Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Here were a few ideas I had for labelling my collection. After brainstorming a few names based mainly around Cleopatra and Kurt Cobain (with some of which sounding slightly strange when considering songs 'walk like and Egyptian' and 'Smells like teen spirit' with their opposites...I'm sure you can imagine!), I decided that the simpler the better, and 'Cleo and Kurt' sounded catchy and fashionable, so I decided to stick with it.

These are some of the rough sketches I have drew trying to figure out what sort of text and motif to go for, some better than others. After feeling tied between the bold eyelash/wing image with naive writing and the slightly more sophistcated loopy scarab beetle motif, I have decided to go with the bolder more youthful tag, as I feel it sits better with the style of my project, as it is young, bold and contemporary yet still with a sophisticated, up-market feel.

I neatened up the original sketch using Photoshop, and used 'Tempus Sans ICT' to replace my original writing for a more professional finish. I plan to print these onto acetate and have them hanging loosely over a recangle of gold glitter card of the same size, so you get the same multitextured effect which runs through my collection. I have chosen a subtle grey background, as it will subdue the glitter and keep it from looking too sugary, and I love the effect of transclucent effects of acetate, particularly when layered. I will also add a gemstone in the top-center of the motif, as I think it will be a nice finishing touch with the varied textures. I will look at a different background for the tag for the mens bib necklace I have produced, as glitter card would look far too feminine. For using the logo for labels, I will probably use heat-transfer paper and transfer them onto my silk 'denim' print, as I feel this would work well and match the tags.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


So here are my final pieces! Two down and one getting there :) I am so pleased with the outcomes of my cuffs and collar, my only regret with them is that I wish the hair had dyed better and looked thicker but everything else has more or less gone to plan! I made the mistake of creating the cuffs in a straight rectangular shape rather than an actual wrist shape, so you can only really wear them comfortably just past your wrists as you would a jumper, but I actually prefer it this way as the slouchy effect works really well with my theme and even looks slightly tribal with the human hair. As I ran out of coral embroidery thread, which I was using as running stitch to outline the scarab motif, I had time to consider whether it looked better with or without, as I could directly compare them. I felt as though the outline actually cheapened the look as the other cuff looked much more sophisticated, so I chose to unpick all of the thread I had stitched which I think was the right decision. I think that the foiled and transferred hieroglyphics on the back of the cuffs compliments the main detail well, as it is more paired down but still has elements of gold foil and bold detail. I decided to dramatically reduce the scale of my scarab print for the silk lining of the cuffs, as I felt it would look more effective and appropriate, as the larger scale was just not working for accessories; perhaps it would have been better for fashion garments? I wanted the print to be subtle in comparison to the exterior of the cuff, and I carefully chose gold press studs as fastenings which work perfectly with the metallics in the cuff.

I also completed my collar, which has turned out perfectly apart from the tight fitting due to the short length of the top chain. For selling, I will overcome this problem by taking out the stitches of this chain and adding small gold jewellery claps to make the chain detatchable, making it easy to get on and off. I carefully designed the shape of the collar so it still had a pointed edge but was a shape that both reflected the typical rounded collars of the Egyptians whilst preventing it looking too 'costume', and also so that the chains would fall properly and not gather too much at the top as would happen with a regular shaped collar. The fabric stands out as much as I hoped, and I think that the Swarovski crystals add something extra to an otherwise quite regular chain pattern. I think that as a final piece, it also sits well with my cuffs as part of a collection, so it has been a success!

The mens bib I've still not completed, as I still need to attach the top pieces and chunky clasp, and I also need to finish embellishing and manipulating the hexagons. Unfortunately, the leather hasn't slightly melted like my sample as I purposefully cut into it more shallow, so  I could select which hexagons to pop out and how far to cut around them. This has resulted in a flat appearance when i cut into the shapes, but luckily after carefully testing with a lighter, I found that burnishing the edges makes them contract and curl slightly, giving the desired texture so I will work a lighter over the leather once it is cut before embellishing pieces. I will also be adding heavier embellishment as seen in my larger leather smaples, where I have embellished heat-transferred turquoise denim with gold beads for more depth and variation in the final piece. I will finish the leather bib tomorrow ready for my hand-in on Monday and the other bib collar and the body harness I will complete for my show on 11th June!


