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Thread: Geoffrey B. Small

  1. #181

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    for the record that one post was deleted by the user, it was not censored.

    I think this whole debate, which I wouldn't even really call it, started with one remark that was mistakenly thought of as spiteful but actually wasn't, so there really isn't any problem here in my opinion. I'm sure Geoffrey welcomes deliberate comments and criticism, like asho's above.
    "AVANT GUARDE HIGHEST FASHION. NOW NOW this is it people, these are the brands no one fucking knows and people are like WTF. they do everything by hand in their freaking secret basement and shit."

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  2. #182
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    casey, all you have to do is to look at who deleted the post - it says so in the post itself. no need to jump to conclusions. and, yes, i welcome constructive criticism any time, and i am sure so will geoffrey. i am sure he understands that any time you come into a public domain and engage with the public, you are bound to get some criticism. again, as long as it is constructive and respectful - it is welcome by all means. i just don't know how to make people understand the difference between constructive criticism and little spiteful jabs.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  3. #183

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    Ok crazy laughing people, there were many things that I wanted to say about Geoffrey’s work but he’s pretty much said it all. Thanks Geoffrey for the contribution Geoffrey.

    I’d like to make a small contribution to the subplot here. I agree totally that free and open debate should not be stifled by the threat of censorship and Geoffrey is indeed a big boy who can take criticism. I would just ask that that criticism is worded in a thoughtful and respectful manner and that we consider the fact that we are lucky to have a designer, who is happy to make a personal contribution to this forum and to answer questions directly. Please remember that this is Geoffrey’s life work that we are discussing, and he is in the room, so to speak.
    I think that Faust misunderstood an earlier comment and that has lead to a pointless discussion, which has in turn distracted us from the important issue here, which is the opportunity to discuss a groundbreaking project made by a very important designer. So can I ask that we stay on topic, please.
    Quote Originally Posted by asho View Post
    dear geoffrey,

    I like your sneakers and you have justified their existence well, though I wish you had done it in the reverse order. The conservation aspects of the designs, however amiable, should not be the selling point, they should be a feature, for as long as you keep making such a big deal about it it will be considered abnormal, and perhaps never make a mainstream difference. I think it is far more beneficial to concentrate on design, and have the sustainable aspects as a given feature that speak for themselves. I am a shoemaker and am studying architecture. I think sustainability in architecture has a relevant parallel to your work. The ramshackle mud house built in the middle of the dessert by some crazed hippie will never change as many minds as the slick corporate headquarters with a ground source heat pump and a black water treatment plant.

    As a shoemaker, I think the handmaking process is more of a sustainable feature than the recycling of leather. Handmade shoes are produced in small quantities and as such will never make dent in terms of material history, embodied energy etc. what I would consider if I were you is the duality in the process of taking a leather jacket apart, which is biodegradable, making it into a shoe and gluing a synthetic sole on to it, which will end up as landfill one day too. surely your practice needs to consider this...

    plus i really would like to see your ideas translated into real shoes, where the history is so much richer.
    Ok asho, I think that in the rush to say something you may have just typed the first thing that came into your head: There is no one selling point of these shoes. There is a combination of selling points all of which Geoffrey has detailed above. I don’t think that they are posted in any particular order; this is simply the order in which Geoffrey thought of them as he typed. You are probably quite right about the fact that they have to be visually interesting as well as ethically made etc. even if you did decide to use a slightly remedial analogy in order to drive your point home. Clearly the images that Geoffrey has posted were supposed to address the issue of style and form, which I would imagine makes describing them somewhat pointless, which is the reason that he did not describe them. Surely this is far more likely than your assertion, that the form is secondary, in Geoffrey’s mind. Unless of course you are insinuating that they actually don’t look very good. That of course would be a very subjective argument and many, including myself would argue otherwise. Maybe you’d be happier with a pair of ‘Reebok Pumps’ . They’re very slick and corporate!!!
    It is also worth pointing out that Geoffrey does have traditional shoes in his collection but we feel that this is the more exciting project at the moment, because it combines history, ethical production and functional modernity in one beautiful form. As a student of architecture, you may recognise this description as it is also applicable to the Louvre, in Paris!

