Monday, 9 December 2013

The turbulent century: Social cultural and political change 1920-1990

1900-10: 
Education Welfare, Suffragettes formed in 1903, social status, liberal party, labour party formed, Selfridges founded in 1909, Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Bloomsbury Group founded in 1910.

1910-20: 
Titanic 1912,women’s role in society in terms of work and vote, Coco Chanel, clothes became more practical, WW1, Land girls army, Cars and Planes, 1910 sewing machine invented.

1920-30: 
Jazz music, alcohol, cigarettes, Art Deco, Dada, Surrealism, Women given the vote, Flapper girls, women working, 

1930-40: 
First Televisions in homes, Wall street crash, Holiday camps, WW2, Women working in mens roles.

1940-50:
WW2 ends, NHS, Rock and Roll, Austerity Olympic games in Britain.

1950-60: 
Festival of Britain, Queen Elizabeth II, The Cold War, Beatniks, 

1960-70: 
The Beatles, England wins World Cup, Mini-Skirt, Swinging London.

1970-80: 
3-day working week, Vietnam, Thatcher, Andy Warhol, Flares, Free-love, Missoni

1980-90: 
Gay rights, Fall of Berlin Wall, Falklands, Live Aid, Power suits, Club culture


1990-2000: 
Death of Princess Diana, Spice Girls, Designer Logos, Internet, Mobile phones for the masses.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Fashion & Feminism

2013 seemed to be the year of new feminism, so called The fourth wave, with  Laura Bates, 27, and Her Everyday Sexism Project,  Caroline Criado-Perez, 29, leading the campaign for women to feature on bank notes,  the No more page 3 petition, and students began banning summer hit 'Blurred Lines' on many UK campuses - to name just a few campaigns.

Up until 2012, I didn't really think all that much about feminism, but reading Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman' change that.


“These days, however, I am much calmer - since I realised that it’s technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be allowed to have a debate on women’s place in society. You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor - biting down on a wooden spoon, so as not to disturb the men’s card game - before going back to quick-liming the dunny. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail - giving daily wail against feminism - amuse me. They paid you £1,600 for that, dear, I think. And I bet it’s going in your bank account, and not your husband’s. The more women argue loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges.” 
― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman



The Telegraph article, Is Fashion a feminist issue, after all?, discusses that with feminism getting a new 'makeover' this year, is it time that we stopped excusing the fashion industry for glamourising the portrayal of exploitation women and girls?

"So here we are, in an artificially sweaty swamp where S&M is viewed as fashion styling, and "porn-chic" has seeped so far into mainstream culture that tiny girls wear high heels and halter necks and hoards of teenagers go out in clothes that used to be the preserve of prostitutes. It's fashion, isn't it? Ergo, it can't be pornographic.
The really whacked-out aspect of all this is that often the women promoting these images - the editors, the model and photographer agents, the show producers - dress like nuns."
- Lisa Armstrong, Is Fashion a feminist issue, after all?
As the mother of a 10 year-old girl, I am acutely aware of the negative portrayal of women across the media spectrum: 
music videos, celeb mags, fashion adverts/shoots, newspapers, the rise of free internet porn, it's starting to get really scary, It's like we have regressed a half century. Is there any wonder that some young men have such little respect for women, and some young women have little more respect for themselves?  Long live the fourth wave as far as I'm concerned, lets make feminism the new fashion.


Monday, 18 November 2013

Fashion & Psychoanalysis

Another difficult subject tackled in this weeks lecture was psychoanalysis in relation to visual culture. A therapy invented by Sigmund Freud, who believed that people could be cured of their anxiety and depression by revealing their unconscious thoughts, which are suppressed within our dreams and fantasies, and blocked by a natural defence mechanism of the brain.
An even more complicated sub category of this theory is the Oedipus Complex, a highly controversial theory which analyses the sexual desire that a boy might have for his mother read here for a better explanation than I can give!
It also suggests that although men are attracted to women, they also feel threatened by women. This is why the portrayal of women in the media tends to lean towards the idea of women as objects of desire for the male gaze.
Fashion advertisements often use the female form in a submissive way, the woman is attractive, but not threatening as discussed in this article featuring D&G's controversial 2007 ad-campaign.



Hello my name is Paul Smith

This weekend I visited the newly opened Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum, London, and I loved it!

Paul is an avid collector, like myself, and his inspiration for his collections come from the objects around him, and the photographs he takes along the way.

