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Author Topic: Numi Prasarn's "Steampunk Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada"  (Read 6225 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2015, 12:00:59 pm »

Advance apologies for the thread necromancy, I was brought back to this thread because of a post on Facebook

I would resist the urge to do a google image search on numi. Though it offers an image, it is one that has a near infinite capacity to cause offence.

I did & I am offended.

Any time I see anyone who clearly has nothing to do with any alternative culture with brightly coloured hair, my blood boils.  I wish they'd stick to their own fashions & leave the cool nstuff to the rest of us who know what to do with it.

Wow, Mr. Diesel. This is some serious thread necromancing!

Well, since I started the thread in 2013. I should probably point out that Numi Prasarn's "Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada" in Von Slatt's blog has since had any and all comments by the public (including my reply) deleted.  The original diatribe by Ms. Prasarn, however, is still on the first link I posted in the thread above, for those who wish to stoke the ambers of controversy, and have their time machines set to the year 2013.
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2015, 02:25:37 pm »

And I thought I was bad for resurrecting the Brewer's Guild thread after 3 months.

Although looking back through the posts I'm intrigued to know how far this collection got in terms of production (if it even got anywhere at all). I'll admit I'm not 'up' on fashion, but my limited understanding is that designers (or at least in terms of major designer labels such as Prada et al.) will reveal their designs at fashion shows as 'one off' display pieces, to show what they'll be putting in the shops the following year/season (that is to say autumn/winter clothes are first shown off at shows during the spring/summer the year before they 'hit the shelves' and vice versa). However, although I seem to remember there being a vague trend towards victwardian cuts and styles around the autumn and winter of 2013, I don't recall ever having seen anything like the designs Ms Prasarn was commenting on.
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I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
Clym Angus
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« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2015, 04:47:59 pm »

In all likely hood it did the same thing that fashion always does, given its easily distracted nature.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlRrHV-qIEs

It is inadvisable to apply deeper meaning to an industry that depends upon a five second attention span for its very survival.
Still waiting for her to pop up and defend herself; I mean, I've heard of "fashionably late" but honestly, she's veering into the positively tardy....
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2015, 04:50:25 pm »

My, this thread got contentious.

I went back and read the post that inspired the thread.

For what it is worth, I am intimately familiar with (although no fan of) the academic style of writing Ms. Prasarn used.

So far as I can tell, the gist of what she is saying is that the Steampunk subculture was not the inspiration for that particular Prada collection.

That, it seems to me, is probably true.  I doubt the designers of Prada are even aware of Steampunk as a thing, except perhaps as a bit of pop culture to mine.  And retro-Victorian fashions have been a recurring part of haute couture since the 1930s.

Ms. Prasarn's grasp of Steampunk culture seems about average for an academic, which is to say thin, shallow, and oblivious to its own ignorance.

This, it seems to me, is no reason to insult her personally.  The critical comments about her in this thread are mildly appalling, particularly the one which spoke slightingly of her physical appearance.

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Clym Angus
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« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2015, 05:24:11 pm »

I would suggest that as and exponent of fashion theory, her image is inexorably intertwined with her theoretical stand point. Making it difficult to comment on one without inferring a view on the other.

But you are correct, we should of all taken the moral high ground. Turned the other cheek, mumbled, shook our heads disapprovingly and gone our separate ways. Punks eh?
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2015, 06:12:15 pm »

I should probably point out that Ms. Prasarn went about the blogospheres posting that same text and she may have posted oboth Fashion and Steampunk blogs. While I don't agree with insulting her person or visage, she did come spit in out eyes by not just writing about us, but dropping it in out own front porch, like the newspaper boy drops the daily rag at our footstep.

I understand many don't see it as insulting, but it was the deep ignorance of the way she judged us which prompted my response ("Numi Stahp!..."). Had she not been spreading it around the way she did, I might not have bothered to respond.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2015, 06:16:46 pm »

Walking away from this thread now...... Cheesy
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2015, 06:18:12 pm »

Oh, it was certainly insulting, and astonishingly ignorant.

I have no quarrel with pointing out the deficiencies in her analyses.

I object to personal attacks such as bringing in the exceedingly loaded word "hysteria" or discussing her competence in terms of her personal appearance.  Such things have no place in civilized discourse.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2015, 06:39:05 pm »

Walking away from this thread now...... Cheesy

Get back here Mr. Lord of misrule!  Angry  Cheesy
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2015, 08:33:46 pm »

Cheesy what more is there to say?

The perp is a no show. We've all stood in line and merrily informed said writer that they can go **** themselves. And as a result the disapproving glances and heavy tutting has begun......

It's just one post point scoring from here on in..... Which is fun, don't get me wrong. That said nothing will be fixed here. Time to find something fresh and wriggling.

Care to join me?
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2015, 11:01:52 am »

Cheesy what more is there to say?

The perp is a no show. We've all stood in line and merrily informed said writer that they can go **** themselves. And as a result the disapproving glances and heavy tutting has begun......

