PROJECT WALK THROUGH: Last project of term!

So I haven't posted one of these in a while...almost a year actually! And ideally this post should have probably been written before the December deadline...but hey ho! Now I do love a good project walk-through every now and then, and I always think that something like this would have been helpful for me in my first year at uni (-or even at college) as nothing gives you an idea of what standard your work needs to be at, than getting a closer look at your peers'. And I don't know if this applies to any of you design students out there but the college-to-uni transition for me was incredibly challenging as I had no idea what was expected of me; it's one thing reading a brief but getting a glance of someone else's thought process and having the knowledge of what is possible in terms of skills and the time frame given is incredibly helpful.

So with all that considered, I thought I would share the last piece of work (part of my Visual Studies module) that I had completed for the end of last term (Dec 2013)...

The title for this project is 'Turn up the Volume...Tune in the Details', and the idea was that we'd be shown an image/a selection of images (below) alongside a piece of music that would inspire us to create something individual on a dress stand - with the time limitation of 10 minutes. In preparation of this workshop, we needed to bring with us 3 pieces of fabric ( a meter of a lightweight fabric (silk), a meter of a medium weight fabric (cotton), a meter of a heavy weight fabric (wool)) and the usual sewing equipments (hand-sewing needles, scissors, unpickers, threads, pins, tape measure).

Having heard the about what we were required to do from the very first workshop, I immediately knew that I hated this project - simply because it was outside of my comfort zone. I loved working on a 2D surface and although Fashion generally consists of making garments for the 3 dimensional body, I knew illustration was my strong point - again an emphasis on the 2 dimensional aspect of Fashion I mentioned. I huffed and puffed and whined for a good 10 minutes or so before I realised that the procrastination part was over and had to just get on with it. It was strange and uncomfortable at first; it simply felt foreign.

Knowing, however, that this was the primary research we needed to start off the project, I knew I needed to love it for me to be able to get through it. One of the reasons I started to - slightly- enjoy it was because my heavy weight fabric was a beautifully woven check that when moulded on to the stand created a beautiful confusion of lines. Another surprisingly good thing (surprising, because I like/need to take my sweet time on any work I do for it to be adequate) was the energy in the room. It was exhausting -that's for sure, but the ideas that were being generated; the designs that were produced were incredible - simply because it was a new way for all of us to work and really enabled us to think outside the box (- the 2 dimensional box, that is).

We had 10 selections of images and pieces of music, to which we would have to create 10 items on the stand - whether it was detailing, techniques or silhouettes - was up to us to decide. Above are some of the techniques/silhouettes that I thought worked quite well so I thought I should share it with you...

Developing Ideas
After having chosen some of our favourite techniques/silhouettes that we had produced on the mannequins, we needed to develop those ones further. We could change the scale, alter the textures, manipulate the patterns - pretty much anything we wanted to do! Some of the techniques (as shown below) I wanted to look into further were: 
1) Gathering
2) Layering
3) Creating print and texture with stripes
4) Creating new patterns using existing fabrics
5) Creating Volume 

Fabric Swatches
These were the selection of fabric I had chosen to base the collection on, I thought they were quite appropriate as they were on the heavier side ( in terms of weight) considering the season we were designing for was Autumn/Winter 2014/15 (from left to right):

1) A soft brown Suede
2) A gorgeous stripped fabric; the light cream mesh with a heavy black velvet - So very reminiscent of Jean Paul Gaultier, I thought. So to get this free in a clear-out at university was only a win/win!
3) The beautiful woven check that I mentioned before (While working with this, all I could think about was how good a cropped coat would look in this material)
4) A lightweight checked fabric (cotton, I believe)

Final Boards
So I was actually quite happy with these, and if you go back a couple of posts to where I had last posted a project with design boards, you'd understand why. I think one of the advantages of me doing this blog, is the fact that I can track my work - it's almost a visual portfolio. Anyway I do think that I have improved a lot since of this year (even if I do say so myself) - however, that was one of the comments I had gotten back as a feedback which I was incredibly happy about.

For this project, as we were working in a completely new way, I wanted my illustration boards to reflect that. I have always been a fan of the tall, skinny, feminine look, and always focused on elegance (it doesn't always reflect). However, if you have been reading my posts, you know that I'm an absolute Instagram addict and love 'following' fashion illustrators, and one of them talented people were Pinodesk, or Annalisa Pino Ravelli. I absolutely adore her style! And although mine isn't a spitting image of hers, I did want to use her work as an inspiration while keeping true of my style and I think it worked really well. (If you want to see examples of her work, visit her website at http://cheeksandheels.com/ for more)

Above is my line up and the conclusion of six weeks worth of experimenting on dress stands, Photoshopping and Fabric researching. Needless to say, I absolutely loved this project, I wish we had another project which involved a similar process to this so I wouldn't have procrastinated so much at the start. However, you live and you learn... so next time there's a similar project, I'll know not to dismiss it without having tried it.

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