- Report: From "Do It Yourself" to "Do It With Others" to "Do It For Others"—Can Fashion Be Renewed?Forum (2012)
"Can Fashion Be Renewed? A Panel Discussion" was conducted on September 17, 2012 at the DESIGNEAST03 event hall, located in Osaka, Japan. The panel was moderated by Mizuno Daijirō (senior lecturer at Keiō University, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, editor of fashionista and member of FabLab Japan) with the following participants: Tanaka Kōya (FabLab Japan), Narumi Hiroshi (associate professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design), Mizuno Yū (lawyer, Non-Profit Organization [NPO] Creative Commons Corporation Office), Takeuchi Akira (designer, THEATRE PRODUCTS). The Executive Committee: Nagai Kōsuke (lawyer, Arts and Law), Kanemori Kaori (NPO Corporation Drifters International).
At this first "Can Fashion Be Renewed?" panel held in Osaka in collaboration with DESIGNEAST03,1 we would like to think about the possibility of renewing fashion. First, I would like to start by briefly introducing the potential of personal fabrication (individual crafting [monozukuri]) or digital fabrication (craft using digital devices) in the field of fashion design.
DIY—Crafting and Fashion Design
I would first like to introduce the notion of "copyright-free images" and The Dover Bookshop, a unique bookstore in the boutique district of Covent Garden in London that collects and sells compilations of textile motifs from Japanese kimono, Middle Eastern fabrics, and Arts and Crafts designs with expired copyright, so that they can be freely useD In this way, pattern data becomes available to the public so that anybody can create textiles with patterns of their [End Page 294] choice printed on them using this design source: you could do this for instance, using a printing service called Viscotecs,2 developed by Seiren, which is also used by the fashion brand ANREALAGE.3 Incidentally, in Japan we already have the technology to print anything on fabric on an industrial scale, so long as the necessary data is provideD Moreover, as for professional applications, the sublimation transfer fabric printer by Mimaki Engineering can be acquired for about two million yen, which means that with some effort even small and medium-sized businesses can afford it. Instead of printing directly onto fabric, sublimation printing prints the pattern onto paper first, then heat presses the image to the fabric (by thermal transfer printing). These days, even sublimation transfer printers for home use are available.
Looking at examples such as these, I think that the methods of industrial craftwork, as they currently exist, will become even more connected to small-scale, or individual craftsmanship, and from now on design sources as well will be opened to more people. Put differently, it is no longer the case that only designers should be concerned with design. I strongly feel that the potential for average people to make things has been growing. In the field of fashion design, the term "consumer" (shōhisha) is bound to appear frequently, but I wonder if the move from "consumer" to "prosumer" (seisan shōhisha) really is possible?4 And if it is, when does it become possible? Is it during special life events? Or does it happen when solving problems, or helping someone? With these questions in mind, I would like to discuss how the ecology of craft, which encompasses fashion, might shift in the face of the recent enthusiasm for digital and personal fabrication.
THEATRE, yours—Enriching the Communication of Products
I have briefly summarized the present conditions of crafting. Now, I would like to invite Kanemori Kaori to tell us about fashion brand THEATRE PRODUCTS'5 new line THEATRE, yours,6 which is being premiered at this DESIGNEAST03 event.
As the word "yours" in the label implies, we started THEATRE, yours because we wanted to experiment with designs by THEATRE PRODUCTS where crafting is not restricted to producing uniform designs, while bridging to ready-made clothes. We have created about thirteen new patterns and have them on sale for this project. In the event hall, we are also accepting applications for the workshop. [End Page 295] Participants can choose and...