Sunday, 21 February 2016

Design time!!

Since returning to TAFE, I have been happy to be immersed in a design project, which also relates to my patternmaking/studio project. Basically, this means I get to do the whole process, from research and concept designs based on Spring/Summer '16 trends (more on this in a moment) for the category of Streetwear, to be worn during Paris Fashion Week, to the patternmaking and construction, and finally, to see it on the catwalk at the mid year show. Whilst I am quite happy to design to parameters, I still find this 'trend prediction' thing quite, let's phrase it as 'challenging'. I usually manage to find a way to work around it! With this one, I have managed to direct it towards one of my comfort zones of the richness of insect body colours, textures and designs, with only a mild limitation of colour palette that largely suits me. In order to try and keep it somewhat within commercial realms, I have channelled this rich imagery into an asymmetrical digital print, which will become basic leggings. In here are bee legs, crocodile skin, ant bodies, and ant eyes filled with the feathers of hummingb
irds. Having not really done this kind of work in Ph
otoshop for over a year, I was pretty pleased with the result. I just hope it meets the print requirements. Initially I had all sorts of ideas about stitching into felt, and reverse appliqué - but these may now find their place in the sculptural jacket I am now planning.... Okay, I can't let it go..... I really wanted to design an interesting jacket, but it must be based on research of 'trends' and what people might wear to Fashion Week. Are you kidding me?!! I have seen pictures of people wearing ball gowns, to slippers and rain coats - you can justify anything! And really, why do we have to? I cannot believe that this way of thinking is considered valid and still adhered to. In daily life, I don't base my choices on anything more than what pleases me! So anyway, I found plenty of sculptural jackets within the forecasting i
magery to back up my ideas - I'm sure I could find plenty to back up any idea I had! After lots of research on the many aspects of this project, it was time to start doing some designs, and after a little while doing some initial work, I decided that I could only progress by play. I can't draw it if I can't see it. So, I dug up some nuno felted fabric out of a box, and started pinning it on a mannequin to get a feel for it. This did the trick for a while, and then I remembered my 1/2 scale mannequin! This is perfect for getting a feel for the whole effect without cutting up or treating masses of fabric. It was whilst I was in the studio playing with this that I looked over and saw a leather piece that I had made last year during my Craft & Quilt Fair tour. And this is what I love about creating in the amazing resource that is the studio - a place already dripping with ideas, samples, materials, and things that you can just pick up and pin onto things, and sometimes just nuances. This is the extraordinary blessing I have, which I recognise and am so very grateful for. Sure, it's taken me years to amass this 'stuff', and thousands of dollars in tuition at workshops, and I'm sure at times many people wonder what it's good for... but every now and then, it delivers a golden nugget, and that's when it all becomes worthwhile.

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