After a long morning of illustrating I have put together the first few drafts of my final looks. I'm excited to see how it's coming together...Now I have to appropriately fabricate and colour them. Right now my collection is looking very aubergine/ burgundy..almost as if someone spilled a glass of Pinot on it..but I like it!
Here's a little sneak peek...
I have been researching different types of fur; the price of fur, quality, colour and the ethical aspects of using furs (and leathers) throughout my collection. As the running theme of my designs is Russian, fur will be playing a key role in my designs as fur was worn for protective and luxurious purposes across classes throughout Imperial Russia. It will not be the main fabrication, but will be used in contrasts with leathers, wools and silks.
I have gone down the path of re-using the fur from vintage fur coats, for two reasons. Firstly, the price of fur skins is huge, and secondly (more importantly) I feel that reusing and reworking an old fur will introduce a sense of sustainability within my designs, and slightly.. and I am aware that it is only slightly, be more ethical.
This being said, I went and had a look at some vintage stores today in the hope that I would find a white or cream fur coat that I could dye to match my colour palette. I was lucky enough to find a jacket that was exactly the colour I would have dyed it to.
I will be pulling apart the pieces from this jacket and re-working them into my new designs.
In 2010 I shared the Sponsors Choice Award with Penelope Allen, the for the UTS Scarf and Tie Competition, and won a voucher to spend at Think Positive for my fourth year collection. With my excitement... I'm sure i'll be using all of it!! Think Positive is a digital printing company in Alexandria that can basically print any digital image onto fabric.
Following from my previous post about my printing experiments, I went to Think Positive today and had a chat with them to discuss what they can do for me. Penny, from Think Positive, was confident that my designs would be successful so I'm intrigued to see how they will turn out!
Some printed silk fabric samples from Think Positive to demonstrate the work they do.
So the toiling process has begun! All fashion people will agree with me that toiling is no easy task! It always somehow manages to take about five times longer than you expected, with many alterations along the way. So far I am working on look number one: a skirt, jacket and a shirt. With the skirt and the jacket being the statement pieces of the look, I have kept the silhouette and shape of the shirt very minimalist and clean, with a slight detailing on the collar. The collar and placket are in a plum coloured leather, and the actual body of the shirt will be printed with one of my digital print designs.
This is the first toile of my very first shirt. Keep in mind alterations are to be made and the design will most likely (in fact, most definitely) evolve.
Collar detaling. Toiled with the actual plum-coloured leather and a wool-crepe imitation.
Ellery's Fall '11 Range captures classic tailoring in a contemporary way, perfectly. The designs are clean, but interesting...and different without being too complicated or quirky. To further share my love (and/or fetish) for the label's aesthetic... check out ELLERY.
I have chosen to further push the concept I am exploring within my collection through textiles: that is, the contrast between social classes throughout Imperial Russia up until the Russian Revolution.
To do this I will be printing textures and fabrications that were indicative of the working class peasants (eg. raw wools, tweeds, furs and leathers) onto luxurious fabrications that resonate with the textiles of the elite (eg. silks, finer wool and silk blends).
In fewer words, I have printed textures onto fabrics as a digital textile print. The results that came out were better than I expected - and will be making a trip to Think Positive for my digital prints!! The prints will be mainly for shirts and some silk panels that make an appearance in some of my skirt designs!
Following up on my previous blog entry about the Sunsilk Competition: 12 students who were picked as finalists, including myself, were required to design and create a garment that was inspired by the colours or shapes of the Sunsilk products. The brief was to design something "avant garde", crazy, fun, bold and colourful.
Yesterday, Tuesday 10th May at around 10.00am, shoppers at Coles Waterloo were interrupted by a stampede of colour, fabric and 6 foot models walking through the aisles. The entire event was pulled off seamlessly, with a professional runway through the Health and Beauty Aisle. We were fortunate enough to have our garments worn by models that had been casted in Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, styled beautifully by well-known stylist Michael Azzolini.
Massive congratulations to Caitlin Davies-Forsyth for winning Best Designer Award and a nice $3000 prize, and well done to all the finalists. And a big thank you to Sunsilk and Coles, and everyone involved in the event. It really was a fantastic morning and made me even more excited about my final collection this year!
Spot the big pink 'balloon'.. it's kind of hard to miss.
Featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Page 5, 11/05/2011
Winner: Caitlin Davies- Forsyth with her amazing design!
