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.