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  • Sunray etched Visors for the Jamaican Olympic Team in three colours: yellow, green and black

Mclean, Flora, 2012, Art or design object, Sunray etched Visors for the Jamaican Olympic Team in three colours: yellow, green and black

Abstract or Description:

Design for visors for the delegation from Jamaica to the London Olympic Games 2012. This design was commissioned by PUMA 2012 based on McLean's designs featured in the website House of Flora, which functions as a space of display, archive, folio, point of sale and dissemination. The McLean standard design for visors is a component of the avant garde, pret a porter millinery, accessory design collections, and stylistically customised for the Jamaican team.
McLean's oeuvre is original in its integration of the experimental traditions of art school workshop culture with the professional demands of fashion manufacture and trade culture. Combining the innovation of the postmodern urban artisan with the exacting demands of industrial production, dissemination and distribution McLean's design work spans the disparate worlds of national art collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (A Hat Anthology Exhibition, and catalogue 2009), London Design Museum ( Fifty Hats that Changed the World 2009). Integrating design considerations of multiple and mass production with the stylistic considerations of the studio workshop McLean brings the wit of the avant garde urban artisan to the structures and systems of fashion industry. The designs reach to a global audience as product users, as well as to the international connoisseurship of crafts and design specialists. The rigour of McLean's research and innovation is evident in the specificity of the stylistic references made through her selection of materials, processes, form, colour and symbolism. A range of cultural references cite the rich fusion of early twentieth century modernist culture in which the disparate worlds of popular, proletarian, culture fertilised the stylistic austerity of high modern formalism. McLean here considers the relationship between millinery and coiffure, following from the millinery piece featured in (Marcel bobbed hairpiece hat), and now brings the considerations of ethnic difference to bear on her design. Afro hair brings user group specificity to the milliner, and the visor design is a resolution of function and style for both protection and display. Connoting the sartorial conventions of workwear headgear, rather than the nineteenth century colonial 'cricketer's' cap, or the twentieth century US 'baseball' peaked cap, McLean's 'Jamaican Olympic Visor' brings distinctively postcolonial meaning to the cultural profile of the heterotopic media space. Designing for the popular culture of Olympic sports, televised and broadcast to global audiences, brings new forms of agency to the fashion designer, and McLan's design deploys a style that is widely recognisable from other popular culture's film and TV depictions of workwear to mark the distinctive tradition of supremacy that black athletes bring to the European traditions of cultural heritage. Supplanting the Arcadian 'laurels' with which winners are, traditionally, crowned, McLean's visor design innovation, suggests that it is not impossible to challenge and transform apparently timeless hierarchies of power and supremacy, so that ex-slaves may also become victors. McLean's fashion designs all work within this reach of fashion towards the carnivalesque inversion of social orderliness through play, display and sartorial activism.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2016 22:36
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 10:56
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1167

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