Perhaps it’s time to tell y’all what we’re really doing here. We’ve been putting this post off – for reasons we’re not really sure of – maybe to give us time to try and thrash out exactly how we could ‘package our vision’ (lol) – in a way that makes it easier for both you and us to understand. Things are moving and changing, and it’s clear to us that now is the time to divulge our motivations for this blog, our desires for the near future and basically about what this whole DI$COUNT thing is all about… The blog thus far has felt as if it is simply scratching the surface of something that is about to be much, much, much more…
We only met at the beginning of 4th year – the final year of the fashion design degree at RMIT University. The course is pretty much a total mind-fuck for all involved, but even more so for those that don’t necessarily want to sit and ‘suck the RMIT teat’. Both us found we had begun to create things that had no ‘typical’ “contextualization” as outlined in the brief, and the fashion system that was being preached was something that as much as we tried, we both couldn’t seem to relate to. The kind of work we were producing was generally pigeon-holed – gallery floor or editorial (so nothing in particular, and especially no financial stability), and the job prospects circulated around internships, and working for other people – climb the ladder style shit – which of course is absolutely brilliant for some, but simply not what excited either of us.
Both of us have been, for quite some time, pretty hard into technology and online communication. In fact, we both wrote our thesis last year on topics that revolved around the future of online creativity, dissemination, showcasing and communication. This probably has a lot to do with how limiting it can feel to be in the Australian market, not only feeling isolated on a geographical scale, but also having inverted seasons to the rest of the world (obviously with climate change, amongst many other things, seasons are becoming increasingly irrelevant). Through use of the Internet, we gain access to rest of the world instantly, it closes the gap between trends in what are considered the ‘fashion mecca’s’ of the world and our own local trends. We’re increasingly moving towards larger scale global trends because information is so instantly passed through channels around the world. Through online retail, and the ability to buy from anywhere in the world, we’re now able to choose season/trend/culture/style – irrespective of location. The fashion market has been cut up the guts, and the playing field is much vaster and more diverse than ever before, though simultaneously, it has created even ground. Money is not nearly as huge of an advantage where it used to be. To start up a conventional label you need capital (for maintaining retail space, stock etc), whilst by using the net, anyone can enter the market and gain interest and momentum through the use of various online communication systems. (Although we have to note here, that of course, there are many well known celebrities, blogs and labels etc that have succeeded from cash and access not talent… it just gives a better voice and platform to the little guy)
All these things were going through our heads during the course of our graduate year, and we were increasingly under the realization that our work and outcomes didn’t really fit within the traditional Australian fashion market. Another thing we know is that we are really lucky to be doing this at this very time, because some years ago we wouldn’t be in such a position. The current fashion system is outdated – NOW IS THE TIME TO CHALLENGE IT and recreate the framework.
The evolution of the online consumer has superseded the industry’s pace. In essence, we recognize that the traditional fashion system lags even in comparison to the counterfeit one. If you acknowledge that collections are designed (give or take) 6 months before the images of them are released and then available for purchase a further 6 months later, it becomes transparent that with the evolution of the web and democratization of citizen journalism, in the form of the blog, this system is outdated.
If you compare this to how these images were originally distributed in the form of magazines and certain authoritative websites, it is important to acknowledge that the amount of outlets that have now become available for this dissemination has multiplied beyond belief, resulting in infinite saturation of the trend. It is not uncommon that imitation products are released even before the initial design. We all know what happened to the infamous Balmain jacket, the images were released months before the physical jacket was available, and then Zara and Topshop copies were retailed even before the original. The internet is propelling the organic, traditional flow of fashion, and it’s eclipsing the system it exists in.
We came up with DI$COUNT because we refused to change our ideals to fit into the system.
Our idea of fashion stretches beyond just clothing.
We don’t want to focus on just our love of clothing. It’s kind of irrelevant nowadays because of the democratization of media and advertising, and also how autodidactic learning through the internet has provided the means for people to teach themselves the skills they need without necessarily studying it specifically – meaning you can create your own brand without the cost, limitations on genre/field – cross disciplinary work is becoming easier and more expected, to be a ‘jack of all trade’s’ etc. Fashion is becoming an ambiguous term; it was never exclusively applicable to just clothing, yet was popularized by the clothing system to the point where most of us seem to have a hard time remembering what the word actually means.
We were taught a way of designing clothing and a way of existing as a designer in today’s society, which in most cases, other than if you were to enter at a really high level, don’t offer much opportunity. The fashion education system (at least what we were exposed to), didn’t show us all the options – it was closed minded and traditional and taught a specific way to be a designer, through forcing concepts and fitting in to certain systems. The web has created new channels, we’ve seen it change the music industry and print journalism, and of course it is therefore inevitable that it is changing fashion.
DI$COUNT allows us freedom. We’re designing our own place in the system. It’s through the subversion of, the fucking with the fashion framework, that DI$COUNT was developed, and the output is steeped in humour and irony, cliché and imitation.
DI$COUNT is a brand, an idea, an image, a dialogue, a strategy, a transformation, a design, this blog, a motion picture, a label, a personality, a website, a quote, a garment, an emotion and an evolution.