    Incidentally, I think that you’ll find that he has already addressed the issue of the sole being biodegradable, in the posts above.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  4. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    casey, all you have to do is to look at who deleted the post - it says so in the post itself.
    only you can see the notice
    "AVANT GUARDE HIGHEST FASHION. NOW NOW this is it people, these are the brands no one fucking knows and people are like WTF. they do everything by hand in their freaking secret basement and shit."

    STYLEZEITGEIST MAGAZINE | BLOG

  5. #185

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    i wasn't so much suggesting that the design was more important than the ethics, rather that Geoffrey's love of sneakers in his own personal way was a greater reason for the sneakers existence than that they prevented a few jackets from being thrown away...

    point taken on the sole...

  6. #186

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    I can verify that I deleted my own post... I'm sorry if it generated false accusations on the police. I just deleted it because it was a little off subject and took some jabs at the content and even essence of Mr. Smalls post.

    Regarding the shoes, I just feel like this is a case where the beauty and value of the object is much more accutely felt in the eye of the creator (and obviously the vendor) and those who don't feel that it is very special aesthetically are being told that, no, it IS.

    But I'm of the breed which appreciates shoes and garments on a much more initial, instinctive, visceral level. I can't get into something because of the unusual and arduous pains that were taken in the sourcing and production. There are those who can, we can all live in harmony.

  7. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by asho View Post
    dear geoffrey,

    I like your sneakers and you have justified their existence well, though I wish you had done it in the reverse order. The conservation aspects of the designs, however amiable, should not be the selling point, they should be a feature, for as long as you keep making such a big deal about it it will be considered abnormal, and perhaps never make a mainstream difference. I think it is far more beneficial to concentrate on design, and have the sustainable aspects as a given feature that speak for themselves. I am a shoemaker and am studying architecture. I think sustainability in architecture has a relevant parallel to your work. The ramshackle mud house built in the middle of the dessert by some crazed hippie will never change as many minds as the slick corporate headquarters with a ground source heat pump and a black water treatment plant.

    As a shoemaker, I think the handmaking process is more of a sustainable feature than the recycling of leather. Handmade shoes are produced in small quantities and as such will never make dent in terms of material history, embodied energy etc. what I would consider if I were you is the duality in the process of taking a leather jacket apart, which is biodegradable, making it into a shoe and gluing a synthetic sole on to it, which will end up as landfill one day too. surely your practice needs to consider this...

    plus i really would like to see your ideas translated into real shoes, where the history is so much richer.
    Accepted,

    But I think that when you really analyze Geoffrey's work, you see that the concept of trainers really does fit the whole ethos of his design and organisation. Yes, he does like wearing trainers, but I think that it's more about the inclusive, post-modernist philosophy that takes inspiration wherever it’s found, a bit like the architecture, and indeed content of, the Louvre. The building its self was built over many years and you can easily see the differences in architectural style as you walk its length. So when it came time to add our generations’ contribution it would have been dishonest to build something that looked old, just because it is to be part of an old building. That’s not what the original architects did. They built structures that represented and rejoiced in their time. In the same way Geoffrey pulls inspiration from both history and modernity and uses the method and style of construction that is most appropriate for the garment that he has in mind. He is not a historian, or a costume maker. He is a modern designer who knows and is inspired by history, art, architecture, culture and sustainable living. As I have already said, this does not prohibit the use of modern features, where appropriate. Just because he is anti-mass-production, doesn't mean that he's anti-modernity. He enjoys technology as much as the next guy. He just prefers it when it's ethical and he insists that his own work is. So, in the same way that the glass pyramid in the Louvre is both purposeful and beautiful, sitting between the Tuillery and the Napoleonic wing of the Louvre, so Geoffrey’s trainers are, sitting with his clothing.