I feel so inspired, everything he says in the exhibition just makes so much sense to me, listening to his monologue:

"Don't spend too much time looking at what other people do...try to be your own person"

"Unfortunately a lot of people look but they don't see - so that means absorb when you look at things, it could be graffiti on a wall, it could be an interesting pocket of a postman's trouser, it could be the shadows on a wall, it could be anything"

"I take my camera everywhere, its like a diary - visual diary"

"I travel a lot, and I always observe the way local people dress"

"I love to go out to Portabello road or because I've travelled quite a lot I go to antique markets around the world, and there you can find lots of inspiration"

"Printing the unexpected onto a fabric always is my handwriting. A flower on a fabric on a fabric a photograph that I have taken printed onto a fabric, shadows, I've always loved shadows…venetian blinds with shadows from them, shadows of trees, shadows of people, the shadow of a bicycle"

"Shape and simplicity, proportion are all ingredients that are essential for design today"

"You can look at a beach hut, see the three colours and that can turn into a piece of knitwear"











Sources & further reading:

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/sharpened-lead/2013/nov/20/paul-smith-exhibition-design-museum

http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-smith

http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/11/paul-smith-says-you-need-a-head-that-can-change-hats-every-hour.html


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Craft in Fashion

“Craft has never been more important than now, as an antidote to mass production and as a practice in which the very time it takes to produce an object becomes part of its value in a world that often moves too fast.”
Caroline Roux, Acting editor, Crafts magazine


When I visited the Valentino exhibition last year my favourite part of the exhibition was downstairs, where you could look in detail at samples of the different construction techniques used to create certain elements of Valentino's dresses. The workers in the atelier sew everything by hand, spending hundreds of hours on a single piece. So many hours, so many women and they never use a sewing machine, they hand sew everything. Apparently the women were bought  a sewing machine once and it sat in a corner, unused!

Fashion is often seen as frivolous, and with the fast and cheap fashion that is on offer to consumers today, it is easy to forget the huge amount of work that often goes into the couture collections  that march down the runways at the fashion weeks.

The article 'Craft Works' in Vogue, Oct '13, highlights the astonishing amount of work that goes in to producing individual detailing on the garments designed by the likes of Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Erdem.


Vuitton F/W '13-'14- feathers trimmed with 
scissors and hand-sewn onto tulle 
image via www.vogue.it



Botegga Veneta F/W '13-'14 - Silk and wool 
bonded onto day dress to create watercolour-like patterns
image via www.style.com



Erdem F/W '13-'14 - Window pane tweed woven with neon PVC 
and ostrich feathers attached to thread narrow enough to go
 through a loom.
image via www.style.com


I am 'guilty' myself of buying cheap fashion, and I believe there is a place for it, as I think that fashion should be accessible for all walks, not just the elite. However, I do place great importance on craft in fashion - luxurious fabrics and beautiful artisanal details elevate a garment into the realms of a piece of art, not just to treasure but to showcase on oneself.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sustainability in Fashion

I few years ago I read and article about the ethical fashion designer Orsola de Castro. I can't remember where it was, but I do remember how interesting and inspiring it was.



A few years back speedo designed a super-duper, hi-tech, professional swim suit, but it wasn't long before athletes where banned from wearing it in competitions, as it was deemed to give the wearer an unfair advantage. So Speedo had a massive problem, what where they to do with all these swimsuits they had manufactured, but had become unsaleable? Landfill?



This is where Orsola de Castro stepped in. Castro started her London based fashion label, From Somewhere, in 1997. Initially she breathed new life into second-hand clothes that would have been destined for landfill. For example, creating something beautiful and unique from a moth-eaten cashmere cardi, by hand crocheting around the holes. But in 2001, on a visit to a knitwear factory in Italy (that manufactures for designers such as Yves St Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld) she realised that with the huge amount off offcuts on the floor, she could make a whole collection from scratch, not just the one-offs she had been making previously.




Speedo gave 5,000 of these obsolete swimsuits to Castro and she set about creating them into a 10-peice collection of cocktail dresses. The collection was launched at london fashion week and Selfridges, Luxe.com promptly placed an order for S/S '11.



