human beings we instinctively want to explore, question and communicate.  Could it also be human nature to ignore grief and escape into a world we have created so that we can feel safe again?  The reality show is a man made Twilight Zone.      

The Occipital Lobe is the visual processing center of the human brain.

The Occipital Lobe is the visual processing center of the human brain.

Thoughts on New York Fashion Week

Every season we see multiple trends that are very beautiful and some very wearable but as many have mentioned before, is there any kind of clear trend to follow anymore? I would say no.  

In decades past we have seen clear fashion direction that almost all people in cities around the world have adapted.  As the 21st century has progressed, there is no clear direction on where fashion is headed.  The overall trend from designers seems to be simply referencing different decades each season.  Many beautiful designs have gone down the runway, but it is clear that anything goes.

Fashion has now become almost stagnant in it’s progress and I think this can be proven by the various fashion magazines published today.  A large majority of the most popular magazines are lacking a sense of direction for the people that read them.  It seems that in one issue there are “5 key trends that are hot now”, and then in the next issue there are five more completely different trends that are “hot now”.  The public can never get a chance to grasp and embrace a consistent style of dress.

This brings me back to New York Fashion Week.  At the SS14 shows each designer showed what they would like to see people wearing, but overall there lacks a common direction.  It will be interesting to see what the SS14 European shows will bring us.  Will it also be a mix of beautiful clothes with no single unique trend?  I hope not.