    I would also ad that, like Faust, I do not wear trainers. I prefer traditionally made shoes, but I’m seriously thinking that a pair of GBS’s may be the exception for me! They address all the reasons that I don’t like trainers.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  8. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by delphine View Post
    I can verify that I deleted my own post... I'm sorry if it generated false accusations on the police. I just deleted it because it was a little off subject and took some jabs at the content and even essence of Mr. Smalls post.

    Regarding the shoes, I just feel like this is a case where the beauty and value of the object is much more accutely felt in the eye of the creator (and obviously the vendor) and those who don't feel that it is very special aesthetically are being told that, no, it IS.

    But I'm of the breed which appreciates shoes and garments on a much more initial, instinctive, visceral level. I can't get into something because of the unusual and arduous pains that were taken in the sourcing and production. There are those who can, we can all live in harmony.
    A good point, and well made.

    I think that FabFan and I are good examples of these opposite extremes. He really doesn't give a shit how it's produced as long as it beautiful and of a certain quality. For me, I need to know that it fits with my core values. The amazing thing is that despite that fact that we approach our industry from two opposing directions, we rarely disagree on what to buy for the store and still have many personal purchases in common (and I do mean many!!!)! We both wear a lot of GBS. I think that says a lot.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  9. #189

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    OK, I apologize for the false accusations. I was just miffed because I had read the post then came back a bit later to comment because it made some interesting points, only to find it was gone.

    Delphine, if you feel like reposing, maybe we could move it to "The Issue of Authorship" thread and take references specificially to GBS out of it. I think it could be interesting to discuss how the ways a designer talks about their work affect our perception of it (does it detract if the designer says to much, does it add to know about the garments origins etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    casey, all you have to do is to look at who deleted the post - it says so in the post itself. no need to jump to conclusions. and, yes, i welcome constructive criticism any time, and i am sure so will geoffrey. i am sure he understands that any time you come into a public domain and engage with the public, you are bound to get some criticism. again, as long as it is constructive and respectful - it is welcome by all means. i just don't know how to make people understand the difference between constructive criticism and little spiteful jabs.

  10. #190

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    I think that question has already been discussed. For some people, like FabFan it doesn't matter. They care more about the form. Personally, I find this approach slightly vacuous (sorry Fan). For me the history and philosophy are very important. I feel the same way about most art forms, with the notable exception of flower arranging. It's called context and it is relevant to almost every part of our lives, from the food we eat to the career we choose, to the clothes we ware. This is the same for everyone; it's just that for some it is consious and for others not.

    [Edit] Maybe if you just like to look at pictures of the form of a garment, it would be better if you took a leaf out of FabFan's book and excluded yourself. It does seem slightly mastabatory, to take part in a forum, the point of which is to discuss designers' work and then question the point of the discussion. I can recomend several other forums which have pretty pictures and non of this distracting discussion!
    Last edited by hobo; 11-12-2009 at 02:13 PM.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  11. #191

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    Thanks for the great posts everyone. The last few pages of the thread have been a joy to read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    fuck you, i don't have an attitude problem.

    Sartorialoft

    "She is very ninja, no?" ~Peter Jevnikar

  12. #192

  13. #193
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowrey View Post
    only you can see the notice
    ooops! now things are much clearer. I wish everyone would be able to see that! No wonder people think that I am a fire breathing ban dragon.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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  14. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    ooops! now things are much clearer. I wish everyone would be able to see that! No wonder people think that I am an axe weilding Norman!.
    Fixed for you.......
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
    .................................................. .......................


    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  15. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternal View Post
    I like the sneakers a lot, and the work put into them really make me want to own a pair. My to go sneakers for now are Margiela and Common Projects, and as you stated in an earlier post Geoffrey, you claimed ( I know it is the truth) that a lot of bigger designer houses steal ideas from smaller designers who did put a lot of money into research, and then the bigger houses and designers just start producing without any/low research cost.

