Friday, 23 August 2013

Ready for The Big Apple!

The Adrian G. Marcuse Library at LIM College in New York has invited, North West School of Design principal, Marlene Oosthuizen to speak at the LIM College's Fashion: Now and Then 2013 conference.  Marlene has been asked to present “The South African Fashion Scene: Then and Now” for the 3rd Annual Fashion: Now & Then conference, Meaning, Media, and Mode on October 3-5.  Participants for the 2013 conference have been drawn from the global fashion industry, libraries, archives, academic institutions, publishers, collectors, and museums to represent a full range of expertise.

Marlene Oosthuizen (Principal NWSD)

Marlene’s presentation focuses on the influence that apartheid and sanctions had on South African fashion trends and the South African fashion industry.  NWSD 2nd year Fashion Management and Communication students have been commissioned to assist with research and is currently investigating and analyzing theories and reports on how trade embargos that were placed on South Africa caused a lack of global influence on fashion trends.  The team is also exploring the rationale for post-apartheid decrease in productivity within the South African fashion industry. Marlene will also meet with various New York fashion schools where she will present her published books and the X!act Design Patternmaker™.
LIM College is focused exclusively on the study of business and fashion. Housed in five buildings in Manhattan, the College’s unique curriculum combines in-class instruction with required fashion industry internships. LIM College offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with tracks in Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship, Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree programs in Fashion Merchandising & Management and Fashion Marketing, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing, and Management, as well as Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS), Associate in Applied Science (AAS), and Associate in Occupational  Studies (AOS) degrees in Fashion Merchandising. Founded in 1939, LIM College has been witness to every significant change in the retail and fashion industry for nearly three quarters of a century.
Marlene Oosthuizen shares nervous excitement with meeting top fashion professionals from around the world.  The 2012 symposium’s panel of presenters included the Collections Manager at Conde Nast, Editor in chief of the U.S. edition of Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar, Graphic Arts Librarian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library, the Curator in the Fashion and Textiles Department at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, StyleLikeU Co-founder & Editor in Chief, former International Fashion Editor of Couture and Men Mode magazines, the curator of the corporate records and historic artifact collections of Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, the Director of Research Collections at the Department of Art History, New York University.

Under the guidance of Fashion History and Fashion Journalism lecturer, Alexis Brouwer, the Fashion Management & Communication students had to explore the South African fashion industry, before and after apartheid.  Their findings on the social, economical and political affects of apartheid on fashion were presented to principal, Marlene Oosthuizen.  Here is a sneak peak

Stacey Grant (2nd Year Fashion Management student)

Stacey Grant – “Fashion – The glue that sticks a nation together after years of suppression and segregation.”  “…..looking back on the time of apartheid and looking at where we are now, we can see that a lot of changes have taken place and as a nation we have progressed.”  “…the fashion industry can certainly embrace the rich diversity that we have in people and cultures and ultimately be the glue that sticks us all together.”

Francoise de Villiers (2nd Year Fashion Management student)

Francoise Jeanne de Villiers – “Street style photography gave ordinary South Africans the motivation to express their creativity and they responded by taking visual cues from our immediate environment, the different cultures that inhibits it and mixing it with international trends.  The result: a creative display of fashion infused with culture, created by the everyday South African citizen.  This shift in power presented an opportunity for South African citizens to express their identity as it is, and not as the government or fashion designers are presenting it.  This trend of borrowing visual cues from different cultures and displaying it on our bodies for the world to see, presented the first real visual proof that South African citizens are moving forward the point of openly accepting and respecting each other, regardless of our history and differences.”  “….it can be argued that street fashion in the context of South Africa is the one element that our cultures and ethnic groups can share and therefore this presents a platform where a shared national identity can exist without sacrificing our diversity.”

Chandre Soru (2nd Year Fashion Management student)

Chandre Soru – “….fashion among non-whites during apartheid was influenced by the laws and the separation of different races.”  “…non-whites wore what suited their job descriptions…”

Ezrah Ranjato (2nd Year Fashion Management student)

Ezrah Ranjato – “Fashion – A sector that the South African government may count on to move forward”  “…nowadays, fashion is one of the platforms where everyone from every race can more or less connect.”  “…but in a lot of areas, the marks left by apartheid are still present.”  “…all of these facts make it clear that even though apartheid ended over 20 years ago, it continues to affect South Africa today whether it is on a political, economical or especially social platform.”  “…South African fashion may be an example to follow, to get over the undesirable heritage left by apartheid”

Karla Bosch (2nd Year Fashion Management student)

Karla Bosch – (referencing a newspaper article by Sims, Josh, from The Independent (London, England - Fashion: Material Assets; the End of Apartheid Hasn't Just Transformed South Africa's Political Climate. A Group of Young Designers Is Liberating Its Fashion Industry)

 “…asked to name a fashion capital of the word, Soweto would be low on the list for sure.  Faced with decades of political upheaval and civil unrest, SA’s heavyweight issues have hardly made it the place for something as flighty and frivolous as fashion.  Until now.  Freed from the constraints of media coverage being dominated by political and human-rights issues since the collapse of apartheid, SA is pushing its image as the African continent’s cosmopolitan centre.  And its wardrobe has been given a revamp to match…”

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