Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Twiggy's Frock Exchange / British Style Genius

There were two programme on television last night that may have piqued the interest of the design or style conscious person.

I stumbled upon the tail-end of the TV programme 'Twiggy's Frock Exchange' on BBC 2. For those of you who haven't heard of the show, or the concept of a Clothes Exchange, it basically works like this: "Each guest brings at least one item of clothing, pair of shoes or accessory to swap. The clothes are displayed for everyone to choose from and try on. You and your friends go home with a great new look. It’s that easy." (Source: The idea of a clothes swap isn't new, but is being highlighted for the first time in this programme.

This programme is hosted by
Twiggy, assisted by Lauren Laverne, Paula Reed and Designer Paula Kirkwood. The latter is a Designer for TRAIDremade, and provides advice on altering and updating items of clothing and accesories. What struck me most about this programme, was that it might just be the first time the notion of recycling is presented as a non-specialist subject in the main stream media. The programme was styled to look glamorous and feminine, and thus presented the whole notion of recycling or reusing as desirable (just how shopping and consuming is normally presented). Apparently the UK throws away 1 million tonnes of clothing and textile a year, that's 7.5 billion items of clothing. ( offers downloads and advice about hosting your own party.

here to download their party pack. If you're planning a party, do please invite me along! It sounds like a lot of fun.

Also on BBC 2: British Style Genius (website above). The title may pre-warn you that this programme could be slightly nauseating. Despite the fact that it presented a slightly one sided view, it was very informative and interesting. It presented British Fashion as democratic - High end fashion available at a low price to everyone. Top Shop and particularly Kate Moss' collection were used as the prime example of this democracy, and discussed in much detail. Personally, I don't particularly like Top Shop, and Kate Moss even less. I can't however deny that a lot of people in this country would disagree with my opinion.

More interestingly, the programme highlighted the work of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell (whos prints I am officially in love with).
There's a lot of info on the accompanying website here. It may be worth pointing out that the programme focused on high street fashion; perhaps this focus was the reason for the onesided opinions. The future episodes will feature 'Tailored', 'Rebel', 'Country', and 'Street'.

Twiggy's Frock Exchange will be on BBC 2 again next Tuesday, 14th October at 8pm, followed by British Style Genius 'Tailored' at 9pm. In the meantime you can watch this weeks episodes on the BBC iPlayer.
(I particulary recommend British Style Genius!)

No comments: