Enabling young fashion designers to show off their final work and make it memorable is no mean feat: everything from the venue to the presentation to the atmosphere has to work. In a society that devours fast fashion and a culture that stipulates that each occasion warrants a brand new outfit, it’s not always easy to engage people in sustainable design, as that by its very nature demands a far slower model to that which we’re used to. That said, students of Munich’s Deutsche Meisterschule fuer Mode managed to present their work in a way that built on the theme of thinking globally, enabling audiences to reflect and move away from the commodity fetishism that typifies most people’s buying habits. How did they do it? Simple:
1) Invest in faux-taxidermy . . .
. . . and have it adorn the bar. Seriously, a faux-stuffed fox that looks like the real thing gets people talking: ‘A stuffed fox? Doesn’t that completely contradict the message of sustainable living?’ Tuts, groans and lolling tongues incur conversation; it doesn’t always pay to have the environment completely reflect the presentation’s context, as it breeds neither debate nor an expansion of the message.
2) Choose your venue wisely
People want to enjoy themselves at showcasing events, so make sure there are ample perks. Obviously you can’t do anything about the weather if it rains, but a venue with an outdoor space just in case it’s sunny will pull in the crowds. This show was held in what appeared to be a derelict warehouse, with a huge outdoor yard flecked with spray-painted cars, statues and billboards, until you couldn’t move for vibe.
3) Create memorable presentations
A simple catwalk won’t cut it. Students at this design school drew on slide shows, pre-recorded messages, wit, sarcasm, play-acting and realia to present their work. A glowing example were typography specialists Sara Stancom and Nadine Glas, whose work ‘CMD ALT SHIT ESCAPE’ – a project whose trajectory spanned the crashing of an AppleMac to the meaning of design and the role of a designer – had people in fits of laughter throughout the presentation and deep reflection in its wake; likewise rucksack design team Woarm won people over with a German house soundtrack and left them marvelling at the lengths they’d gone to to achieve up-cycled, ethically conscious and highly desirable rucksacks, and create a sustainable business model, at such a young age.
4) Leave something behind
Business cards, books to buy, posters – anything that allows people to carry your brand with them and spread the word. It’s no good putting on a great show if people have nothing to remember you by.
5) Give away free beer!
Give everyone a free token for a free beer (and make it a pint). Enough said!