It's just one post point scoring from here on in..... Which is fun, don't get me wrong. That said nothing will be fixed here. Time to find something fresh and wriggling.

Care to join me?

Also from Mr. Angus:
Quote
Yet still I find her arguments interesting. If she finds this thread then I suggest she comes over draws up a chair with a nice cup of earl gray and has a chat. It would be a most stimulating debate. Not so much a challenge, more a polite offer.
The table is set, the doilies are placed, the pot is piping hot, the dress code is splendid. Don't be shy or stand on ceremony.

But what do we do with the table? After two years the Earl Gray is just a dusty crust on the pot, and the doilies are looking a bit dingy.  Do we have to send them along with the linen to the dry cleaners?  Cheesy
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 11:04:50 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Keith_Beef
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« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2015, 11:36:27 am »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

The good Mr. Von Slatt has published an article written by Numi Prasarn, a well known figure in the fashion industry, on what she claims is the false appropriation of Prada's Fall 2012 collection  (Il Palazzo. A Palace of Role Play) by the Steampunk movement.

I shall not pass any more judgement and let her own words present the complaint on this floor.  I have an opinion, particularly regarding her understanding, or lack thereof, about the Steampunk movement, and about her assertions, but I will comment later on the subject matter; feel free to chime in right after reading:

Article in Jake Von Slatt's "Steampunk Workshop"
"Steampunk Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada" by Numi Prasarn
http://steampunkworkshop.com/steampunk-stahp-or-prada-not-steampunk


Having looked at the photos in the link pasted here, and having skimmed the article, that Prada collection looks to my eyes more like "The Society for the Crowned Heads of Ruritania" than Steampunk. It's all formal wear with knowingly fake "symbols of wealth and power". I didn't see any references to science and industry. There wasn't any "stick a cog on it and call it Steampunk".

Which means that while cultural commentators usually trigger in me reactions of either frustration and impatience or total dismissal and lack of interest, I think that this particular Numi has a point.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2015, 01:00:08 am »

Oh, it was certainly insulting, and astonishingly ignorant.

I have no quarrel with pointing out the deficiencies in her analyses.

I object to personal attacks such as bringing in the exceedingly loaded word "hysteria" or discussing her competence in terms of her personal appearance.  Such things have no place in civilized discourse.
Yep. Point scoring. Who ever said this was a civilised discourse? This is a steampunk conversation. Not a civilised one. We're not doing this. You have a problem PM me.
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2015, 03:10:13 am »

Oh, it was certainly insulting, and astonishingly ignorant.

I have no quarrel with pointing out the deficiencies in her analyses.

I object to personal attacks such as bringing in the exceedingly loaded word "hysteria" or discussing her competence in terms of her personal appearance.  Such things have no place in civilized discourse.
Yep. Point scoring. Who ever said this was a civilised discourse? This is a steampunk conversation. Not a civilised one. We're not doing this. You have a problem PM me.

I'm sorry, I'm not quite following you.

I agreed with Ms. Prasarn's assessment of the probable genesis of the Prada collection but found her understanding of Steampunk culture shallow, agreeing with others' assessment that it could be considered insulting and ignorant.

I believe she may be committing the common error of assuming that her personal experience is a universal one, that to her the steampunk culture seemingly sprang up from nowhere and was very quickly everywhere and it did not occur to her that others may know more than she about it.

But even when disagreeing strongly or considering someone to be ignorant or annoying I prefer that on the whole gratuitous personal insults be left out of it.

I am not sure that I have any problem beyond that, but it is entirely possible I am misunderstanding your comment, in which case my apologies.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2015, 07:41:53 am »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

The good Mr. Von Slatt has published an article written by Numi Prasarn, a well known figure in the fashion industry, on what she claims is the false appropriation of Prada's Fall 2012 collection  (Il Palazzo. A Palace of Role Play) by the Steampunk movement.

I shall not pass any more judgement and let her own words present the complaint on this floor.  I have an opinion, particularly regarding her understanding, or lack thereof, about the Steampunk movement, and about her assertions, but I will comment later on the subject matter; feel free to chime in right after reading:

Article in Jake Von Slatt's "Steampunk Workshop"
"Steampunk Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada" by Numi Prasarn
http://steampunkworkshop.com/steampunk-stahp-or-prada-not-steampunk


Having looked at the photos in the link pasted here, and having skimmed the article, that Prada collection looks to my eyes more like "The Society for the Crowned Heads of Ruritania" than Steampunk. It's all formal wear with knowingly fake "symbols of wealth and power". I didn't see any references to science and industry. There wasn't any "stick a cog on it and call it Steampunk".

Which means that while cultural commentators usually trigger in me reactions of either frustration and impatience or total dismissal and lack of interest, I think that this particular Numi has a point.


Ladies and gentlemen, I'm confused.  Exactly what point are we talking about? Please forgive me for saying so, but I don’t think we are talking about the same thesis here - that goes to both, Mr. Beef and Crescat Scientia in relation to the reples posted in 2013, since both of you that mention you agree with Ms. Prasarn that Prada is not Steampunk. However, I don't believe Prada is Steampunk either. I suspect we are comparing apples to bananas.

