Monday, 2 December 2013

Another school week

Again last week we were finishing off projects. I did another sample, this time doing a reverse applique sample which I really like. Even the photograph of it looks interesting with all the dark and light areas. With this sample I took a picture of it and put it on the computer. Before printing it I edited a bit and changed the contrast so I ended up with 3 slightly different pictures of the sample. With this I created 3 design ideas using the shapes I would see in the sample. I created 2 dresses and a coat. I think this could looks really nice as a pint on a garment. Going back to my native american project I was working on my headdress and totem pole page. For the totem pole page i did a painting on tracing paper, just to try another material. From this I did an applique sample. I cut out pieces of fabric which I had backed them with bond-a-web. I then placed them all in position and ironed it together. Some sections where fiddly to place but overall I think it worked really well. All over a garment I think this applique sample would be really fun. I also created a kaleidoscope-like pattern using a picture of the totem poles which I think works really well. I like the geometric look aswell as the earthy colours. Also Last week I did a page on Native American Headdress'. First I did a pen and water drawing which turned out really well. I then created a sample using feathers, feathered cut fabric and strips of fabric. I layered it all together and sewed it down. I like how it doesn't just look like the headdress but you can see how it was inspired by it. From the whole page I also did a design idea. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Lasts Weeks continued pages

This blog post is for last weeks sketchbook pages that I completed. I was still in two projects, the 'fashion meets art' project as well as my research/native american project. As you can see I've been doing drawings, samples and designs. I've had fun making samples with metallic materials including angelina fibers (shiny fiber strands that fuse together when you iron them). Because my tutor wasn't in lessons last week we got another tutor to help us out. She showed us how to make a skirt pattern with darts from measurements. I know a bit about pattern cutting but drafting a proper block with darts is something I wanted to learn. With this we made a small scale skirt using the pattern. What I made didn't quite turn out how I wanted but I was pleased with it. Will show you what I got up to this week very soon.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Latest sketchbook pages

Last week I was adding pages to my 2 projects, making samples and doing drawings. I love how my dream catcher research page has come together. The dream catcher thread sample worked really well. Going back to my art meets fashion project I came up with a few sample looking at geometric shape and metallic colours.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Art Meets Fashion Project

Project Brief: British Vogue has commissioned you as an up coming fashion/textile designer/practitioner to collaborate with a contemporary fine artist to create a fashion outcome. 
This week were given another project, using a contemporary (artist who is still alive) artist/artwork to influence a fashion outcome which could mean a drawing,sample or toile. We went to the tate modern to find some inspiration from some contemporary artists. The museum was filled with inspiring pieces but finding a piece but someone who was still alive was tricky. However when I did find a piece I did find myself very inspired. The pieces that I did find where very different from each other and appealed to me in different ways.  Some pieces where quite simple whilst others were very decorative. I only had a couple of hours to find pieces aswell as draw some of them. I like that I got an arrange of artwork, from pieces made from paper to lead.  The painted canvas by Gerhard Richter was really interesting, it wasn't the shape but his use of colour in his painting. To recreate this painting I used oil pastels and coloring pastels, if I have time I will try and recreate his paintings using acrylic paint. Another piece that I drew was by Susumu Koshimzu which was shaped piece of wood. It was interesting that looking down at it the shading and shapes changed slightly. I drew this using charcoal, I think it turned out really well. I think it would be interesting to try and get that pyramid shape using different materials. Zarina Hashmi showed me that you can have one piece directly on another. She drew ontop of a sheet with Arabic on it which was beautiful in itself. She didn't draw anything intricate but it just nicely added anther plane to the piece. My faveourite piece however was the mirror piece created by monir shahroudy farmanfarmaian. She had created a mosaic using different shape mosaic pieces. There was something about it that I just loved. This has already inspired my to not only look at mirror but also geometric patterns. The visit to the tate museum was really inspiring and I cant wait to get me ideas/samples down. 

comment below if you wish to know the artist of one of the pieces

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Independent Primary/Secondary Research Project

