Monday, 16 May 2011

Where are the Pirates?

Stop this planet - I wanna get off!

Warning! This is a rant! A very ranty rant. Hardly any swearing though…

I am mad. Hopping mad. Madder than mad – the world is seriously annoying me, so please stop this planet so that I can get off it (hello Major Tom!). I spent two days trying to sell first my knitwear and then my second hand clothing and fabrics at Belfast’s Fashion Souk, and I just had it. Now I love the Souk and it is one of Belfast’s most creative and buzzing institutions, but I seriously begin to despair of many Belfast consumers. Why go to a creative, crafty, designery market when you do want to look like everybody else??? Why do you look at pieces of individual craftman – and womanship, pick and pull at it and want it for cheap mass produced prices??? Why do you not even look at stands properly, but walk around with your nose in the air? Why do you not look for quality and skill in a garment? And what on earth is wrong with knitting and patchwork??? Just because ‘yer granny knits and crafts’ doesn’t mean it is not worth anything? I know some of the coolest old people on this planet, and they can give you a run for your Primarks’ clothing!

Having a very bad day…

When I was at the hairdressers on Friday, I picked up a book on Vivienne Westwood’s designs. There was a picture of a fashion show in 1981, and the models were dressed as pirates. I remember that look very well (and Adam Ant, now who wouldn’t remember Adam Ant in his pirate outfit, woooah). What struck me were three things:
  1. the models looked healthy (and yes, had 80s perms, too)
  2. the models seemed to have fun, and there was so much energy in the picture
  3. the clothes looked crafty, nearly home made, with gorgeous fabrics artily flung around waistlines and heads. People looked like individuals and not like clothes horses!
Where are the Pirates now???

One girl I met today though was definitely a young Pirate. Really inspiring. May you never walk the plank and become an investment banker, even if that idea sounds so appealing – actually, it does sound appealing to me at this minute – help!

I am fed up. I love creating, but there is no market for me where people just want everything to look the same. I will not produce for a mass market – if I wanted to do that, I’ll set up a texile sweatshop and get hundreds of hats and neckwarmers machine knitted with cheap yarn and all looking alike. Actually, right now I don’t want to produce for any market! Friggin’ stupid markets telling people what to buy to feel good about themselves! It is never about the makers, ever!

This reminds me that the goblins in the Harry Potter series consider the maker the rightful and true master of any object, and anything bought is only considered rented for the lifespan of the purchaser.  I am strangely drawn to this idea…

I am a maker – the true master of the object – and do my own thing rather than following the crowd. What is so great of being a lemming? I remember trying it once and it was miserable.

I rather want to be a Pirate. Or Major Tom.

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