People’s Choice

Emerging designer Yi Ming’s sharp tailoring juxtaposed with soft shapes was the overwhelming favourite to win the Otago Polytechnic People’s Choice Award at this year’s iD International Emerging Designer Awards.

Ming, who studied at the IFA, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, travelled to Dunedin to show her collection, Fusion. She was one of 28 finalists from New Zealand, Australia, China, Singapore and Slovakia.

Ming said she believed the future inherits from history and the present and wanted to bring historical culture, memory of the present, and future together in her designs. She achieved this by combining contemporary architectural elements and traditional Eastern patterns, the latter laser-cut into faux leather.

Yi Ming_0030 for web

Pictures: Chris Sullivan

Fashion Revolution: who made your clothes?

In the days of fast fashion and quick fixes, it, sadly, can take a tragedy such as the Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24, 2013, that killed 1129 people to make real changes to the lives of those working to fill our insatiable desires for what’s next.

After the tragedy there were calls for changes to the conditions for the people working to create that $10 top top you bought for your night out, ethical fashion and transparency around how our clothes are made. A number of fashion retailers signed The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Safety, which was developed by unions and the industry to a legally binding pledge for safer and fairer conditions for factory workers.

And consumers are putting their money where their mouth is, and thinking about where their clothes come from.

Today, on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, is Fashion Revolution Day. Events are being held all around the world, including documentary screenings and clothes swaps. The organisers behind the day are encouraging people to wear their clothes inside out with the label showing and to take a photo of the label to post to social media under the hashtag #whomademyclothes.

One of the organisers of Fashion Revolution Day in Australia, Melinda Tually, told The Sydney Morning Herald

“There’s a massive number of consumers wanting the answers. It’s very much people on the ground putting on their own events, going to their retailers and asking them to tell them where their clothes are from.”

And asking those questions is the first step toward a fashion revolution.