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Follow Your Nose, Navigating Maker Faire

What drew me into the Maker Faire might surprise some: I was asked to volunteer to help guests sort out their recycling. While not the most glamorous job, I was posted next to the main stage and really got into character, the smell of ketchup giving me flashbacks from when I worked as a cashier at McDonald’s. 


For the most part, guests were cooperative in supporting the fair’s effort to be as close to zero waste as possible. 

Day two I returned on a mission to find useful technology to expand my design range. Entering the pavilion in The New York Hall of Science, I detected a faint odor of cool ranch Doritos. Proud to have made the onerous journey two days in a row, I walked straight into the caf n paid $2 in all quarters for my own bag of the trendy snack, then sat down at what I thought must be the cool table. Having downloaded the Maker Faire App the day before, I checked which exhibitors I had favorited and scrolled through them with powdery snack fingers. 

Circling around a dazzling array of educational kids exhibitors, I could smell almond soap and hand sanitizer. I spoke to some of the best available facilitators of techy type design labs, one at which I enthused a bit much, and recoiled at my Dorito breath. 


Next I decided to check out the Bust Craftacular exhibitors, in the muddy shanty town close to the exit of the fair. Donning my headphones, I blasted The Cold Cold Hearts but nothing could block out the savory fragrance of ramen noodles. There were some very alluring organic beauty and skin care ranges, and talented jewelry hobbyists, but as far as people advancing the craft of clothing design, it was sadly lacking. Perhaps Bust could do better in presenting professional talent in a more respectable light. I was very depressed looking at this and spoke to no one as my kitten heels sank into the soft earth. 

Seeking adventure, changing my soundtrack to electronic music, I picked up my chin and traversed across towards the 3-D printing village. En route, I was handed a pair of safety goggles courtesy of Google. There was a long line for Google and Intel-related activities with a faint odor of cherry kool-aid mysteriously emanating from an unknown source. 

Turning the volume up to drown out hecklers who presumably got tired of working their booths, I located the 3-D printer folks and gathered Intel on who can create a printer collaboratively, based on your needs, and for the best rate. Dizzy with all the information, I nearly wandered into the drone-building and flying zone. Terrified, because even among geeks, I am that person who will be struck in the eye with a flying object, so naturally I fled. 


Touching my toe to a discarded pipe cleaner was also a thing that happened. Then I checked out the Barnes & Noble pop-up shop which was swamped with shopper frenzy (take note Bust.) it was beautifully merchandised and well-staffed with both professional sales staff as well as security.

Tired, sore, and slightly humbled by everything I saw; however, somewhat triumphant as well, I gratefully accepted my complimentary copies of Bust on the way out, excited to read them when I get home. The smell of ink and a petroleum/nylon backpack that says microchip dangling off my arm. Am I ready to drink the kool-aid? Possibly. 

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Alisha Trimble’s Weekly April Earth Day Essays

If you know me, you know Earth Day is my favorite holiday.  While I may not look it, deep down I am a total hippie! When out shopping I look at something and visualize what it took to make that thing, and how that affected the environment. I can’t help but care about the Earth’s natural resources and naturally make choices to conserve them. This applies to my creative process, which I often keep to myself for proprietary reasons. When dealing with very confused consumers in my store on a daily basis, I decided to open up and share what I’ve learned in the process of being a sustainable High Fashion designer.

In the weeks coming up to Earth Day, I’m giving pointers on how We The Fashionable can be better to our dear Planet Earth.  This year, the garment industry went from top three to the Number Two source of pollution worldwide. While to many, it is a mystery how clothing is made, or how to change this, one thing is clear. It is important for people who are in a position to choose, to make an honest assessment of their shopping habits, how to dress more sustainably, and to care for their clothing in a lasting way. But first: let’s look at where we are now, by reflecting on the notions of Innovation and Progress.

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But how low is too low?

What is Innovation?      Convenience is King. When we look at the successful advances of technology of today, convenience is the one thing they all have in common.  Want any food delivered to your door without saying a word? Want a driver to get you at a moment’s notice? Want to instantly have a 3D shape appear? We are all wizards. I love utilizing the technology we now have & I consider myself lucky to have an iPhone. When it comes to funding, investors and the US Government throw the full weight of their moneybags toward ventures that can be described as innovative. But what is the ultimate cost?