For Assessment Three in Professional Practice, we are required to submit an eight page digital portfolio of approximately five or six projects that we have done to date. We have been told to keep photographs simple and clean as to not clutter the pages with overwhelming amounts of visual information. I organised a small photoshoot to take pictures of last year's womenswear and menswear tasks.
A big Thank You to Lauren Morgan for kindly modelling my designs!
Photos taken by myself with a Canon E0S Digital SLR
Womenswear Dress: Inspired by the concept of being wrapped up in straitjackets.
Ponte Jersey with Leather Straps.
Womenswear Jacket: Inspired by the concept of being wrapped up in straitjackets.
100% Wool with Leather Straps.
Menswear Shirt. Hypothetical Client Assessment - Dai Fujiwara for Issey Miyake.
100% Raw Silk.
Menswear Jacket: Hypothetical Client Assessment- Dai Fujiwara for Issey Miyake.
Velvet and Leather.
Please Note: Unfortunately the photographer lost the pictures that were professionally taken for my menswear assignment so I decided to re-do them myself, styling them as womenswear! Which I think works equally well, if I may say so myself!
Last Thursday, in our dye workshop, I had the opportunity to experiment with dying fabrications that were similar, or the same, as the fabrics I will be using in my collection. I bought various wool samples that morning - from crepe wools to waffle wools and shirting wools all in an off white and cream. In addition to the wool I experimented with dying a beige ponte (a really heavy, structured jersey).
After the session it became obvious that I will need to spend a solid day or two experimenting with dying. Warning: colour on the bottle is not the colour that comes out on your fabric! It took my friend Trish and I about an hour to test out aproximately 5 different reds just to get a really deep wine-red or burgundy.
A few fabric swatches for texture and colour inspiration.
The raw wools. All the wool I used to dye was 100% natural fibre - the dying process works much better.
I have much more experimenting to do! I do like the purples and plums that came through (on the top image) though!
Watch this space... Colour and fabrication is bound to keep changing!
For Professional Practice we were required to postition ourselves in a particular market, in terms of design aesthetics. I have grown an overwhelming interest in the designer/ visualist Rad Hourani, who I have previously blogged about this is some information I gathered for our Case Study Report:
Rad Hourani was born in 1982 in Jordan and moved to Canada at the age of 16. He worked at a model scouting agency from a young age so has always been exposed to the creative industry. He then became a stylist full time and when he was 25 Hourani moved to paris where he debuted his first fashion collection.
Rad Hourani is an artist turned fashion designer who has had no educational background in art, or fashion schooling. His wide range of skills include writing, photography and filmmaking, and although he doesn’t label himself as any one of these professions – it is his understanding of these industries that have brought him to being able to design something as diverse and contemporary as his collections. His design aesthetic is to have ‘no boundaries’ and he believes that human beings shape themselves by their surroundings, and how they choose to represent their ideals. Hourani could be classified as a modular designer; by reinventing fashion by transcending its original meaning, and by also designing garments that have multiple uses, silhouettes, parts and textures. Rad Hourani launched his first collection “Namesake” in 2007, and since then has been designing unisex clothing; garments that can be worn by both men and women of varying shapes and sizes. He claims that gender-agnosticism (disbelieving that gender doesn’t matter when dealing with clothing) is what drives his collections. Additionally, it is thought that Hourani’s travelling lifestyle has contributed to his approach to design – in that there are no rules, no seasons or no conventional use for the garment.
Rad Hourani’s aesthetic is very contemporary and is a modernist approach to designing garments. His garments are not only wearable however they have been used as pieces of art or installations to convey a message or a concept. In 2010 Hourani showcased his “Transclassic” which was a collection to demonstrate transformation and timeless beauty. This was captured through photographs and displayed in Paris in the Joyce Gallery Palais. In addition to his conceptual pieces, Hourani has a Rad by Rad Hourani ready-to-wear label that targets a younger but sophisticated market with similar design values as he.
Hourani focuses on using alternative fabrications throughout his designs that aren’t garment or gender specific. He subverts the original meaning of these fabrications or clothing, and documents their transformations and how they are able to alter. Hourani is a designer who designs with and around the body, understanding movement and diversity in shape, form and silhouette, being his main aspects of his aesthetic. His lack of colour does not falter his designs as the textures and silhouettes communicate the message he is embedding within his designs.
We're starting to get into the deep end now - starting to make some decisions about what our first two looks will be. Through continued research for our journal and the dissertation, I am always taking into considerations silhouette and shape from peasantry and elite garments worn by Russians during the Revolution. The oversized shirts and jackets, and combination of heavy textiles will play a massive role informing my design decisions!