The brief for our next project was so find a place where you feel inspired and collect research to develop into ideas for our sketchbooks. I'd always been inspired by the Native Americans, the way they'd use natural resources to make clothes, jewellery and their equipment to hunt or cook. I looked for exhibits/collections in the London and saw the British History Museum had a collection on Native American which was great. I went around taking pictures and doing a few sketches. One thing I noticed at the museum was that there was alot of decoration in the things they made. It was interesting to read how they would make beads from shells, stones, wood and many other resources that they could find. Beading/Embroidery was an art form, a way to express their american culture. I like their colours, because they used what they could find they were limited but the brown/red tones were really inspiring. Their use of decoration has really inspired my to try their techniques of beading/embroidery/weaving/pottery etc. I found the whole room inspiring but what I loved most and cant wait to develop is their use of pattern in rugs and pottery. They use only geometric shapes quite similar to aztec and even islamic patterns. There was lots to see from pots to clothes and jewellery. This has really got me in the mode to do more research into this beautiful culture. It will be interesting to see not how they did things but what the meaning was to what they did. It makes me wonder if the same methods of doing things are the same nowadays or if they change it because they have more resources to use.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Shoe Project

Alexanda Mcqeen  - Jantaminiau    -     Blumarine     -    Van Herpen    -        Prada            -     Philip Treacy  -         Guo Pei
This Week in school we had an exciting project to decorate an old shoe.We looked at some shoes by famous designers which were very inspiring. I love the shoes designed by Alexander Mcqueen, it's decorated with texture and has a fantasy- like feel to it. As well as the actual shoe designers manipulate the heel of the shoe to create an interesting shape. To get more inspired I took to the internet looking for some decorative/crazy designs. There were so many shoe designs which were extraordinary, most which were used for art rather than practicality. After walking up Camden high street I found a decent pair for just £5. I really wanted to fill my shoe with something decorative and different. I came up with a garden inspired shoe. I found a nice picture of a garden with lots of colour and some elements that I wanted to develop into my shoe. I liked the look of the paving stone so I added that to my design, keeping it at the base of the shoe to give it that garden look. The vines covered in leaves and flowers looked really pretty, to bring it to my shoe I thought I'd have it wrapped around the shoe coming out at some places. To finish my design I added some flowers and bugs. I thought I'd be interesting to have a few textures/materials to experiment with. For the paving stone section I used paint which was quite fun. We didn't have black so instead I used purple paint to add a bit of a tint and I think that worked better. I used wire and green craft foam to create the entwining vines around the shoe. The parts where is comes away from the heel really gives it that look. At home using polymer clay I made a few bugs, I found this really fun I love how they turned out. To cover the shoe I cut out bits of paper sting which I found in a drawer. It really gives the look of grass, the texture also feels almost like grass. I used a glue gun to stick it down which was good because it dried fast. It also meant I had to work fast which was fiddly because I would have to hold a couple of pieces of the strands. Again I used a glue gun to secure my bugs In place. Unfortunately I didn't finish covering the shoes, however what I did so far im please with. To add more colour I would add some paper flowers around the shoe. Overall I really enjoyed this project, It was more creative and adventurous than previous projects. My next steps would be to design a garment that would go with this. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Developing, Pockets and a Seam

I tried to come up with a catchier title but that was basically what we did this week rather than doing a week project. Last week we deconstructed/reconstructed a garment, at the beginning of this week we developed that garment idea. First we were told to draw what we had created from all angles. I used pencil and biro pen to draw my garment which I thinks looks really nice and defines the elements of my dress. The next step was to develop a small collection from our original garment we made. The elements of the dress that I kept was the frills, the piping (lines) and the black strip on the hem. I played around with the frilly strap, making it lager, having it go around one arm and changing the actual shape. I liked the defining feature of the lines so I added more of this detail to some of the pieces I designed. To develop my collection more I designed a playsuit which is really fun and cute. My favorite design is the one in the middle, because it uses two garments with the top layer being sheer. Another way of presenting my dress in my sketchbook was by collage. I had never done a collage for a garment before so I found this technique quite fun. I quite like how free and creative this looks, I may use it again in my sketchbooks.

