Ding yun Zhang fashion show
Image from https://fashionweekdaily.com/london-fashion-week-collaborations-fall-2020/

The pride of Central St Martins class of 2020 was Ding Yun Zhang – a futuristic menswear designer from Beijing. “I want to collaborate with young designers to promote sustainable textile innovation” says the 25 year old graduate and this ideal has become the subject of his functional sportswear brand. 

The designer is drawn to more purposeful elements rather than luxury and states that “this is what inspires (his) design for the future”.

Image from https://fashionweekdaily.com/london-fashion-week-collaborations-fall-2020/

Debuting in Fall 2020 at LFW, it was the infamous YEEZY foam runners that shed a light on the ingenious mind of  Ding Yun Zhang and his creative abilities. It appears that his aesthetic is inspired by his time at YEEZY – shown through his use of muted colours and over-exaggerated  silhouettes.

With his collection, he has somehow been able to transform an under-represented and underrated style of fashion and elevated it to a level that has enabled consumers to view this in a completely different light.

Image from https://yoyokulala.com/fashion/brand-to-know-ding-yun-zhang/

From his look-books, it’s clear to see that the designer is also keen to empower and bring various ethnic minorities to the forefront of his fashion. Most featuring Jordan Dunn and Deto Black modelling his chicly-inflated creations. “I want to bring awareness – through my clothes – the the experiences of different demographics and the physical and economic pressures of their environment and to donate to ethnic groups around the world in harsh environmental and economic conditions.”. To have such a young, up-and-coming and influential designer is inspirational and a credit to Ding Yun as a designer.

Written by

Shenel Wickramaratne

Instagram @shenel_w

Cash in Hand and Fear in the Air

The year is 1907, and in the midst of a financial crisis – the so called “Bankers’ Panic” – a small group of American elites led by the prominent banker J.P. Morgan came together to “save the financial system”. How did they achieve this? By enforcing through law perhaps the largest power grab in American history – the creation of the Federal Reserve act. The creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 led to a predominantly centralised banking system for the US, which although has provided them relative economic stability, also led to the massive depreciation of purchasing power of the US dollar by 96% over the following 100 years. 

Fast forward a quarter century, and the same thing happens again. The stock markets crash, plummeting a devastating 80%. The US is plunged into The Great Depression. Once again, an elite few, seeing opportunity in disaster, “rode to the rescue” under the guise of saving America. President Roosevelt signed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 as an act of salvation in the interests of restoring public confidence in their banks. However, it also criminalised the possession of gold. Every US citizen was forced to turn in their gold savings, and for each ounce of gold given, they received $20.67 in paper money. And once the Government had taken all their gold? The value of gold mysteriously increased to $35 an ounce, stealing over two thirds of Americans savings. 

There is a pattern emerging here. With each financial crisis being followed by a change to currency, the working class is hurt, and the elite prevail. And this is not the most recent instance of this happening, either. 

In the early 1970’s, President Nixon made the announcement on television that the cost of the Vietnam War and current welfare programs were threatening to bankrupt America. In order to not let this happen, a plan was introduced to delink the US dollar from gold entirely. This decision, yet another major change to the currency, was later dubbed the “Nixon Shock”. 

Once again, the value of the US dollar plummeted at the promise of economic stability. Not only this, but the Nixon Shock also unleashed a power that the US is still suffering from today: It allowed the Federal Reserve to accelerate the printing of money indefinitely, further devaluating the world reserve currency through simple laws of supply and demand. 

First, the value of gold was stripped away. Then, the decoupling of the US dollar from gold created further economic turmoil. Now, under the noise and panic of the Covid-19 pandemic, plans are quietly being made to eradicate paper money altogether, perhaps the largest financial change ever seen. And although this article is focusing on the US, as the leading governing power on Earth these changes will be felt across the world. 

On March 23rd 2020, a draft of the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act was leaked to the public. Within this bill, details of a “digital dollar” and “digital dollar wallet” as a way of Americans to receive their stimulus checks could be found. By the end of the week, these details were redacted. 

What this means is that the US is toying with the idea of creating and issuing their own, centralised cryptocurrency that could cause physical currency to become obsolete. Already we are seeing a move from physical currency to contactless payments, only accelerated by many big companies making this mandatory in shops due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With this move comes great ethical and security concerns to our financial freedom. 

