Home » The Demise of Quality in Craftsmanship

The Demise of Quality in Craftsmanship

It’s interesting to note, in light of Ryan Trecartin’s films and exhibitions such as the New Museum’s Unmonumental in 2008, that luxury goods makers have come together to lament the loss of quality in craftsmanship seen in recent years.


Celine’s resort collection, 2010. Image: lefistnoir.com

“All young people want to be designers and very few, makers. We want to try to change that by promoting craftsmanship in the luxury sector,” says Guy Salter, the spokesman for the alliance of companies.

All young people want to be designers, not makers.  How come?  Maybe because it’s the designer, not the maker who has been glamorized (hello, Tom Ford.) Maybe that’s why more young people want to be rockstars, or artstars, too.


Fashion designer Tom Ford stars in his own ad campaign. Designer? Or rockstar?
Image: beaut.ie.com

Some, like the fashion house Celine (now headed by the excellent Phoebe Philo) have moved back production of its prêt à porter from China to France, as they prefer to emphasize quality. Read the full article from the FT, HERE.

Surely Marshall McLuhan would have foreseen the effects of generations turning inwards, isolating themselves to the cult of celebrity and vainglorious entertainment.

11 Responses to “The Demise of Quality in Craftsmanship”

  1. “It’s interesting to note, in light of Ryan Trecartin’s films and exhibitions such as the New Museum’s Unmonumental in 2008, that luxury goods makers have come together to lament the loss of quality in craftsmanship seen in recent years.”

    No one is looking at the lamentation of “quality ” in luxury goods in light of Ryan Trecartin’s films or Un-Monumental. That is a strawman. But you could go ahead and blame Canada – ie. blame Mcluhan. Most people just refer to the Duchampian Paradigm.

    Vainglorious is a really, really, really BIG word, eh?

  2. Alex Morrison says:

    @ J@simpleposie

    Don’t feed the troll!

    That last post was the worst trolling I’ve seen on this blog so far. This new one is more of the same. I don’t know why I continue to come here. Could be something about the fascination of a train wreck.
    We must be really starved for art blogs in Canada.

  3. Andrea says:

    @ Alex Morrison & @J@simpleposie,

    Neither of you need to continue to come here, if you don’t want to.

  4. It is amazing to me that you have not amended your Trecartin post with a link to Wikipedia. This simple act would go miles toward critical credibility.

  5. Wes Cameron says:

    Amen, Alex. What’s become of blogsmanship? All the young bloggers want to fish for comments like, “I know! What is up with that? You are sooo right.”
    I imagine the pressure to constantly post on Canadian art would drive me to schoolgirl-tabloid format. Love the idea, loathe the realization.

  6. Julie says:

    Craftsmanship requires somewhat more than just having x factor. In this era of talent shows and instant stardom, craftsmanship, being something that is the fruit of hard labor, developed over several years and decades, is understandably not something that is prized. Why spend your entire life trying to “make” something well, when you can much faster learn to develop catchy ideas, and be on a seemingly fast track to fame and fortune?

  7. mondo says:

    I would just like to point out that this blog is something that Ms Carson is offering to you as a *free* alternative to the dearth of arts coverage currently available. What is with this entitlement bullshit? Nobody wants to pay for arts writing, but you expect painstaking research on a blog? Give me a break!

  8. Bill says:

    I totally agree with ‘mondo’. I find it crazy that people are looking for ‘critical credibility’ in the blogosphere; anything on a blog should be taken with a grain of salt. And, I think it’s very sad that people automatically default to such (not-so-passive) aggressive griping , when we should all just give each other the benefit of the doubt. I am sure Ms. Carson is doing the best she can with the limited time and resources she has!

  9. Bill says:

    Oh, and in regards to the actual TOPIC of this post, perhaps the luxury goods makers contributed somewhat to the current state in which they find themselves. Many of them, especially the high-fashion houses, also have ‘affordable’ clothing lines, or perhaps they have stretched their brands too thin, as in your example of Tom Ford hawking cologne on top a number of other products. It seems to me that the loss of ‘exclusivity’ and ‘craftsmanship’ go hand-in-hand. Plus, you also have the issue of cheap knock-offs. (Did you read the article about the reinvention of the Burberry brand in the New Yorker last year? It was about this very thing.)

  10. Le Fist says:

    I don’t know much about Canadian Art and I haven’t been round these parts before to have an opinion on the content of this blog. However, could we stop the lampooning? It’s just not necessary. Could The So Well Informed start their own blogs please? It’s not as easy as it seems.

    Interesting subject. I’ve been a designer for the past 10 years at both on an international level and founding a fledgling design label. I actually found factories in France that produced the likes of Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga to take on my relatively miniscule production run. The French government also pays for manufacturers to visit London once a year and meet with designers. That’s how I found those factories.

    The issue of “quality” is vague. China doesn’t necessarily mean bad and vice versa France or Italy good. There’s a slight sense of brand building I get with this return to France by the likes of Celine. Having said that its logistically pointless to go to the Far East if your production run isn’t high so brands like Celine are probably better off producing closer to home.

    Julie Gilhart’s [Barney’s New York] interview on style.com is insightful. Check it out. She discusses the speed of fashion.

    I agree that fashion is the new Pop to Generation Google. That’s the power of the media for you. The technical aspect of fashion can’t be glamourised. Nor can the sleepless nights, cash flow meltdowns or relentless deadlines. Its a bit unfair to generalise because there really is no time to nurture talent anymore. Some will get chewed up and spat out others will make it. Nothing new in that at the end of the day.

    PS What’s in the water over there in Canada. You guys are popping up all over the place in music and fashion: Erdem, Feist, Broken Social Scene et al?
    LFN

  11. mondo says:

    Right on Bill!

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