SP3 weekly review 1

Our final specialist project is titled ‘Trend’. It “combines fashion marketing aspects with trend prediction to ultimately design a capsule collection for a high street brand”. As well as fashion forecasting and trend prediction being an integral part of this Trend project, market research is vital and is used as the starting point. We were given a list of nine high street brands to research, by combining online information and images with our own real-life experiences of each store, commenting on things like visual merchandising, organisation, staff, advertising and product quality. This week I carried out most of this research and the write-up for it can be found here. The research was mounted in my sketchbook alongside online imagery relating to the brand identity of each store and some flats/sketches representing the kind of garments each is known for.

After completing this research we had to select one of these brands to design our capsule collection for. I was drawn to both All Saints and Zara because I felt that both of their brand identities and product ranges would be suited to my overall style of designing and initial ideas I already had. In the end I went with Zara, mainly because the future trend from WGSN Dark Wonder that I had chosen (‘Plush Luxe’) was reminiscent of many of Zara’s past collections. Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 11.17.38

Of the nine trends within Dark Wonder, I feel that this one is most appropriate to my chosen brand and offers a lot of inspiration and potential for a six-outfit collection. After choosing my brand and trend I can now move into research that combines the two, looking at recurring themes, design features, fabrics, embellishments, etc.

 

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SP2 final evaluation

The Barnardo’s project was something that I took a lot of interest in mostly because the concept of the ‘Traditions Reformed’ trend was something comepletely new to me and that I hadn’t really explored before. I feel that throughout the project I was able to make use of existing skills as well as developing new ones, such as the sample workshops that I completed in week 2. Because this was a ‘making’ project I was able to utilise the knowledge gained from studying textiles at GCSE and A Level, which I think is shown in the details and finish of my final garment, such as small rolled hems on the lighter chiffon materials, and the careful consideration of where to place different layers of fabrics to allow the elasticated waist to still stretch.

In terms of my sketchbook, I think that the research section is particularly strong and was something that I referred back to constantly during the development and design stages to keep design ideas on track to the original theme/trend. Here I think I demonstrated my ability to gather relevant and engaging imagery from a varitety of primary and secondary sources and apply them to the trend I had chosen. Knitting and embroidery samples add dimension and give some of the images a ‘physical’ link to a fashion product.

Another area of this project that I am pleased with are the three garments that I found to transform into my final piece, a strapless asymmetrical top with wrap-around waist. I think that the colourways, construction and design details all came together effectively to create something that reflected what I was trying to convey. Key details that i’d had in mind were the fit-and-flare silhouette, the use of light neutral colours, lightweight fabrics and a high waist.

Despite completing the make and being happy with its finished quality and appearance, there are a number of negatives which meant this project didn’t go as well as I feel it could have. For example, time management on this project was not as efficient as it could have been. This was due mainly to reasons out of my control, but I can also identify areas where I could have made better use of time given and put more focus into moving away from development stages and into further designing/making. Because of this dis-jointedness I was then not able to complete a planned photoshoot of the garment and so cannot present high-quality stylised images of the finished piece as I would have hoped. I also feel that this is shown in my sketchbook work, as I don’t feel that pages towards the end are sufficient in terms of quality but mostly quantity.

I am aware of areas that I need to improve moving forward, but I have also gained new skills and can take away from this project things which can enhance any future work so that I can complete it to a standard which I know I am capable of.

SP2 weekly review 3

After using a lot of last week to create different fabric samples, week three started with more in-depth development of the six-piece collection. After analysing the key details of my three garments I created a number of development pages that explored how they could be combined to create outfits that reflected Traditions Reformed and made use of all of the design details of this trend that were my reasons for choosing it in the first place.

Production of my final garment was due to begin this week but due to a number of different restrictions that hasn’t been able to happen. However, because of this I have decided to use my development drawings and experimentation as further design ‘evolution’ which will hopefully mean my final piece is better thought-out and therefore to a higher standard than it would have otherwise been.

In terms of coming up with the final collection, I have focused a lot on the fit-and-flare feature of the trend because of the interesting and feminine silhouette it can create. I also think it can work well with the kinds of simple, plain fabrics that my three garments are created from, as they are all either chiffon or thin cotton. Some of the sketches have some obvious links to the trend such as Mandarin collars, whilst other details are more subtle or have been taken directly from similar garments found in my trend research.

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final line up – before adding colour & more defined lines

SP2 weekly review 2

Week two of Barnardo’s has been focused on creating different samples that we can include in our research but also go on to use in our final makes to add interest and more variety. I have a selection of samples in knit, quilting and hand and machine embroidery throughout my research pages, which I have tried to keep with the theme from my chosen trend by choosing appropriate neutral and earthy colours for wool/yarn and embroidery thread, for example. I chose to create some samples using the floral motif from my first research which combined quilting with free machine embroidery to give an image that added raised texture to the surface of the fabric.

This week I also went out and sourced three garments from Oxfam that are to be deconstructed and remodelled into my final garment design. After my initial research I was able to go to charity shops with a list of key design features, fabrics, detailing and colours that I needed to look for in order to find pieces that would make the most effective and accurate final piece for the trend. I am happy with the garments that I picked out as I feel they have a range of design features, textures and fit but can work well together to create a garment for Traditions Reformed.