I think it is a very slow process, but I do do believe that the fashion industry is becoming more conscious of sustainability and ethical manufacturing, with big companies such as H&M, M&S and Tesco working towards improving ethics. Personally, I do shop at Primark on occasion, but I also believe very strongly that it is important for us to try and change the way the industry thinks. It's not about all designers recycling and upcycling, but it is their duty to find a use for their waste textiles, or to give it to someone who will find a use for it, it shouldn't just go up in smoke.



Sources & further reading:

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG7986905/Prince-of-Waless-Start-initiative-rubbish-designs.html

http://www.designweek.co.uk/analysis/when-design-in-sport-goes-too-far/3034422.article

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG8254833/Sri-Lankan-upcycling-factory-makes-waves-in-the-fashion-industry.html

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG7205477/Orsola-de-Castro-The-ethical-fashion-designer.html

http://www.ecouterre.com/fashion-world-changer-orsola-de-castro-speaks-out-on-textile-waste/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/06/ethical-high-street-clothes-supply-chain-bangladesh

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Fired Up Portmeirion Competition 2013

During our second year, there is a strong focus on us entering industry based competitions. Some of the competitions have been worked into our modules, but we also have to enter at least two independently.

I have just submitted my design for the Fired Up 2013 competition run by Portmeirion. My design was inspired by the photos I took inside the beautiful Cloud Forest conservatory during my visit to The Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.







I really loved the juxtaposition of the organic foliage and the harsh geometric lines of the hard landscaping within the conservatory and wanted to recreate that in my design. I initially began working with ink to sketch from my photos, but decided that using hand cut paper helped me to reproduce the clean lines of the landscaping the silhouettes that the light through the leaves. I'm really apply with my finally design, It gives a nod to the sketchy black lines of 1950s print design, whilst looking contemporary. I can see it sitting happily on an Ercol dining table in a mid-century inspired home.


image via Ercol.com

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Club to Catwalk @ V&A

The Club to Catwalk exhibition at the V&A didn't inspire me hugely, although it was really interesting to see how the the 1980s youth subcultures had expressed themselves and made their own clothes, and either became fashion designers themselves, or inspired the trends that made it onto the catwalk.




This quote from Vivienne Westwood, really rings true to me. I love looking to the past for design inspiration, my challenge is to try and incorporate the traditional elements whilst giving them a contemporary edge.



'Dragons' print dressing gown, Georgina Von Etsdorf, 1984

I adore the print on this dressing gown, it looks like it was inspired by the avant garde, soviet constructivist prints of the 1920s-30s.





I have always admired Paul Smith use of colour and the unexpected secrets his clothes hide. His method of teaming an otherwise somber navy suit with a bright printed lining, or hiding a 1950s style pin-up girl print on the underside of a turned back cuff, make his clothes wearable for the office, but desirable to the person who has a fun side.






After I finished with the Club to Catwalk exhibition I had a look at the permanent fashion exhibition. As well as historical detail, I get really inspired by traditional costume from other cultures. The turn of the century saw a taste for the orient in Britain, influencing designers such as Paul Poiret and Liberty & Co.






Printed silk evening dress, Charles James, 1938.


 One of the most amazing designers I have come across during research for several project is Charles James (1908-1978),  an american couturier the construction of his garments are exciting, interesting and beautiful, and they still look contemporary today, some 60 years on.





Coat, Yohji Yamamoto (born 1943) A/W '04-'05

I think that Yamamoto has successfully taken inspiration from a military great coat, but given a contemporary edge with the use of oversized pockets, not only stylish, but practical too.

After the V&A I took the opportunity to take a trip down Berwick street and have a look in the fabric shops for inspiration for my new studio module. Although I haven't finalised my colour palette, it was good to see the huge range of fabrics available in London, as Colchester and Braintree's offerings on the fabric front can be a touch limiting, and buying fabric online can sometimes be tricky, as it is difficult to show a true colour on a computer screen and you can't feel the texture and weight of a fabric, which is always important.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Semiology

The first lecture of the year 2 has raised it's ugly head and as set the tone for the year ahead - complicated! It was quite a lot to deal with on the first day back, and quite a lot of it went over my head, but I think the main things that I came out of with was this:

Semiotics is the study of signs, A sign is a recognisable combination of a signifier with a particular signified.  
  •  signified: the concept a tree
  •  signifier: the sound or spoken word 'tree'




