Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Promotional Statement

A capsule collection of darkly sophisticated, yet feminine garments takes inspiration form the timeless appeal of the little black dress, juxtaposed against heavy armour like beading, and bold digital print.

This luxury collection is roused by the female form and the way it moves, exploring body conscious, dynamic and voluminous silhouettes through line and repetition. Digital print takes the form of bold floral motifs, inspired by contemporary fashion designer Erdem’s signature floral prints.

Heavy beading forms armour for the body, offering the illusion of strength, and exploring the interconnection between women and power. Beading takes inspiration from the decadence and luxury of 1920s vintage pieces, combined with the ornate, tactile embellishment of the Maharaja. Indulgent fabrics include butter soft leather, contrasted against lustrous silks and transparent organza.

Over the last two weeks I have successfully completed two outfits, and i am keeping to my time plan which has helped me organize and prioritize the work i need to complete.

Hip Dress - I have not had much experience working in leather so initially this dress was a challenge. Despite having to get to grips with the nature of leather fabric i feel that the dress strongly resembles my design, and the leather fabric gives the dress a high quality feel.

I am pleased that i adapted my toile through removing the darts, preferring the clean lines of the horizontal seams. I also feel that the way the hip points fold in on themselves is a visually interesting design feature.

The organza fabric i used to create the batwing wing top has created a beautiful amount of volume, and the nature of the fabric means the top retains its shape. The organza against the leather is a successful contrast.

Organza Layer Dress - I feel that this dress has the most catwalk presence due to the volume and mass of fabric. The silhouette of this dress has an ethereal quality which compliments the print. I also feel that the scale of the print and placement works well as it is more complex than a repeat print.

I sent my digital print designs to The Silk Bureau to be printed on silk satin, organza and silk jersey interlock. I selected these fabrics for their luxurious quality, and throughout the collection I want to juxtapose the different qualities of fabrics i am using; for example the transparent organza against the leather.

I am pleased with my print designs as i feel that they reflect the feminine mood i aim to create. The scale and colour reflect my research into contemporary designer Erdem.

Through having the confidence to combine different elements and colours within one print i feel i have successfully challenged myself, and as a result i feel that i have developed my own personal style.
Further Development

Hip Dress

I have further developed my collection/ design ideas throughout the toiling stages of this project. When re-analyzing the toiles I have already produced, I decided that the hip dress was too boxy, and not as flattering as I had intended.

To solve this problem I curved the pattern of the skirt so that is fitted tightly to the hips, as previously it flared away from the hips creating a boxy silhouette. I also explored various ways of drafting the pointed hip. I felt that it extended too far out from the body, and pointed upwards. After further exploration I noticed that the hip looked better when it pointed downwards at a slight angle from the body. I produced several toiles leading on from my experimentation with pattern drafting, and still feel that the way the hip detail folds in on itself is the most visually interesting.

As the dress will be made from leather, I decided to extend the darts into vertical seams; this creates a flattering, tailored silhouette. I also eliminated the waist seam at the front, as I felt that it detracted from the drama of the hip feature.

Initially this design had a waist seam so that the batwing top (to be worn with the dress) could also be sewn into the seam. Whilst adapting and experimenting with this pattern I decided that the batwing would look better as a detachable jacket that could be worn with or without the dress.

Looking at the final toile I produced from the newly adapted pattern I feel that the dress would look more stylish if I made it longer (above the knee), which would mean I would need to insert a small slit up the back of the dress to allow for movement. The neckline also needs to be lowered slightly.

Here I have made the dress longer, creating a more flattering, elegant silhouette. The dress now has a back slit to allow for movement. I also eliminated the waist seam at the back, preferring the look of the vertical seam all the way down the back of the dress as this is more flattering, and mirrors the design features in the front of the dress.


With the first draft of the batwing top I inserted darts at the back and front of the dress as I felt that the fitted silhouette would be more flattering against the angular hip detail of the dress. However, I did not like the appearance of the darts, and feel that they would disrupt the print that will be on the fabric I am using to construct the batwing.

In the second toile I decided to close the darts so that the batwing is fitted at the waist, but explores volume through the sleeve. I also made the sleeves longer so that they can be pushed up to intensify the volume. However, I feel that the volume that I would be able to achieve through opening the darts, rather than closing them, would compliment the nature of the organza fabric, and create a dramatic silhouette. To further intensify the volume I also further adapted the sleeve by angling the sleeve from the point of the cuff to the point of the waist.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Moving on from my initial line up, I have started to experiment with pattern cutting and modelling on the stand so that I can toile my final collection. Toiling my final collection will enable me to further develop and refine my ideas.

Personally I find that my print design is stronger than my pattern cutting, so I have allowed myself more time to work on construction than in previous projects.

I have found that from the first initial pattern draft/ toile I have been able to experiment and explore my designs in 3D, pushing them on from the initial 2D design. Although many of the patterns have not been perfect first time, I have gained confidence to experiment with the pattern blocks, manipulating them further to suit my designs.

Above is the toile for one of my dresses. I wanted the design to have masses of volume to make a satement, so i explored the technique of cutting and slashing the pattern. The fabric now falls in beautiful folds and has lots of movemnt.

Through beginning to toile my collection I have gained confidence in pattern cutting, and have become more independent in experimenting, and pushing my ideas forward. I have learnt the importance of toiling to further refine ideas.
Recently I have been developing design ideas for my final collection. My concept is to design a capsule collection of darkly sophisticated, yet feminine garments taking inspiration form the timeless appeal of the little black dress, juxtaposed against heavy armour like beading, and bold digital print. I have looked at the feminine cocktail dresses designed by Erdem, and want to combine this element of romanticism with the harder silhouettes seen through labels such as Balmain- for example the emphasis on the shoulder.

The collection is roused by the female form and the way it moves, exploring body conscious, dynamic and voluminous silhouettes through line and repetition.

It is more challenging to design a collection of six garments than I initially thought, as I can not bring too many different silhouettes or design features into my collection without repeating them throughout.

Here is my initial line up. I feel that some of the dresses do not relate to each other or work as a collection. I have two elements running through the designs – volume and body con – and I need to relate these elements within the same garment for it to look like a collection.

I feel that there was not enough continuity within my first line up, and I needed to further refine my ideas, as it was only the digital print, fabric and colour scheme that related within the collection. To overcome this problem I found that it was easier to lay my designs out in front of me and then design further from those six, picking out key features. This technique helped me to further develop my ideas.

Indulgent fabrics include butter soft leather, contrasted against lustrous silks and transparent organza, my aim to juxtapose the different textures/ weights of fabric throughout the collection.

After developing and further refining the line up I started to explore print placement and scale using Photoshop. Through doing this I was able to get a clear indication of what prints would work well with particular shapes. This week I feel that I have been able to push my designs and prints forward in relation to each other, and I can now see my ideas coming together. It is now my intention to start toiling the garments to further progress within the project.

the design pictured is one i am particularly pleased with as i feel i have challenged myself with design shape and construction. It also combines the elemnt of body con and volume.