Following on from my plan for cuffs I am producing, here is a page where I have looked at both women's and men's accessories in the form of body chains. Seeing all of the men's accessories produced by Katie Eary has inspired me to look at men's accessories as well as women, showing that they can be just as decorative and fun as women's, with even Topman selling body chains. I think as long as the materials are less feminine, for example my plan shows thick leather with chunky chains, you can design with versatility. I used my laser-cut acetate sequins on the girls body chain to embellish my 'Horus' repeat print, as I felt they went well with the linear shape and also the internal shapes for a flat, selectively glossy appearance. I also used black seed beads and appliqued metallic bronze leather to achieve a multi-textured and eye catching effect. I love the idea of having that part of the print as the detail in the centre of the body piece, as I feel it is more original and interesting due to the shape, and it would be a good contrast with the delicate draped chains. For the collar I would use rows of black and blue tubular beads in stripes for a simple but effective appearance. Although I am pleased with these plans, I don't think I will produce either for my final pieces, as I feel they are quite predictable at the moment and I feel my other pieces would look better and also probably easier to construct.

Here are a couple of bib necklaces I have designed, and are also explained on a recent post. On this page here, you can see where I got my inspiration from when it comes to the shape and detail. After trying to create a masculine bib necklace with great difficulty, I came across a designer named 'James Long' whilst researching, and his work shows great details whilst retaining their masculinity. I looked at the way he had draped a large scarf on his model as my main inspiration for the shape of my bib, and created a similar shape on my plan, with draped layers of leather. I will be using laser-cut leather in the same style as my sprayed and embellished sample, as I feel it is the most successful and interesting due to the way the shapes are half falling out and the roughly sprayed effect has an expensively deconstructed feel to it. The shape of my other bib necklace came naturally from the shape of my embellished sample which I want to use, which is a long winglike shape. I then added extra detail inspired by the current A/W trend for patchwork, by alternating fabrics around the larger embellished sample at the the top. Also, the famously thrown together style of Isabel Marant inspired me to add some black lace around the edges, as I felt it needed extra detail and I think the lace would work well as a contrasting texture to all of the foil and embellishment.

Here are my last two plans for final pieces. The plan on the left combines the trends of body jewellery and collars in one, complete with Swarovski crystals stitched on the chain to make it stand out more and continue the embellished theme. The fabric I plan to use on the collar, which was roughly dyed using a pipette then foiled, was inspired by the streaky dyed fabric at 'Versus' Fall 13 and 'Topshop Unique' S/S12 for the foiled hieroglyphics. I think as this piece has little fabric, I wanted to use something quite bold so most of the focus is on the design, so I chose this fabric as it is very effective and eye catching. The design on the right was inspired by the number of triangular shapes coming into season, and I feel as though a contemporary way of translating this is through a panelled body harness. I have made it as fashion-foreward as I can without any tackiness which could easily happen when designing a body harness, and I have worked with the triangular shape, extending the idea to a spike-edged overlapping collar, and the panel leading to a brass curtain hoop attached to a thin leather belt. I think this would be very effective and on trend as a final piece, as it combines the patchwork, collar, body harness, triangular and metallic trends all in one. The fabrics will be a mix of printed cotton and silk with my denim and symbol motif prints, with my twist-dyed pink and black fabric and added embellishment.

Monday, 14 May 2012


I have recently stumbled across this amazing designer on independent accessories website boticca.com, and her work, which is composed of textile pieces embroidered and embellished with Swarovski crystals, is absolutely divine! I think her concept of work is quite similar to mine, although her work is more highly decorated and she has 7 years more experience! I find her work inspiring, showing that sometimes, less is definitely not more, and the bib collar that I am making in particular will be inspired by the level of detail and craftmanship of the works of Krista. The central bib collar is actually quite similar to what I had designed before I even saw her work, so I was very drawn to see what other accessories she has produced, which are equally as impressive. I will be using lots of applique and patchwork in my bib collar, as well as the incorporation on Swarovski crystals and black lace :) I am so excited to get started!

Friday, 11 May 2012


Here are some very basic illustrations of what I plan to create for my degree show. The models were traced from magazines, and they are not really illustrations, more a plan or design of how my accessory ideas would look on the body.

The male illustration is made of several rough strips of lasercut leather created the same as my newest sample shown on my latest post. Rather than a scarf, I will be attatching a chunky hook and eye at the back so it will be a statement necklace, very similar to what is currently in style for womens fashion but only for men.

The bib necklace will be a highly embellished piece using a mix of Swarovski crystals and Gutterman roccails, and will include my Alexander McQueen inspired embellished sample and patchworked foiled fabrics for a dramatic effect. I will be using finely textured and matte grosgrain rather than satin ribbon as the tie, as I feel it looks much more expensive and sophisticated.