After we had done that we looked at pockets which was interesting because that's something I hadn't been taught to do before. The first (top left) was pretty simple, it was a matter of cutting out a shape and stitching it down. The 2nd (bottom left) pocket had a flap which was trickier because I had to line the flap to finish it off. Rather that using the instructions I just looked at it and went along with what I thought I had to do and it worked very well. The last pocket I did was by far the trickiest. This one I had to plan on paper before I cut it out of calico. This one had a few folds and creases, making it fiddly to sew at times. For my first attempt I think I have done a very good job. The middle of the pocket opens up a bit so it would be interesting to see the effect of another fabric under it. We also learnt how to do a french seam which is a seam encased it another seam. This is used when using chiffon or any cheer fabric so the fabric doesn't fray and looks neater because you can see through it. This took a bit of time but it was easy to do. To finish off my sample I added some bias binding along the edge and this is to stop fraying and also give it a professional finish which I think looks nice. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Deconstruction, Reconstruction

                                       Rachel Gilbert                                 Maison Martin A/W 2013         

                                         Undercover A/W 2013                              Ashish Gupta S/S 2013

                                                       Marchesa S/S 2011                                      1860's ballgowns


This week on my fashion foundation course we were given the task to deconstruct and reconstruct a garment. There are a few fashion designers who do this when making a garment. Ashish Gupta created this piece but fusing together a shirt, sheer top, jeans and a sequin fabric. Although I wouldn't wear it its an interesting design. Undercover also did a Reconstruction garment for their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection when they took womens undergarments to create a dress. I find it inspiring how designers can take one garment and reconstruct it to make a completely different garment. The line design for my dress was inspired by a dress designed by Rachel Gilbert, the lines cleverly create a curvy silhouette. We were only allowed to use what old garments we had brought it. I bought in a plain dress and a skirt from the charity shop. At first I thought having only these two garments would be restrictive but once I got adding pieces together it came together. I was going to use a simple black band for the top strap but then I thought I could actually add the frilly section of the skirt. On someone the strap will lay off of the shoulders. It reminded me of the sleeves from the ball gowns from 1860's. I think the sleeve is quite fun, girly and a bit flirty. I then saw the drawstrings from the skirt and thought it would be nice along the top seams of the dress, this would emphasise the waistline as the eye draws towards it. To add more detailing I thought it would be nice to add a strap of black to the hem of the dress. Because I cut off the straps off the original dress it would stay up so I had to add straps. In doing so I had to add darts to the back and bring it down a bit. I thought it would be pretty to add a bow to the back so I made two straps and sewed it to the dress. I am so pleased with how this turned out. It was easier once I got a few ideas down. All the aspects of the dress create a mature and fun dress. It was fun deconstructing and reconstructing to make a brand new garment. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fashion Fabrication Inspiration

This piece by Antonio Berardi has inspired me because he has layered chiffon on chiffon which gives the garment a nice look. Its nice how some sections of the garment are more transparent and some areas are less. I never would have thought of layering chiffon together. This has inspired me to do a reverse applique sample using only chiffon's.

Another piece that I find inspiring is this piece by Christopher Kane. He has used Cutout in a really sophisticated way. The shapes are all sharp. Its so interesting the way he's incorporated cut out work, its almost like a print. Its clever how he was inspired by the life cycle of a flower.


This Garment is absolutely beautiful, again we are seeing a chiffon garment on the catwalk. Last week in class we looked at a fabric technique called smocking and this is what Huishan Zhang had done to create this beautiful dress. He has used this technique on chiffon which looks so beautiful as the where the chiffon has gathered is darker. To add even more texture to the dress has has added diamond droplet beads to catch the light.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Fabric Samples