    As much as I like these sneakers, I notice that the sole, and the shape of the shoe is looking almost the same as any Common Projects, Pierre Hardy, some Raf Simons models, Balenciaga and Lanvin ( not really lanvin in the design, but shape and sole).

    I know a lot of these shoes did at least have their soles produced at the same factory, hence the similarity in design. I think your soles might be the same, are they? Then the design can be justified, but if not, then you also find inspiration in others work, or have you produced this shoes for more years than I can possibly know? ( or is this sole an old sole that has been gone for ages and now is back in production)

    To be clear. I´m not saying you stole a part of some design or an idea, I just want to know if they´re made by the same people, if you made them first, or if you have found some inspiration from any of them.

    We all get inspired by things around us, nothing wrong with it. But earlier you did sound pretty aggressive about the part of the business that steals or "borrow" an idea or a design from someone else. And I´m totally sharing your thoughts on this matter.

    And to add it, the upper part of your shoe is totally unique both in design, the vision and the idea behind it. I think it´s beautiful when so much thought can be put into a sneaker. A product most people just throw on when going out for a sunday walk, or an quick errand. It really makes me happy, and I feel that it´s hope for us humans.

    I will be a a lucky owner of a pair of these sneakers one day, and for the first time I don´t really care about the price either.
    I think that the sole is a standard shape. I maybe wrong, and I'm sure that Geoffrey will correct me if I am, but I don't think that it is new, either in this trainer or for any of the companies that you mentioned. I had a pair of Raspberry All-Stars, when I was 16, that's 21 years ago, and they had more or less the same sole shape, and I don't think that it was new then either. I just think that it's a good well proven shape. But the important part is not the shape of the sole; it's the time and trouble that have been taken to find technology to make a fully biodegradable rubber sole. Equally, the shape of the trainer body is not new. It's the time and trouble which has been taken to find and use the special vintage leather that it is made up of that is of interest. That’s not to say that the form is not equally as important as the philosophy, but sometimes classic is best, and sometimes a classic shape allows you to enjoy other features of a design, in this case the vintage leather and it’s construction.

    So I don’t think that you are wrong to bring up the subject of plagiarism but I think that certain shapes and styles like this trainer or the oxford shoe, or trilby hat, are in the public domain. There are other styles in Geoffrey’s collection of prototypes, which he showed me in Paris this October, but we chose to go with this classic shape for the launch. We felt that it was a good balance.
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  16. #196

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHC View Post
    Thanks for the great posts everyone. The last few pages of the thread have been a joy to read.
    Word, Heavy D!
    Last edited by hobo; 11-15-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: I quoted eternal by mistake. Not sure how that got tagged on there
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  17. #197

    Default On Axe wielding Normans

    Dear wire.artist and Faust,


    Actually concerning the ax wielding Norman,
    rather than Jack Nicholson in The Shining,
    I was thinking more of this
    as it is the more original version
    in the historical sense...







    A few more possible examples
    from the Bayeux tapestry
    depicting the Battle of Hastings in 1066...






    where William invaded
    and conquered England
    as we know it today...


    notice the carcasses
    of poor junior SZ members,
    along with various unsuspecting,
    poorly understood,
    but highly discussed,
    designers
    littered about on the floor,
    after being mercilessly slayed
    by the fierce and powerful
    Norman SZ seniors
    with their deadly axes,
    spears,
    and swords
    of knowledge, wit and critiques.


    England and fashion,
    thus changed forever...


    Best wishes and cheers to all you SZ'ers
    may your courage and sharp axes cut through
    to find the truth in all things.


    Geoffrey B. Small

  18. #198

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    wonderful GBS, this really made my evening!
    “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
    .................................................. .......................


    Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock

  19. #199

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    Ah but those ax wielding Normans failed to suppress the unruly, unwashed, Norse pagans of Danelaw, the capital of which you visited on your Yorkshire tour. Of course York was Jorvik in those days, but the rabble haven't changed!!!
    "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." — Oscar Wilde

  20. #200
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    I am going to copyright pants.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

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