The chained collar I love and I think will look really effective once it is constructed, as I will be sewing a variety of coloured Swarovski crystals onto an antique gold chain, and will be using dyed fabric with foiled heirogliphics as the collar fabric. The chains will be looped through the eyelets and stitched just above so they fall through for a slick effect. I am considering making a few of these to sell at my degree show if I am left with any time inbetween, as I think (and hope) they will be quicker to construct than the others!

The last illustration on the page was inspired by the wealth of designers creating something of a body harness which doesn't appear bongdage in any way. I was fascinated by the idea of creating something which incorporates a belt and a collar, and I think they would make a dramatic effect on any outfit. I noticed that there were a lot of large vertical traingular details on the Fall catwalks, and it works strongly with my sketchbook images of decorative mummy caskets I had taken. I combined all of these elements to come up with a sophisticated design which I think works well. The panel will be composed of a patchwork of what are my strongest fabric samples which work harmoniously together, and will include dyed fabric, foils and possibly digital print.


Here I have scanned in my lasercut leather sample which I have worked into. It was my favourite of the two samples due to the seeminlgy organised (but actually unorganised!) deconstructive feel of the piece. Keeping with my Egyptian theme which heavily features gold and gold details, I decided to test gold fabric spray paint on the leather, keeping the application quite rough and picking up the texture of the rough leather for a more urban feel.

I am very happy with the way this has turned out, as it still looks sophisticated but stands out more than the sample previously. I decided to enhance the sample with subtle beading, taking advantage of the nature of leather and stitching from the sides of the cuts rather than from the front and back, which gave a more seamless effect. As this sample is intended for a mens accessory, I decided to keep the beading to a minimal and use metallic bold beads which can look quite tough as opposed to glass beads or crystals. I think that the texture and thickness of the leather is important when it comes to menswear, as I think accessories with embellishment could too easily come across as feminine, so I am making a concious effort to make a more manly sample! I hope the effect is quite 'All Saints' or 'Diesel', a rough around the edges look which is still desirable, I would be very happy if my final outcome for this fits this mould :)

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Here is a scan of some hair extentions which I dyed as part of my project. I dyed them in the same fashion as most of my two-tone fabrics, by dipping each end into a concentrated pot of dye with added soda ash, then twisting so the dye line was feathered for a grungy effect. Unfortunately as I didn't dye the centre of the extensions, some of the dye wasn't as strong and as a result there was a green tinge left in places. I ended up dyeing the whole extensions intense turquoise as I knew it wouldn't effect the black, and I also added a small amount of navy blue to counterbalance the blonde. I had to use human hair extensions, as the process would not have taken on synthetic hair, and I think eventually it turned out ok. I have an identical extention to the one shown, and I will be adding clustered small black Swarovski crystals to the black part of the extentions, graduating towards the centre, and they will be attatched to a pair of long cuffs for an avant-garde effect! My inspiration to do this was from my previous research of Katie Eary, who used long, dip-dyed hair in her mensewar collection.


Here are some examples of some leather which I lasercut simple repeat shapes into which has resulted in two totally different outcomes. The larger scale cut-out has a bold and simple effect, which I think has worked well but doesn't have anything particularly 'stand-out' about it. On the other hand, the smaller scale cut-out hasn't cut as clean through the leather, but as a result appears more interesting and has a unique quality. Although this was the result of a happy accident, I think it is a strong outcome and would look better enhanced with hidden foiled fabric and embellished segments behind selective cut-outs. I think this would also be very relevant for menswear too, as the thick leather and strong sharp shape would override the metallics, and I plan to create a mens vest along these lines as part of my accessories collection.

I was originally inspired again by McQueen, this time being the detail on one of his futuristic dresses. The placement of the lasercut leather I also think would work well as accessory inspiration, as it would also be successful as an individual cropped waistcoat which could be worn over different garments. I also noticed a lot of elongated embellishments on A/W 2012/13 catwalks, such as rectangular sequins and tubular beads.

Nicole Fahri

Nicole Fahri



Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson
These are just a few of the desingners using long beads and sequins to achieve a glassier surface reflection in their most recent catwalk collections. I love embellishment but feel as though normal sequins are beginning to look a little dated, so after seeing all the new shapes which also happen to link to my mosaic research, I felt inspired to see if I could make my own sequins out of acetate. I used the same pattern as my leather, only scaled it down dramatically although I do believe larger hexaganol sequins would also be effective and more of a statement. Here are a few I created using one of my prints on acetate, then using masking tape to collect the sequins and prevent them falling into the machine.

I am happy with the way the sequins have turned out and think they will look effective used as clustered embellishment, particularly over my prints, and I also think the left over acetate has an unusual appearance that could be manipulated, for example using it to contrast textures such as placing half over a sheer or coated fabric and layering for a striking effect.