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Pop textiles


Marimekko and Orla Kiely came to my mind when I thought about pop textiles.

Marrimekko is a Finnish company and they produce print fabrics for women’s wear as well as home furnishing.  Their designes became well known and gave a big influence in 1950,60s fashion industries.

FAT%20blog%20Pattern Unikko pattern is probably the most famous and made an iconic  Marimekko image. It was designed by Maija Isola and came out in 1964, it’s unique use of big, powerful, and bold colours/pattern opened a new era for marimekko.



Orla Kiely is an Irish designer based in London. Her textile designs are applied for many objects including kitchen, home furnishing, accessories, clothes, and cars. According to this article(http://www.stylist.co.uk/people/orla-kiely-interview) she gets her inspiration from 1960s 70s as these were an era of pattern. A lot of designs were inspired by contemporary art and architecture. There was a tactile quality, and sense of energy and vitality which has played a huge role in influencing her collection over the years. The colourful leaf pattern is her iconic pattern.


Marry Quant is perhaps the most well-known fashion designer during the 50s/60s, introducing mini skirts and hot pants.

High-Street-shoppers 0e016b30_P1010431

Both marimekko and Orla Kiely plays with nostalgia notion of 50/60s, bringing back iconic colour palette, patterns, and designs. So what happened in those period that attracts so much attention and making pop textiles? According to V&A website, The 1960s was a period of huge change in the fashion world. Whereas fashion had previously been aimed at a wealthy, mature elite, the tastes and preferences of young people now became important.

I think mrimekko and Orla Kiely use sense of youngness, freedom, and playing with glorious 60s era nostalgia for their brand image which make their brand Pop and a bit kitsch at the same time.





Through this blog, I’ve exploring Pop culture and for this post I want to concentrate on ‘POP’ bit.

Some people say that pop is a shorten word for popular but I don’t think that’s necessary the answer. I see and hear a word pop everywhere such as pop music-Kpop, pop up, pop art, pop quiz, etc..



Kpop-Korean pop or/and popular music is a music genre mix of pop, electronic, drum, rock, R&B, etc.. Originating in South Korea. It became well-known and worldwide  popular among teenagers and young adults after Gangnam style by Psy.

pop-up-shopPopup shops/retails are A retail store that is opened temporarily to take advantage of a trend or a seasonal product. Demand for products sold in pop-up retail is typically short-lived. Pop-up retail stores are found most often in the apparel and toy industries.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pop-up-retail.asp#ixzz2HDs8TAGy



Pop art (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Movements) is a movement in modern art that imitates the methods, styles, and themes of popular culture and mass media, such as comic strips, advertising, and science fiction

Pop music-music of general appeal to teenagers; a bland watered-down version of rock’n’roll with more rhythm and harmony and an emphasis on romantic love.

Through theses definitions, I think the word ‘pop’ is used when something is;

  • trendy
  • popular
  • mixed/combined/harmonised
  • short life span/temporary
  • sudden/unexpected/burst
  • targeted/selling an image of young generation
  • colourful/playful
  • versatile/ no boundaries






I thought I’d introduce this lovely pop knitting book by Britt-Marie Christoffersson. I own this book and it’s very playful, colourful, and modern. Obviously targeted for younger generation–no granny-like images or designes.


Pop culture; This Is England

This is England is about British young delinquent ‘gangs’ during 1983, written and directed by Shane Meadows.

The story and the setting of this film itself is very emotional and quite depressing reflecting the social background, political issues, economic slowdown,and immigrants in 1983. The way those delinquent gangs behave and dress must’ve been quite shocking and minority/underground  at the time but that’s how Pop culture starts I think. Maybe the way they behave(extremest) is still minority  and not so much of Pop culture but the way they hung out, party, and their style(hair, tattoo, makeups, clothes, etc..) is something very Pop. Mix of punk, mods, goth, retro, and rock style youths are maybe a begging of ‘hipstar’ culture which I think is a new form of Pop culture, Pop with a bit of twist.

This amazing blog describes more about the fashion in This is England series(yes, they made dramas as well as the original film); http://beautysquared.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-style-of-this-is-england-this-is.html