  • All things have a symbolic meaning - things or images are the signs.
  • Culture is the giving and taking of meaning between people - people create meanings.
  • Words change between languages and cultures, but concepts remain the same.
  • The meaning of a word is dependent on the word being in a system. e.g. traffic lights: Red means stop in a set of traffic lights, but only because it is in a system next to amber and green - it only means stop when in this system. Out of this system the meaning disappears.
Following the lecture, we were able to put this theory into practise in relation to fashion. In groups we had to deconstruct the a fashion magazine advert featuring a white shirt, each group had a different ad, and the task was to identify what connotations the advert was trying to project to the reader about the shirt/brand through both subtle or overt signs used in the advert, including: written text, pose of model, surroundings. It was surprising how different the connotations were, for the same item of clothing - a white shirt, a classic wardrobe staple.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Warner Textile Archive Fair 2013


I am so glad I managed to make it to the Warner Textile Archive Fair on sunday. It really was good value for money. I managed attended all the free talks featured here which were really interesting and inspiring, and for £2 extra I managed to get into the archive store and see some textiles that are not usually on show in the museum. I was also excited to find out that the next exhibition at the archive will be devoted to many costumes and clothing they have in the collection. With my ticket I also got free admission to an exhibition at braintree museum called 'the student textile design challenge'. Over 240 design students from across Britain and Ireland were given a copy of a design from the Warner Archive, from which, they had to draw inspiration, and produce a mixed media textile sample in response.

Indigo and shibori 

 smocking


For more information about what went on at the fair you can read the archive's press release here.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Introduction to textile applications - module review

So far I have built up a good range of ink and bleach drawings, discharged fabric samples and knit samples. My technical folder is more or less up to date and I have made a good start in my sketchbook with research.


discharged fabric samples drying after wash-off procedure


I really like the strong graphic effect the discharge process has created on these black fabric squares, it is definitely a process that I would like to experiment more with in the future. It will be interesting to see how the discharge paste will affect the different yarns I have used in my knits, which I started to screen print onto yesterday. I won't see the results until the beginning of the week because they have to be steamed to activate the discharge process.



 getting ready to screen print onto knit samples with discharge paste


My tutors, Charlie and Will, think that I have a strong colour palette in my knit samples, that I need to start coming through into my ink and bleach and discharged fabric samples. I can do this with gouache and hand embroidery. I have been advised to consider the placement of my stencils for screen printing over my knits, so I get best effects when the dye is discharged from the yarns. The work that I did in yesterdays session will help me to make decisions on which stencils work best and which yarn colours work best with the discharging process. I will then be able to knit up some more samples next ready for discharging next friday.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Essay hand in

I handed in my essay yesterday, what a relief to get it out of the way! As I have said before, essay writing is not my strongest subject, and although I have put a lot of hard work into writing it, I am a little worried about what grade I am going to get for it. 

I also got feedback and my grade for my presentation this week. I got 61%, which doesn't sound all that good if you think of it as only a little over 50%, but as Gill said, marking boundaries at degree level are a bit different to usual grades.  For example a pass is 40% upwards and anything between 40-49% is a 3rd is classed as 'satisfactory', between 50-59% is a 2:2 and is classed as 'good', between 60-69% is a 2:1 and classed as 'very good', and between 70-100% is a 1st and classed as 'excellent'. So 61% is very good, which I am happy with. But the overall grade for this module will depend on the mark for my essay too. The overall grade will be split 50/50 between the essay and presentation. Fingers crossed, the essay grade won't be too low! 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Investigation of fashion & textile practices - module review

I think that I have produced a good range of visual and written investigations of the brief including both secondary and primary research. I have finished my jersey jumpsuit toile, which I am generally pleased with, but if I made it again I would try and get the slouchy pockets/hips higher up so they are more suitable for use as pockets. I like the fact that it has no fastenings to spoil the streamline design and comfort of the jumpsuit. It has a very wide neck so that you can just step into it and pull it on



I have also produced some designs ideas, but need to work on more and remember to consider how they might translate into pattern repeats. I will need to consider what printing methods I will use for my final 2m wallpaper drop. e.g. screen prints using stencil or exposed screen, block printing, flock and foil. I think that I need to do some research into companies who sell hand-printed wallpapers and the methods that they use to help with my decision.






The next stage for me is to create and print 3 different large screen print designs. I can then cut those up and develop them into several A3 design ideas, based on various themes from my sketchbook work. I would like to work into them with stitch, block printing and ink. I also need to start using photoshop to create repeat prints from my design ideas and practice applying the repeat patterns to a drawing of my jumpsuit.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Critical and contextual presentation

Some of us gave our presentations today, including myself. I think is went quite well, but I am not expecting an amazing mark for it. I decided not to use notes, as Gill had recommended, instead I used the text and pictures on slide to prompt me, which hopefully made me interact with the audience more and made my presentation more engaging.

