Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Fashion, Maslow and Facebook's control of social"

As mentioned in "IRAN reacts to U.S. President's Comments On Colin Kaepernick By Launching Missles While North Koreans Chant ‘Death to Trump’ Over Steph Currey Dis":
Due to threatened budget cutbacks we are considering consolidating our politics, sports, national security and fashion coverage....
Well, the cutbacks weren't just a threat, departments are being combined, which is why you've seen posts on the St. Louis Fed's FRED clothing line, 3D printed couture and such stories as:
European Bankers on Top of The League Tables For Fashion Sense
Barney's New York Introduces a $375 Antifa Jacket
This Father's Day, #Boycott Dolce & Gabbana.... this $245 #Boycott Dolce & Gabbana t-shirt: 
So, unfortunately for patient reader, the trend continues as the powers that be decree the cat video pivot now has to be combined with something as well. So here's strutting the catwalk. I am so sorry.
HT: Paul Bronks  (scroll if the video won't play)

A mistake on the part of nature. 
Not really Jewish, more Jew-ish.
On medication.

And finally, from Benedict Evans, the headline story:
This is the 'New Look', created by Christian Dior in 1947. It was a very conscious shift away from the restrictions and sumptuary constraints of the war, and a move to a very different way of feeling about how you looked and how you lived. It was a move away from narrow profiles, limited use of cloth, 'make do and mend' and women's clothes designed for working in munitions factories. It used twenty metres of fabric for an outfit instead of two.
This was a big change - many people were furious at the 'waste' of fabric. Indeed, it was so different that some outraged Parisiennes physically attacked a woman wearing the clothes. 

There's a common idea that in some way fashion designers get together in a room and decide what the fashion will be next year. That's a pretty fundamental misunderstanding. Rather, they propose what might fit the zeitgeist. Sometimes that's incremental and sometimes it's a radical break - sometimes the pendulum needs to swing from one extreme to another. Sometimes they get it wrong, but when they get it right it captures an age. The New Look proposed that people wanted to move on from the clothes of wartime austerity, and from austerity itself, and that this was a good way to do it, and Dior was right.

You can see the same dynamic with punk, which unlike the New Look wasn't proposed by designers at all but came from the bottom up, but which served the same purpose - here was a look and an attitude that expressed how people felt, and, again, was a reaction against a very different kind of look that went before. Punk was picked up and perhaps popularised or accelerated by designers (and people argue about how), but the point is the same - no-one sits in a room to decide what the fashion is going to be. Fashions express what people themselves want.

I'm reminded of these kinds of shifts when thinking about Facebook and how much it can change behaviours - about how much it can decide what the new thing will be. After all, social media has now moved far past the point that it serves any kind of purely utilitarian purpose. There was a time when instant messaging or the asymmetric feed were simply better person-to-person mechanics than email (as one could argue that Slack is now). Now, though, we're shifting around at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, experimenting with different ways to explore and express our personality and our needs, and so, in a sense, of the zeitgeist. Many of these trends have also expressed the same sense of a pendulum - we swung from the chaos of MySpace to the structured order of Facebook, and then swung again to the fun and exuberance and creativity of Snap (or at any rate that Snap aspires to have). But Snap of course is not the only one - sitting on top of the smartphone, which is itself a social platform, there are dozens of apps and experiences, from GIF keyboards to live streaming apps to animoji, all trying to capture a little piece of Maslow. Social is pop culture.

This gets to why I think it's wrong to say, deterministically, that Facebook gets to decide what we do on its platform or what we see in the newsfeed. This, to me, is very like saying that a fashion designer gets to decide what we'll wear....MUCH MORE
Actually I guess the mash-up stuff isn't completely new. We've had fashion queen Coco Chanel comment on finance:
"Money is money is money; it's only the pockets that change" 
And math and fashion:
UPDATED-- Dita Von Teese Models 'World First' Articulated 3D Printed Dress Based On Fibonacci Sequence
From HuffPo UK:

Dita Von Teese has unveiled the world's first fully articulated dress produced with a 3D printer.
The gown was designed by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti and revealed at the the Ace Hotel in New York.

Created with the help of Shapeways, a company which lets designers sell objects which are printed on demand with industrial-scale 3D printers, the dress is based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.
Shapeways said:

"The gown was assembled from 17 pieces, dyed black, lacquered and adorned with over 13,000 Swarovski crystals to create a sensual flowing form."...MORE
DVICE is reporting:
Contrary to other reports, this 3D-printed dress is not the first of its kind. (Freedom of Creation made one back in 2006.) However, it is the first one to be designed on an iPad and sport over 13,000 Swarovski crystals.* It's also specifically made for Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, meaning it won't fit your body no matter how hard you try to squeeze into it....MORE
I'm betting it is the first 3D printed dress based on the Fibonacci sequence.
And a surprising number of other posts. Use the search blog box if interested.