The Style of This Is England, This Is England ’86, and This Is England ’88

This Is England is a film written and directed by Shane Meadows. It was released in 2006 to great acclaim and as a result, two spin-off three-part series This Is England ’86 and This Is England ’88 appeared in 2010 and 2011 on Channel 4 in Britain. A third series, This is England ’90 is in the works.
This Is England and the follow-ups tell the story of a group of young friends growing up in a town in England’s Midlands. Creator Shane Meadows wanted to show what his youth and those of his friends as skinheads in the 1980s was like. As a side note, the popular opinion of the skinhead is the political extremist side of the movement. If you think “racist” when you hear the term skinhead, that’s unfortunate as the movement began as a youth culture and it was influenced heavily by ska, reggae and soul and West Indian culture, specifically Jamaican Rude Boys. This website explains further.
I wanted to do this post to highlight the fashion and styling that is, in my opinion, really incredible. British youth culture is fascinating to me – Mods, Skinheads, Punks, Teddy Boys, etc. So much fashion, music and attitude that has left their imprints on popular culture today.
The characters of This Is England are fascinating and lovable and they’ve got some dated, but undeniably kickass style. In the film, This Is England, we’re introduced to the gang and they’re all kitted out in Doc Martens, rolled cuffs, suspenders and Polo shirts. On the men, the hair is shaved close to the head. The girls are dressed like the boys, for the most part, and the hair, is cropped very short at the crown and the bangs and sides are long. It’s known as a Chelsea or a Chelsea Girl.
Photos from This Is England:
The This Is England gang (minus Milky)
The one stand out of the group is Smell, who has more of a punk look. She’s behind Shaun in the center of the photo above. Lol (2nd from the right) is in Doc Martens, jeans with tightly rolled cuffs, a polo shirt and a Harrington jacket. Trev (the blonde) is also in Doc Martens and denim but a checked button-up shirt. Kelly, Lol’s younger sister (far right) is more feminine in a denim miniskirt, fishnets, white socks and what looks to me like Doc Marten shoes.
The boys
In the above photo, the boys of This Is England are in Doc Martens, denim in a variety of colours but always with rolled cuffs, t-shirts, button-up shirts or polo shirts and Harrington jackets (on Woody, Pukey and Gadget) or denim jackets. Milky (far left) looks more dressy than the rest of the lads because he’s in black and white but it’s still the Doc Marten, denim, braces and button-up shirt uniform.
Fred Perry Harrington Jackets
The girls – Smell, Lol, Trev and Kelly

All of the gals, apart from Smell, wore variations on the Chelsea Girl haircut. Lol’s and Kelly’s has the long fringe and length at the back but shorn very short everywhere else. Trev’s was similar, but without the contrast between short and long. Hers is more of a bleached blonde shag.

Smell’s look is in contrast to the masculine stylings of her female friends. She’s clearly playful with her fashion, playing with trends. In these photos she looks like she’s been inspired by Strawberry Switchblade, a Scottish new wave band of the time. Polka dots, layered skirts, accessories (gloves, scarves, jewellery) big hair and dramatic makeup are Smell’s signatures.

Kelly (Chanel Kresswell) and Trev (Danielle Watson)
Lol (Vicky McClure)

Make-up on the other gals varied. Lol stuck with some smudgy eyeliner and little else as does Trev, while Kelly, the more feminine of the three, played up her pretty features with eye makeup, lipstick and blush.

Shaun (Thomas Turgoose)
This Is England ’86:
In the first miniseries set two years after the feature film, the gang are still together, apart from one or two notable and not-so-notable absences, and they have new looks.
Woody (Joe Gilgun)
The first episode opens with the gang heading to Lol and Woody’s wedding. In the two years since the film, Woody has evolved into more of a mod than a skinhead, with a very Paul Weller in The Jam hair cut and a scooter. He wears patterned button-ups still but done all the way up and under a close-fitting cardigan. He wears his jeans rolled still and the ever-present Doc Martens but also a very Mod parka.
Paul Weller
In the first episode of the miniseries, we see the gang gathered together for Woody and Lol’s wedding. Note Lol’s masculine style.
Lol’s hair is bleached blonde and styled in a bit of a pompadour.
Woody (Joe Gilgun) and Lol (Vicky McClure
Lol (Vicky McClure)
Woody (Joe Gilgun) and Lol (Vicky McClure)
In the last episode of the miniseries, Woody wore a close-cropped powder-blue tuxedo. Milky, his best man, wore a long jacket, similar to the style of a Teddy Boy.
Woody (Joe Gilgun) and Milky (Andrew Shim)

Smell’s style in TIE ’86 is a touch more goth with deep purple-black lipstick and eyeliner. Her hair is a bowl cut with shaved sides and back.

Smell (Rosamund Hanson)
Smell (Rosamund Hanson)
The gang
Trev still wears her skinhead uniform – polo shirts, Harrington jacket, Doc Martens and jeans. Her hair is dyed red and in an asymmetric cut.
Trev (Danielle Watson)
Kelly’s hair is very punk shaved into almost a mohawk and dyed pink. She dresses in a feminine 80s style, more like Smell than Trev or Lol. She favours heavy smoky eye makeup and pale pink lips.
Woody (Joe Gilgun) and Kelly (Chanel Kressman)
Kelly (Chanel Kressman)
In TIE ’86 we see Shaun as a teenager. After the first film, he had parted ways with the gang but they find each other again in TIE ’86. Shaun had also parted ways with his skinhead uniform, dressed as an average teenager.
Shaun (Thomas Turgoose)
Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) and Smell (Rosamund Hanson)
This Is England ’88:
This Is England ’88 brings us two years into the future for the gang. Much has changed but I promise I’ll keep the spoilers as subtle as possible!
The gang (most of them)

In This Is England ’88, most of the gang is still together, but some have parted ways for various reasons, mainly due to becoming young adults.