Next week there will be more presentation from the rest of the group, and then we have the Easter break, so we will have to wait until the following week until we get given feedback and our marks for the presentation. In the meantime I really now need to start writing my essay, as it is due to be handed in on 19th April. A month sounds like a long time, but my family and I are off to Corfu for a week during the holidays which will cut into it a bit, I hope I don't procrastinate too much! I am really not look forward to writing this essay, I think that essay writing is probably me weakest subject and I am worried that it will drag down my overall grade for the whole year.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Critical & contextual presentation preparation

Next wednesday we have to present to the class our findings from our research for our chosen essay question, focusing on one or two particular artists of designers to use as an example. My problem is that during my research on 'How is the role of the designer different to the role of the artist' I keep being directed towards ideas that would work better with another essay question that we have been offered to use: 'Is fashion an art? Why has it been increasingly viewed as such in the postmodern art world?'. So it was helpful to get some feedback from Gill today, she said that although I have already submitted my synopsis for the artist/designer question, I could still change the essay question at this point.

I now face the prospect of researching and creating a powerpoint presentation on the new essay in under a week (along with all the rest of my work!). Luckily, like I mentioned before my original research has turned up a number of articles that relate to the 'is fashion an art? question. I just need to relate it to the postmodern art world in some way. I have a number of designers in mind to base the presentation on, including Elsa Schiaparelli, Hussein Chayalan, Vivian Westwood and Alexander McQueen, but will narrow it down to one after some further research.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Art and aesthetics in fashion society

Fashion and art seem closer together than at anytime before. The arguments against fashion as an art is that the fashion industry is inseparable from commerce, and in contrast, art is a principle ruled by a non-commercial spirit.

Of course fashion is commercial, especially at the lower end of the scale. It is not about creating something beautiful, money no-object, but about sales and profits. But has the art world not become commercialised too? Art licensing has become a multi million pound industry, if you walk into a museum gift shop, how many products or gifts can you buy featuring a reproduction of your favourite piece from the latest exhibition?



In contrast, what is the difference between one of Alexander McQueen's 2007 'Real Flower Dress' and Damien Hirst's use of live butterflies in his exhibition at the Tate Modern last year, titled: 'In and Out of Love'?






Fashion has increasingly become the focus of many museum exhibitions in recent years. In may 2012, the Met's exhibition 'Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations' even focused directly on the argument of 'Is fashion art?' between the two fashion designers.


Friday, 8 February 2013

Fashion & Textile Processes - Hand in

I have come to the end of semester one and have handed in my first main studio module, I feel like I can breath a sigh of relief! As I have mentioned before, the more construction I do, the more confident I get at it. I am really starting to feel that it might be the route I decide to focus on in my final years.

Although I enjoy printing and knit as well (when it is going right!) I find these processes the hardest. I think that I will prefer screen printing more, when I am allowed to work with exposed screens (rather than just hand cutting stencils or masking off screens), enabling my prints to be more intricate. As for knit, it is still something I am struggling to get my head around. My visual research on Pinterest has revealed some really exciting knitwear designs, but my lack of understanding of how knitting 'works' is standing in the way of my progress. I can do all of the techniques I have been shown during this semester, but as soon as I drop a stitch or something goes wrong, I don't know how to fix it, which is really frustrating! It seems that the other other students who know how to hand knit have a better understanding of machine knitting. I have tried to teach myself to hand knit, but I haven't had much luck, I find crocheting easier.

I like using embroidery in my work to add texture. I love the intricacy and detail of hand embroidery, but it is very time consuming to embroider even a relatively small area of fabric. So free-machine embroidery seems to be a more appropriate method to add texture to a larger area, and I think it has a more modern look. Using the embellisher machine was completely new to me, and I had fun discovering a few different effects you can create with it, but I decided not to use this process in my final samples, as I didn't think it fitted in with the architectural and geometrical theme of my collection.