For me, it’s great to save time and reduce stress; however, there are times when a person could easily realize they went too far. A dating app might help you to meet new people, but without discernment you might also be putting yourself in danger. When it comes to our clothing, the past decade’s advancements in manufacturing have accelerated  to Ludicrous Speed. In the relentless search for ever cheaper overseas manufacturing, countless lives have been lost and people continue to be ruthless in their competition to flood the unregulated global market with lower-cost clothing. But how low is too low?

A discerning integration of current technology with obsolete or archaic techniques is the most progressive course for innovation.

What is progress?       Being progressive means that the innovations we select to incorporate into our daily lives have a positive impact for future generations. While there are many areas in which humanity continues to make progress, in the coming weeks we can concentrate on making cultural progress while protecting the environment. Technology today is a very changeable work in progress, and here we have the golden opportunity to identify mistakes and learn from them. A discerning integration of current technology with obsolete or archaic techniques is the most progressive course for innovation.

In the weeks leading up to Earth Day, I will shed light on which choices benefit us, including being selective about the materials we wear, learning and sharing daily practices which make up a healthy wardrobing lifestyle and have the biggest impact on the Earth and humanity. If you love fashion, care about equal human rights and want to help protect the environment, then let’s work together. Feel free to share my articles as they come out, and contribute your own positive examples to the discussion in the comments. Together we can make it the best Earth Day and have a lasting influence on future generations.

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Target Collaboration

It’s always stumped me when people ask “what is your target market” and not in a Duh– idonoo kind of way, but more like a “why are they asking me that?” 

As a creative I’ve noticed other brands look to me for design ideas. They find my work free whether it’s through the press or trend forecasters present my ideas packaged in a way that is palatable for brands like Bebe. Brands who don’t have a real person’s name. 

The truth is sometimes when I’m designing, I might think: this is for someone who (does blank) or this is for a person to wear to a specific themed event such as the Met Museum Costume Institute Gala. But I’m not like up in that persons business like “here’s their income and here’s their age and they currently do this for a living.” Probably that is to my detriment but so what! 

Why? I think it’s none of my business where their money comes from. Also it’s something else: people who fit into these boxes are dull to me. If the box exists, somebody already found it and filled it with junk fashion. The formula has already fizzled, if you will. If you ask me, that box is heading straight to a landfill. 

None of that has anything to do with the creative process. I’m over here making something beautiful and lasting with integrity, and I believe there are people who want that. They want to feel beautiful. Also they want to live uniquely and discover special things. For them dressing, and the acquisition of art or clothing, is an emotional process and they see how ethics come into play. 

 An artist may think of who is interested in their work, but once it becomes only about the buyer, the work loses significance, and subsequently value. That’s why the clearly defined “target market” never worked for me. I don’t identify my clients this way. What happens as a result is a collaboration, with trust, empathy and respect to each involved. By wearing the clothing they express a message that is both mine and theirs. 

   
 

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The St Tropez Palette: All White & Everything Goes

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Reminiscing about my trip last summer, here are some of the style heroes of St Tropez. From top, left: Mick and Bianca Jagger’s wedding, Cher, Kim Kardashion. Center row: Karl in action. Bottom row: Brigitte Bardot in a bourse, and in a crochet maxi dress.  For dressing, all-white is the way to go, and oddly, everywhere you go, it seems everyone loves to groove to the smooth sounds of Barry White.

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Alert: Designer Fraud (Yawn,) Again.

Remember back in Fall 2012 when I was super into The Magic Mountain?  Here’s a link from my press archives about the collection.

I don’t know who this Ana Locking gal is, but she’s totally biting my style, her Spring 15 collection is also “inspired by Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain.” Thankfully the clothes are different but helping yourself to my sloppy seconds headline is just as bad.

It makes sense though, since it takes about 2 years to read through the 700+ pages of this truly epic work of rogue literature.  Sry not Sry Ana, I did it first!  You’re on Blast.

I’m used to it by now, but it’s still annoying to get an email blast from image.net with style-biter written all over it.

PS here’s the original video for this Epic-novel-inspired collection, from the archive:

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