This week is class we looked at fabric techniques, some which I had never done before and really wanted to try out. The first sample Is called rag rugging, this is an old technique used in the olden times to make rugs, hence the name. It is a simple but time consuming sample to do with a beautiful finish. You take a piece of hessian and and poke a strand of fabric through using a tool, you then poke the other end of the fabric strand close together. You then build it up until you are left with a covered surface. We used old strips on silk scarfs from the charity shop as well as an embroidery hoop to hold and stretch out the fabric. The outer circle was the same technique but the ends of the fabric would go on the opposite side of the hessian. I love the feel and look of this technique, the colours add to that pretty feel. Using longer strand of fabric will get you a different look, almost like tassels.  The next sample is smocking where you sew down please it certain places to create a texture. With this sample I just ironed in small pleats then added a stitch holding two pleats together. It's hard to explain but when you finished adding the stitches and pulled the fabric you were left with this diamond texture which I thought was very interesting. It's very simple but takes a bit of time. I had a friend who did this technique on a section of a dress, it looked stunning and now I know how to do it. The third sample I did was reverse appliqué and this is where you sew down several piece of fabric and then cut away to reveal the fabrics underneath. This is a technique that I knew already so it wasn't hard to do. Using the cut off bits I stitched them on top to add more dimension. Then we come to the last sample which was knitting. To some people this is a relaxing thing to do sitting in front of the telly, for me not so much. I did know what to do but it just wouldn't work for me and I was getting extra links and bits were coming off and I just got annoyed. I did create the smallest knitting sample that I probably would very achieve, I'm sure I would like it if I could actually get it going and looking less like a mess. It was interesting learning new fabric samples, someone of them would look lovely on a garment. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Miniature Project

Miniature project moodboard
Miniature Project Inspiration Moodboard 

For our second week we were given the miniature project where we had to design a collection in miniature. We looked at some designers who made miniature garments like Vionnet and Louise Gray who is a designer who teamed up with barbie. The first tricky bit for me was to just come up with a theme because I'm used to spending a good couple of weeks researching and getting inspiration. I thought of doing a seasons/fairies collection looking at spring,autumn and winter as well as the dainty, pretty look to bring in that fairy feel. The scale of my dresses were quite small, with my dresses being to bigger then 10cm. I knew what a paper pattern should look like so making that wasn't so hard.My first dress was based on spring, with the beading representing blossoms. The satin and organza fabrics I used were quite light and floaty. The A-line shape and bell sleeves are quite mystical looking which I really like. The autumn dress Is a one shoulder A-Line dress scrunched up halfway on the waistline. To create that autumn feel I manipulated the fabric to look like the autumn leaves. On a mannequin the shape would look clearer. My last dress was inspired by snow/water drops on spider webs. I created this pretty dainty dress using satin, organza and beads. The organza reflects the sparkly snow fall which looks very pretty and fairy like. I would have used blue beads but didn't have any so I used what I had, even still I think it works quite well. Overall I didn't particularly like working on a small scale, more so when I had to stitch everything together because it was very fiddly and I couldn't get strong stitches like on a sewing machine. If I were to do this on a larger scale I would find some techniques time consuming. It was an interesting project to do but I don't think I would choose to do it again. I don't think my dresses came out too bad considering the time frame of 3 days and difficulty in sewing on a small scale.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Introduction Project


As part of my fashion foundation course i'm going to be writing a blog about what I do on the course and any other activities I do. I started last week and it was very full on, even on the first day. My teacher asked us to design and create a garment that illustrates us as a designer. When she first said that I was worried because in my last school the process of designing and making a garment took around two months. However because it was a fairly simple dress and I went straight onto making I got there in the end. I wanted to make something quite pretty, girly but mature. I made this dress for a young adult, so someone mature. The shape of the dress is quite playful with the neckline being a sweetheart with a v shape to make it a bit flirty. Because I had made garments before making the top was fairly simple. I used a paper pattern and then altered it to the shape I wanted. I was excited to put together the skirt of the dress because I hadn't done this technique before and how I imagined it looked interesting. As a designer It shows I like to try out new techniques when making a garment. On the calico fabric I drew where the other materials were going to go making sure I added some seam allowance for when I sew everything together. Sewing all the strips together was a bit fiddly. I wanted the panels to be see through so I used a sparkly lilac organza and a black chiffon to add contrast to the light colours. Because the excess fabric would show through the sheer fabrics I had to sew them down to make it look that bit more professional. The next thing to do was to sew the top to the skirt I did this by gathering the fabric at the top when I sewed, marking where the skirt should be halfway on the top. Initially I was going to put buttons but gathering the skirt to the top gave me less fabric to work with so instead I added a corset tie up feature. That was really the only thing I didn't like with the whole of the dress. Overall I love what I have created, the sheer fabrics in between the calico fabric works so well. If I had more time I would add some embroidery or some beading to add another texture. Hopefully this dress gets across what sort of a designer I am. I'm excited about what else I'm going to be doing on this fashion foundation course.