Primary research began on site at Scotland’s largest mountain resort, Glenshee. Video interviews were conducted with snow goers asking why they thought it was important to wear colour on the slopes, if at all. The most common responses were regarding identification; spotting injured parties and being able to recognize friends from a distance on the piste. There was particular mention to a common unspoken law of the slopes, never ski alone.Resorts encourage skiers to stay in groups or teams no matter what your skill level: this is to avoid accidents and lost people on the mountain.
During the interviews, it was asked how to identify individuals on the slopes. There was mixed response between generations of skier to snowboarder, older ski veterans refer to recognizing a friends technique or team colours whereas younger skiers and snowboarders used terms such as signature colour combos or distinct pattern; wearing bold, bright and contrasting colour is used as a way of tracking or keeping up with members of a squad.
There has always been a divide between skiers and snowboarders, is there a difference in apparel design? The feedback indicated there is a generation gap as opposed to sport. Older skiers prefer tough, bold and plain coloured shells with little to no pattern whereas young skiers and snowboarders employ flamboyant, edgy colour and pattern. A particular snowboarder referred to himself as a peacock swaggering down the reds and claimed wearing brighter colours improved his technique because he is more likely to be been in his sick this season gear.
Fashion is a fundamental aspect of our day to day lives to identify style and presence; this is more predominant for on the slopes. Snowboarding is a relatively new sport in comparison to skiing, it was born from urban surf/skate culture which shaped and influenced the apparel. Unlike ski shells, boarding gear is less ergonomic; it is oversized and acts as a resistive sail. Originally snowboarding was an edgy sport which annoyed the older skiing community and adopted loud and vivid apparel; used as a form of visual protest this advertised their presence and skills. As snowboarding grew in popularity it was known as the cool sport, skiing fashion was forced to evolve to accommodate young skiers who did not want to wear boarding shells, this also corresponded with the birth of GNAR. Confidence is an outspoken component in the younger skiing/boarding community particularly with the ethos of GNAR, which encourages proclaiming to strangers: ‘I’m the best skier on the mountain’.It is evident when a person feels good; they perform better, therefore aiding in confidence to carve away from unwanted crashes.