I have created a page for each garment in my sketchbook which each shows a fashion sketch and then a hand-drawn technical flat for each piece. I have also added some brief annotation to each page describing the fabrics, fit and decorative features of each. A chiffon shirt dress with belt and paisley/baroque print, a white chiffon kimono shawl with eyelash lace trim, and a white cotton strapless dress with floral lace trim and peplum-style overhang bodice.

This week I also began planning the development of these garments three-dimensionally and how I will change them into a final design. These pages are shown after some responses to some of my own photographs from a V&A exhibition, with squares of acetate over photographs of the pieces on the mannequin (moulage) detailing how I might alter the dresses and kimono, taking into account the design features and style identified in research. A notable part of this development is the potential use of Chinese lettering, which I would probably create using free machine embroidery. I’d thought about using the language as a motif not only because it’s an unusual feature that creates interest but also because it creates a link between the Asia Pacific element of the trend that I described. I decided to simply translate the phrase ‘Traditions Reformed’ to keep the text relevant, but may change this to something more meaningful at a later date if I go on to use the technique. chinese

SP2 weekly review 1

Our second specialism project is a ‘deconstruct-reconstruct’ project and is entitled Barnardo’s. The brief describes this project as being about developing an understanding of the concepts in construction, detail, fabric selection and colour, whilst designing for a current trend.

This week I started by looking into all of the trends under the Slow Futures section on WGSN. Again, like the previous project I have chosen to design womenswear. These were all forecast for ss18 and included Raw Minimalism, Sculpted Volume and Retro Futuristic, amongst others. After considering the aesthetics, colour palettes, materials and imagery within each trend carefully I decided to go ahead with Traditions Reformed, a trend based upon historical styling from Asia Pacific, incorporating exaggerated sleeves, neutral tones and a fit-and-flare silhouette. Out of all of the trends under Slow Futures this one stood out to me because of the elegant but unusual silhouettes, as well as the neutral colour palette that should be easy enough to replicate when sourcing second-hand garments.

traditions-reformed

After finalising the trend I was going to choose I moved on to collating secondary research into a number of areas that I felt linked in with Traditions Reformed. I looked into the brand mentioned in the WGSN report, Ms Min, as a way of including some more directed research into a specific area. In my sketchbook I have added five images from their ss18 collection that I found to be the most inspiring and include design features that I might like to replicate.

Prior to this, I have put together five pages of research into Traditions Reformed that include mostly secondary but also some primary research. I have also tried to use a mixture of non-fashion, catwalk and street style images to hopefully give me a broader view of the trend/concept when it comes to designing. In responding to these images I have used acetate in combination with markers and silk paint, as well as using small fabric and trim samples for variation. Unlike the previous project I also carried out some experimentation using the scanner/photocopier as a means of photography to see what effects could be created. I used a length of lace trim that was similar to some of the intricate lace detailing on garments I had found in my trend research, as well as dried flower petals behind a hibiscus flower motif that I had taken from a tiny fabric sample and linked to Traditions Reformed, which is a design feature that I aim to use further. To supplement this trend research I hope to create a number of fabric samples next week using techniques including quilting, embroidery and knit.

SP1 final evaluation

My first specialist project ‘Fashion Drawing’ was a good introduction to specialism and I feel that overall I was able to work effectively to the brief and demonstrate skills that the grading criteria requires.

In particular, I feel that my research pages show good use of high quality, relevant images that were able to communicate my personal take on the project brief and concept. I also think that in responding to these images I used a good mix of different media that demonstrated different skills. I also think the inclusion of primary images added a personal side to this research, and using a broad range of secondary sources such as Pinterest, Polyvore and WGSN was important so that I could explore fully the different ways I might interpret the concept. I think that the designs shown in the development pages reflect the concept effectively, however I think they could show more variation and also could have been completed to a higher standard.

I think that parts of this project are finished to a good level but there are many areas for improvement. For example, I could have used more technical flats to show a higher level of understanding in the development stages. Furthermore, I definitley think I needed to include more drawing responses in all areas of the project as this would have not only improved the appearance of pages but also given variation and interest.

In conclusion, I can identify the parts of this project which have worked well but can also see many areas which I don’t think I completed to my potential. As this was the first stage of specialism I think I picked up a number of new ways of working, even down to things like page layout. The level of work produced is high towards the beginning I think, but there is definitley a drop in quantity towards the end which is something to try and rectify moving forward.

SP1 weekly review 3

Going into the third week of the Fashion Drawing project I began to put onto paper some of the rough design ideas and key features i’d been thinking about during the two previous weeks. Because of the nature of ‘fluid’, designs were obviously going to make use of drape and light, sheer, reflective fabrics. My initial prototype illustrations show quite a lot of variety in terms of construction, but I definitley think there might have been room for more experimentation in these designs as some of them appear too ‘safe’, particularly when they are only represented in a black-and white sketch with no further design information.

After these 10 first designs I moved onto developing some of the ones I thought had the most impact and would be able to be taken further to create effective final designs. I had already considered the season to design for and chosen ss(18) because of the nature of the light, airy materials and relaxed construction of the designs which are much better suited to a warmer climate. However, at this stage I also began thinking more about colour palettes, silhouettes and specific details within the garments. I also have a few stray sketches alongside that show some model pose experimentation and styling in an attempt to finalise a model drawing style that I could use throughout.