Kelly still has her feminine, punk look with a spiked black-blue hairdo, ripped t-shirts, Doc Martens (in white, above) and skirts.

Kelly (Chanel Kressman)

Smell and Shaun are featured heavily in This Is England ’88. Shaun is busy with school but still friends with the gang and he and Smell are a couple. His look is student but still with some of the skinhead fashion sense (Harrington jacket, Fred Perry shirts). Smell on the other hand has changed her style again, with her hair cut and shaved into a bowl cut and dyed bright orange.

Smell (Rosamund Hanson)

Her makeup is still dramatic and goth with dark purple lipstick and eyeliner. Smell is still fond of veils and her accessories are jaw-dropping! Check out the collar she’s wearing in the photo, below.

Smell (Rosamund Hanson)
Smell and Kelly doing karaoke
Shaun and Smell

Woody has become even more the grown-up and we see him in button-up shirts, ties, cardigans, blazers  and suits, albeit they’re quite a bit more stylish than your average working man. His hair is cut short on the sides and more conservative than we’ve seen in the previous series. Woody is also a little bit lost in This Is England ’88 so his mental state is caught between his past and his present and is reflected in his appearance.


Woody still has his scooter and his Mod parka though he’s on the outside looking in.


At a holiday dinner with his boss, Woody wears a rather flashy mod boating blazer.

Woody and Jennifer (Stacey Sampson)
The gang

Milky too has grown-up and his look has evolved. He’s still pretty styling in button-up shirts, blazers, suits, and Harrington jackets (below in a light blue with a plaid lining).


Lol is, like Woody, lost. Her clothing is not so different from two years ago, but they’re distinctively darker, as is her hair. While in the first This Is England, Lol wore her natural hair colour, and in This Is England ’86 dyed it platinum blonde, in This Is England ’88 it’s dyed jet black. When she styles it, it’s either in a bit of a pompadour or left to dry naturally.

Woody and Lol

This Is Englad ’90 is in the works, so it’ll be interesting to see how the style of the characters changes as they enter the 1990s.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look at this great series.

And to finish, here are Joe Gilgun and Vicky McClure who play Woody and Lol as they appear in real life.

Also, check out these videos and photos of the gorgeous Vicky McClurehere.
If you’re interested in checking out This Is England, This Is England ’86, This Is England ’88 they are available for purchase onAmazon.co.uk.

Pop Culture; Music and fashion

Both of these youtube music videos are not necessary categorize as ‘pop music’ but their style/genre is in pop culture well, more towards so called ‘hip star culture’. Although the style/genre of these videos are very different, first one being rap and the second one being indie electronic/experimental, Fashion and people  in these clips are very similar. They both wear vintage/’hip star’ clothes with retro or eccentric hair and makeups.

Macklemore&Ryan Lewis’s approach to rap is pop and fun and they have totally whipped off my stereo image of rappers being muscular black men with gold chains and a cap grabbing size zero models.



Grimes, Claire Boucher, is 24 year-old Canadian artist. Her style is very unique, inspired by all sort of music-industrial, electronic, pop, hip hop, R&B, noise rock. I think her music is definitely in the category of Pop culture and shows the reflexibility and adaptability of the pop culture.



How Pop are you? weighting pop culture figures.




This scale is not an ordinarily scale, it lets you compare weight to famous people and pop culture figures instead of displaying your weight in pounds or kilos!
The pop culture scale has no original function- replacing the actual fact(your weight) to some celebrities and fictional characters(King Kong, Karate Kid, etc..). I think weighting to match up a pop star is a pointless activity yet I find it ironic and hilarious.

I think humor and pointless/functionality are the two of the key elements to turn something into pop culture.



Is Punk taking over Pop?


I read this ‘The art of the punk movement’ article on Arts London News (www.artslondonnews.com) and I thought both punk and pop have similar characteristics and are in a similar position in terms of music, fashion, and art though this article is pushing punk lather than pop movement. The article basically features a brief history of punk movement and how it’s having a come back; first evolved in the US and the UK in the mid 1970s, heavily influenced all sort of arts world and young people. It was an expression of youthful rebellion and anti-authoritarian mentality. Then post-punk and alternative rock emerged causing the original punk to loose its momentum. The new subculture of punk focuses more on music rather than on the attitude.