It is only a matter of time before governments adopt this system of centralised digital currency. And when they do, they run the risk (at our expense) of creating a completely financially transparent society. One where every payment, every transfer, to a friend, family member, or company is fully traceable and linked to your bank account. It is already happening. It is so easy to effortlessly tap your phone to make a payment rather than have to fish around your pockets for clunky change. But what if they do away with cash altogether? What if you can no longer hold any money without the government knowing? Should you be forced to pay a bank for your right to own money? 

Is slight convenience worth our financial liberty? 

OP-Ed Article

Author: Tyler Green


Email: tg392@live.mdx.ac.uk

Image: Unsplash.com

People to Know in MDX

In the Middlesex Student Union, there is a structure of representatives that ensure your voice is heard as well as that, they also organise different events and campaigns to better your life in uni. The three important representative institutions are the Student Office, the Union Council and the Student Voice Leaders. The Student office is comprised of a President and three Vice Presidents. 

The President 

 The current President is Gagandeep Kaur, she was democratically elected by the students through the Student Union Elections, these elections happen each spring (make sure to hand your vote and voice your opinion!). Her obligations are to ensure communication between the Union and MDX students. She is also your first point of contact for campus-wide issues. As well as that she also is a chair MDXSU’s Trustee Board. The Trustee Board’s role is to oversee that the Student Union is meeting it’s aims and that it is acting in accordance to a legal and constitutional framework. Back to the President, she represents the students in the University’s Board of Governors, the highest decision-making body in the university. As you can see the President plays an important and a vital role as the main figurehead of all the students, of course she can’t manage the job alone. That’s why she can rely on the Vice Presidents, as well that they have their own obligations of course. 

You can contact her on her email: GG531@live.mdx.ac.uk 

The Vice Presidents 

The Vice Presidents are elected the same way as the President and they very much serve the same purpose of representing the students in much the same capacity. They have a chair in the Trustee board, but they don’t serve in the University’s Board of Governors (the only student there is the President). They with the Student Voice Leaders to ensure proper representation of the needs and ideas of students in her department. 

VP of Professional and Social Sciences 

Vice President of Professional and Social Sciences: The current role is occupied by Tahmina Choudhery. She represents the students within the Business School, School of Law and School of Health & Education at Middlesex. 

You can contact her on her email: t.choudhery@mdx.ac.uk 

VP of Art & Creative Industries 

Vice President of Art & Creative Industries: The position is held by Nishtha Relan and she represents the students in Art, Design, Media and Performing Arts. 

You can contact her on her email: n.relan@mdx.ac.uk 

VP of Science and Technology 

Vice President of Science and Technology: The current VP is Khalid Abumaye and represents the students in the (you guessed it) Science and Technology departments. 

You can contact him on his email: k.abumaye@mdx.ac.uk 

Student Voice Leaders 

A crucial part of the Student Union are the Student Voice Leaders. Each year one or several SVLs are elected by each course and they serve as representatives of the that course. They work closely with the Program Leader and meet twice a year with the Student Voice Leaders and academic representatives of the whole department to vote and propose meaningful change in the department and in MDX. If you apply for a Student Voice Leader you will have to inform yourselves on the problems that other students face and that they would like to be solved. You can create the change they would want to see implemented. This position is a great opportunity for you to build your connections with your fellow students and it would also look good on your CV. Nominations will open Monday 7th September and will close at 5pm Thursday 15th October, so be hasty! 

You can learn more here: https://www.mdxsu.com/studentvoiceleaders 

Union Council 

Other important body you should know about is the Union Council. The Council is the key student committee, with responsibility for determining MDXSU policy and deciding action on student ideas for change. You can also submit ideas that you feel can benefit students in Middlesex by using the Ideas for Change process on the SU website. It can be something about campus, your course and even a political stance you want MDXSU to adopt. Students are also permitted in the meetings of the Union Council which happen three times a year, but only elected Union Council members can vote. This leads us to the question who is in this council exactly. 

There are total of 40 people in the Council: 29 student representatives (Student Liberation Group leaders, students from our comities group and Society leaders), 18 academic representatives, the SU President and the three Vice Presidents. 

You can see the current events and active policies on the MDX SU website: https://www.mdxsu.com/union-council 

Author: Nikola Kalchev
Contact: nk839@live.mdx.ac.uk