Monday, 31 December 2012

Developing products for 'Make and Mend'

As part of an upcoming even in Newcastle which is the 'Make and Mend Market', I have began making my first product! It is still based on the sketchbook I have started but I have kept the initial structure of the shirt which I am upcycling rather than starting from scratch as it will save time...the market is on 13th of January so I don't have much time to lose!

The idea is that the shirt will be upcycled into an interchangeable accessory, where it can be worn over most garments as a transformative piece rather than as a highlight like most accessories. In doing so, the product will be relatively cheaper than a garment which is similar, but will also be able to get far more wear out of it, as the wearer can choose the type of neckline depending on the top or dress they wear; they could wear a basic scoop neck to create cut-out detailling or something with a higher neck to make the accessory appear to be completely attached to the garment.

The top still needs to be shaped and hemmed, and also needs an orange fabric insert on the right hand panel at the front. This gives a subtle tint of colour beneath the sheer cream shirt, though unfortunately is not visible on the image above. The collar tips are left over perspex from a past project which I kept, and I think that the feather-like shape of them and the colour works well with my theme. The coral bead detail on the front panel rather than the collar or shoulder panels is a refreshing alternative to what is currently all over the high-street, and I think works well with the alignment of the collar tips. Hopefully I will manage to complete this accessory in the next few days, and I will begin making some collars and peplum belts very shortly!

Friday, 14 December 2012

S/S 13 - beginning of project

Here are the start of my drawing pages with ideas for products based on the idea of nature, and looking at bird motifs and fresh colours and textures for inspiration. The collage below was inspired by a recent piece by 'Balenciaga' for their S/S13 collection, and I have used a photograph of a duck I had taken to emulate the feather shapes using tissue paper, pearl paper and glitter card for a variety of weights. I think the contrast of organic shapes with eyecatching papers works well, and could easily be directly translated into fabric using applique and stitch and slash techniques. The bird cut-out could be translated through laser-cutting and possible also reverse applique with sheer fabrics, which would work well with the delicate lines.

Here I have redrawn a bird taken from a photograph found on I think the blockiness has worked well with the TRIA pens particularly with the natural colours used, as it has quite a retro appearance. This could be emphasised further by handpainting the motif onto fabric for an antique crafted feel. I have also used a black marker onto tracing paper to copy a drawing of a necklace from a past project, as it is a strong and decorative motif with a lot of potential samples. Details of the drawing would be enhanced either through lasercutting fabric for feminine lace-like detail, or a heavy mix of crystal embellishment and embroidery onto a black foiled motif, I believe, would be very effective. The fine pencil drawing of a swan would work best in its original form, as it is feminine,delicate, and has a really pure quality with the ivory background. The drawing could be mirrored horizontally to create an internal heart-like shape, which could be placed as an unusual neckline or armhole, or simply as cut-out detail on an accessory.

These pages show closer details and textures, looking at the fanned feathers translated through paper folding, detail of the blocks of colour on the birds head and looking at an interesting way of showing the texture of the sea. To achieve this texture I firstly scrunched up some paper and using very diluted turquoise acrylic, brushed over the peaks. I also redone this using gold drawing ink. I then rescrunched the paper and used gold spray paint over parts, and when this was completely dry, I rescrunched the paper again and foiled the peaks using pritt stick. Hopefully this shows the depth and ripples characteristic of the sea with enhanced texture and vibrancy.

To mirror the birds wings in flight, I decided to layer pearl paper and tracing paper for a graphic and feminine twist, then folding them together in a consertina style and trimming the edges appropriately. I think that the softness of the tracing paper and the round edges balance out the sharp folds, preventing the collage from looking to graphic or futuristic. This would translate well extended into a collar detail, or even as assymetric cuffs. The detail of the birds head I have made quite abstract using TRIA pens, and only picking up the shapes rather than the detail. This makes the motif easier to work with, as it could be used as part of a pattern or as a start for appliqued detailing; it could also be enhanced with the use of Photoshop by repeating, rotating and mirror imaging.