Thursday, 27 June 2013

Out with the old, in with the new

Hi there!

Just wanted to let anyone know that may be interested, that I have recently set up a new blog which I'll be using instead of Urban Peacock. I've set it up specifically for my business so there'll be no bad photos or too much rambling, but I'll still be documenting each step of the way of the design process with imagery and include reviews of local designers, exhibitions and boutiques. I'm really excited for the fresh start of this new blog which I feel signifies my life as a working designer rather than a student designer, so I would really appreciate your support in helping me make that transition and following my journey in creating my business!

Melanie xx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Recent accessories

Following the previous Make and Mend market and having got feedback on my products, I found that although the collars were very popular, the idea of the sleeve accessories seemed popular. Because of this and the wide availability of collars, I have focused on making accessories which are perhaps more unusual. Here are images showing the process of me using fabric from a vintage dress and floral scrap fabric from Sew Over It to create another sleeve accessory, this time in a size medium.

Other products I made were two peplum belts and a body harness. The body harness I wanted to make so it was easier to wear than the traditional bondage-influenced styles found on the high-street, involving leather or chains. I have up-cycled some upholstery fabric, the vintage lemon dress and a delicate pink pillowcase for a feminine and springlike appearance.

For the peplum belts, I up-cycled some already existing waistbands from a pair of denim shorts and a vintage skirt. I have also used the lemon vintage dress and upholstery fabric in the accessories. Learning from my mistakes on my last attempt, I have lined the outer fabric and also used a thick fabric on both sides of the peplum piece, which gives a higher quality and a stronger shape. With the denim shorts I up-cycled, I unpicked the back pockets and inserted them into the accessory as hidden pockets, which makes them functional as well as fashionable.

And here is my stall at the Make and Mend market today!

Portfolio images

Here are some images of the products I have made, which were taken by third year degree student Emily Smith, which demonstrate how the accessories can bring a simple garment to life! The time of shooting the photographs was prior to me making others I have introduced to the Make and Mend market today, so only show the collars and sleeve accessories modeled.

Friday, 1 February 2013

One dress - 9 accessories

It has been a while since I have last blogged, I have been so busy the past month! Here are all of the accessories I made based on my initial sketchbook, using found fabrics and adornments and up-cycling them into interchangeable accessories. These were all designed and made in one week, so the designs are quite basic but the original concept of the interchangeable accessories has been brought forward in these pieces. These are not professional photographs (photography is not my strongest point) but the images demonstrate how the pieces can be modeled and how simply a plain garment can be transformed by wearing one. Once I have the accessories have been professionally photographed for my portfolio, I will be selling them on 'Etsy' and in 'Made in Jesmond', and bringing them to Newcastle's 'vintage and fashion' Make and Mend market in March, so it's exciting to finally start the ball rolling!

The bird head motif has worked particularly well, and I have translated this through embroidery and applique on two of my detached collars. Both of these collars have been made up from vintage skirts and second-hand fabrics, and I think the weight of the fabrics make the collars appear more formal, so they work well in smartening up garments with a quirky twist!

Here are some more collars which I made, if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be the mint collar with a striped stand and perspex tips, simply because it stands out from the rest. It would be an easy one to wear, and it reminds me of the design group Memphis because of the balance of shape and color. All of the fabrics and adornments used are 100% up-cycled, including the Swarovski crystal and laser-cut collar tips which have been saved from past projects.

A new idea for some accessories which I have tried out is these sleeve accessories. Like collars, they are a great way of accessorizing plain clothing, but have the benefit of acting as an arm cover and transforming garments even further. Both of these were second-hand shirts which have been given a new lease of life, and they can be worn to many different effects depending on the garments they are worn with and the necklines of those garments.

Another unique accessory which I tried out was a peplum belt. The colors and fabrics work well with each other but without any sampling, the final piece could have been massively improved by using a more delicate belt or a more rigid fabric, as the weight of the silk and the belt are too different from one another to work well. I feel confident that with further sampling of this type of accessory, it will be much more wearable.