The Ramones- became a big successes in the American punk movement and bought punk out of the underground scene.

Sex Pistols-The ultimate British punk.

The Clash-started to incorporate reggae, rockabilly, and jazz into their music.


Punk in the fashion world began when Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened the clothes shop SEX. They sold leather, studs, chains, and rubber fetish goods inspired by ‘anti-fashion’ that we see in high street retail now, however in the 70’s and early ‘80s, this was seen as an obvious and shocking sexual statement.


Lady gaga wore a copy of the famous Versace safety pin dress that Liz Hurley wore to accompany Hugh Grant at the film premier of the 1992.



Punk hairstyle is seemed to return to today’s society.  Having big hair brightly coloured or over bleached and shaving areas of the scalp.




These styles are becoming very popular among young people and celebrities. Emma Segal, Contributing editor for designer fashion website Not Just A Label, believes that although the materialism of the now conflicts with the essence of the punk movement, it is a good thing. She said: “Punk is back, and (ironically) in a way which is most at odds with its ethos of anti-materialism. But being embraced by the designers and high street simply means that its legacy can be modernised and can evolve in ever more interesting ways”.

It can be seen that punk has affected many parts of our society’s culture so I think punk is becoming a part of popular culture, very similar to pop culture. Pop and Punk are considered to be a sub-culture, started from ‘low art’, mass media related, and popular. Although Punk culture and Pop culture shares some similar features, they are definitely in a different category. I think Punk favours more towards young generation, as most of its contexts still tend to be quite explicit and that can be harder to participate for older generation. However, this ‘stereo generation gap’ would probably soon change as punk culture will continue to inspire creative industries and proving to be a lifestyle.

Feminism in popular culture : less active more passive

I had a lecture about feminine body and I thought this had a lot of connection to popular culture in terms of how it perceived by the public.

Feminine body is becoming more surface as a result of visual culture –magazines, tv, internet, etc.. Image of female body can be found anywhere and it questions its possession, availability, and aim. You could almost categorise female body into Mother(reproductive), slut(stereo type image),and skinny(model, no reproduction, removed/alien body). Since 1060s, women’s role has changed dramatically, they have more power and can choose to have or not to have babies therefore women’s biological function is gone which led to more surface image.

Model body is where I think popular culture starts to interfere with gender. Their body is seen through spectacle and conforming gender stereo type-women’s ideal body should be skinny.

Commoditisation of the body

Using body as a tool for branding ones body questions natural body. Biologically natural body is becoming unnatural e.g. tattoo, plastic surgery and waxing. Body has a power to structure ones statement.

Popular culture example would be the Lady Gaga’s meat dress and Katie Perry’s cupcake bra. They both had strong responses yet Katy Perry played/stayed nicely in a stereotype feminine box whereas Lady Gaga played with femininity and its restriction (proper and improper).

Popular culture in textile is exaggeration of felinity such as Cath Kidston and Ralph Lauren. They both target exclusively on women.  Also, a magazine called Mollie makes introduces new approach to handcrafts such as how to make crochet apple covers, which reversed the whole idea of handcraft being reproductive and functional. Maybe this is one of the elements of being pop/popular culture. It made me think whether Popular or pop culture is in favour of femininity and how textile and fashion can help subverting feminine image.

Million Dollar Menu

This is one of my favourite youtube clips.
I am looking into popular culture in textile field but I though this controversial video shows just how important brand image is. You can see that some stuffs and costumers seem disturbed/offended by these  intruders/rappers while others laughed and even joined in with them.

What made these people to attract?-were they board of just eating happy meals? or do they secretly disparage MacDonald?

This effect on brand image reminded me of  the chavs in Burberry tartan check about 7-8years back. Because this boom spread out widely in the uk, Burberry’s high fashion branding image changed into something very different. It became popular to chavs which are not the Burberry’s most wanted/desired target customers. It somehow became too popular to the masses which destroyed the whole point of exclusiveness and being apart of high fashion crowd/society.

I think this is an interesting example of negative result in popular culture. This popular movement bought a very negative effect to Burberry’s branding culture. However, they now have successfully bought their tartan image back though advertising and designing.

This is a sort of online debates/chat room talking about how Burberry threw off its cha image;


Also, these website articles writes about effects on Burberry’s branding image.




Knitting a popular history of media

Kristen Haring talks about how she uses textiles (knitting) as a way of communication. She uses binary system (traditional telegraph codes) to knit a hidden message. The juxtaposition of felinity and masculinity creates a playful translation/signification of culture and the language.

Pop(ular) Culture Anatomy

Hair- signals



Eyes-trend hunters


Chest-HD screen




Hand –underground societies




Knees- critics