Ms. Prasarn's point does not revolve around Prada being Steampunk or not.  Prasarn's title says it all: "Appropriation of Prada."  No one is arguing that Prada's collection is Steampunk.  Not me, nor any Steampunk, and not even Ms. Prasarn. She IS however, claiming that we believe and further have claimed that Prada's F/W 2012 collection is Steampunk inspired.

I thought her point and thesis was that WE, the Steampunk community appropriated Prada's collection by claiming that couturiers got the idea from the Steampunk movement. Which is not true. At least I don't remember making such a claim.

Do you know of any Steampunk treatise here at Brassgoggles or in any other Steampunk forum or blog, where Steampunks claimed that Richard Haines working for Prada Fall/Winter 2012, or equivalently some other designer such as Alexander McQueen had "jumped into the Steampunk bandwagon"and stole the Steampunk idea?

If so, then Ms. Prasarn may be right, and some Steampunk out there was jumping to conclusions and making false claims, accusing Haines/Prada of plagiarism in 2011-12,  for which we, the Steampunk community owe the fashion industry an apology.

So which is it? Do we write an apology letter? Because ladies and gentlemen, I understood we got accused of plagiarism ourselves!
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 08:31:22 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2015, 07:48:41 am »

... although I seem to remember there being a vague trend towards victwardian cuts and styles around the autumn and winter of 2013, I don't recall ever having seen anything like the designs Ms Prasarn was commenting on.


Perhaps this thread would have benefited from this video at the start of the thread:

For reference, this is what we are talking about it was in fact Fall Winter 2012, not 2013, whcih means the fashion show took place in 2011, the catwalk featured Gary Oldman, Adrien Brody, William Dafoe:

PRADA FALL/WINTER 2012 MENSWEAR SHOW


Milan / Prada Menswear Fall/Winter 2012/13


At a distance the fabrics appear to be woven in the Victorian style; however upon close inspection (very close inspection), some (not all) of the fabric's patterns, especially the prints in evening coats, were made from tropes and commercial symbols of the 20th. C, such as footballs and baseball bats... The idea was to mock the structures of power in society and represent the patriarchal order of conservative society as coming form the Victorian period.

In other words, mocking the Victorian period as generating a rather childish power structure, as if we were talking about children in Lord of the Flies... In the end the instruments of politics, power, and war are wielded by grown up children... that was the irony in the collection than Ms. Prasarn claimed we were too shallow to understand... [sarcasm] because everybody knows we Steampunks are very shallow ignorant people.... [/sarcasm]
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 08:22:39 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Prof. Cecily
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« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2015, 08:42:24 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
What an interesting thread to come across before dressing for a steampunk event this morning- a visit to a 19th century mines and mineral museum, housed in a splendid neo Gothic building in Madrid.

One thing of interest to me in Prasarn's article was this:
"Take for instance the Maker Movement, a tech-based culture that is based on DIY and empowerment. I often see people connecting Steampunk to Maker Culture and I have to argue that there is a distinct divide, and it is because of aesthetics. This is not a unique problem, I see this problem as part of a bigger story of globalization. The way we form identity today has been affected by the changing way we digest influence. We are inundated with information; we can’t keep up with viral imagery and meme culture. This places more importance on aesthetics for how cultures move because the signifiers are front and center. That is what we are moving and trading. Pinterest, tumblr, twitter, facebook – social media has allowed us to share at an unprecedented rate, but the cost of having everything in your face is it becomes harder to parse."

I'd like to know more about the Maker Movement and Steampunk. From comments here, the relation seems to have been strained. Indeed, in Madrid it's still a point of discussion: DIY or buying. Which option is more Steampunk?

I go for the "both" option, myself. Both are means to the end result, which in my view is splendidness.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily

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Clym Angus
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« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2015, 04:02:14 pm »

Oh, it was certainly insulting, and astonishingly ignorant.

Yup.

But even when disagreeing strongly or considering someone to be ignorant or annoying I prefer that on the whole gratuitous personal insults be left out of it.
I am not sure that I have any problem beyond that, but it is entirely possible I am misunderstanding your comment, in which case my apologies.

No, your absolutely correct, arguably your not going far enough. Your forgetting spiteful, vindictive, mean spirited, reprehensible, twisted and nasty.

I'm perfectly well aware of what I am. Darkly and destructively angry, well veneered (obviously) and high functioning it hardly ever shows these days. I've gotten very well practised at being normal.

Under it all however. Something is rotting away and it can't be fixed. Still I appreciate you trying, you'll do better in this world than I will. (certainly end up apologising less that's for sure)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

(Man! I need to stay away from flame bait posts like this, their really bad for my rep! But they taste so good, like vicious candy!!! Cheesy  )
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 04:18:07 pm by Clym Angus » Logged
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