The silhouette of my collection was heavily inspired by the mid to late 50s costumes of the BBC drama, The Hour. After further research, I discovered that this period was the advent of fashion designed specifically for the professional woman in the workplace. So with that in mind, I made the decision to design my collection as a range of separates, for the professional working woman of today. This decision also informed my colour palette and fabric choices. I think the traditional work-wear colours of black and grey are given a fresh modern edge by the pops of sunflower yellow and colbalt blue. I also wanted to give the collection a luxurious feel, which is why I choose to work with the natural fibres of wool and silk, as apposed to manmade synthetics that don't always feel as nice.


My final collection illustration created on photoshop


*EDIT* 19/2/13: I got an overall grade of 74% for this module, which is classed as a 1st!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

PDP and Critical & Contextual Research - Module review

So far I think I am managing to demonstrate my awareness of a wide range of social, political, environmental and aesthetic contexts within art and design in this blog, through my written and visual research, and my reflections on our weekly lectures.

Although I attend all of the lectures and studio sessions, unless I am ill of course, I do struggle to keep my blog up to date on a weekly basis. Which means I end up with a bit of a back log that I have to wade through all in one go. At this point in time, there are a few responses to my lectures that I haven't done yet, which I will aim to do over the semester break. My I tend to put off my journalling, especially when I have a hand in for another module coming up, as that take priority. I need to find a way to keep myself up to date, maybe I should allocate a couple of days a week that I must update my blog?

We also have to write a synopsis of our essay over the semester break. I have decided to opt for the essay question: "How is the role of the designer different to the role of the artist?". I have chose this question as it has been a talking point within our seminar sessions with Gill, and there have been some interesting points raised which I would like to explore.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Fashion construction - Hand in

I finally handed in my first module for this year today! Before this fashion construction module I had attended two pattern cutting sessions in Yr 0 (my foundation year), but I didn't have a lot of confidence in my abilities in pattern cutting and construction. However, fashion construction is a skill that I am really keen to master, and so I made every effort to attend 100% of the studio sessions, so as not to fall behind.

One really important thing that I have learnt, is that whilst I am learning new skills, it helps to document each step I make in the studio with note taking and photos, which I then type up at home. Although this slows me down initially, it provides me with a reminder of how I did a particular step, as construction can be complicated and can turn out wrong if done in the wrong order. Not only can I refer back to my own notes and instructions at a later date, but the process of note taking and then re-typing helps me to commit the stages to memory, therefore benefitting my independent learning.

Having a young child I find it difficult to manage my study time at home, so my attendance during the studio sessions is really important to me. If I missed one, I know I would quickly fall behind and struggle to catch up. Also because I attended all of the studio sessions, I was able to explore and record all the techniques and processes taught on this module which I will be able to refer to throughout my course.

I really enjoy the neatness of pattern cutting and construction. I prefer to be slower, accurate and methodical, and get it right first time. When I rush things I quite often make mistakes which take more time to go back and fix. I think my finished shift dress toile reflects the time and effort I took over it.

One of my favourite parts of this module was researching historical designers and some of the beautiful garments that they designed and created. I am particularly enthused in how design elements such as interesting pockets, collars, cuffs and fastenings can make a garment look really special. I have been a bit of a Pinterest addict for a while know, but now I have boards for these specific construction details which I will continue to add to after this module is finished. Combining and adapting these design elements will provide a wealth of inspiration for my own designs throughout this course. I think that owing to the research I did on these design elements, I was able to design a shift dress that was relatively simple to make, but included some interesting construction details.


 pleated and piped collar


pleated piped peplum with pockets into waist seam 



*EDIT*  25/1/13:  I received a grade of 70% overall for this module which is classed as a 1st!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Art must hang! Must art hang?

This lecture discussed the way that artists and curators display art, and how displaying art has changed over history from the first cave paintings on a vertical wall, to the walls of a museum gallery, to temporary works of art outside in the open air.

It was interesting to learn about the role of a curator. Funnily enough, the word curator was first used in english to describe people in charge of a lunatic asylum! Today we understand the word 'curator' describes the role of a person who decides how to display collections in museums and galleries. Actually, if you think about it, a curator is a kind of artist - how they decide to display work will give meaning.

I was reminded of the artist Peter Blake and an exhibition, featuring his collections of objects from childhood, I saw at the Holborne Museum in Bath in 2011, called 'A Museum for Myself'. He uses the method of curation in his work as an artist.
Elvis Shrine No.1, Peter Blake, 2001


It is also interesting to look at the role of curation in fashion. The way clothes are displayed for the consumer in high street shops are entirely different from the way that displayed in high end designer stores.