Friday, 18 December 2009

Maharaja Exhibition

While I was in London yesterday I also visited the Maharaja exhibition at the V&A, which is an exhibition of Indian Royalty showing their magnificence and wealth. It was an amazing exhibition full of rich colour and fabrics, which have really inspired me. I love the over-conspicuos wealth of the royalty and the way this was shown with exquisitally embellished shari's, bed linen and furnishings.

The colours have been really inspiratrional, as well as seeing how societies used to live, and how much royality ruled. It has made me want to look more into English Royalty and the herritage of our royal family. Maybe mixing inspirations from this with the Maharaja exhibition for my final collection?

I also looked at the new Renaissance exhibition at the V&A, which was also quite inspiring. This, again ties in with heritage, and is something I definately see as holding importance.

Studio G

I went to studio G to have a look aroud the studio yesterday, and to show them my fronts for spring/summer 2011. They had a look to see if they wanted to take any with them to New York, and it was a good opportunity to get feedback on my work and see the studio.
Glen was very possitive and said he liked my collection, but it wasn't very good for them as thier clients like their artwork on a disc- which mine isnt as its hand-painted or embroidered. He did say that they were still commercial, so I had some positive feedback which I am pleased about. The studio was lovely and seemed like a nice, relaxed environment to work in.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

River Island Competition

Another Competition I have entered is the River Island Design competition, where they asked to design a capsule collection for summer 2010 for river island. Again, I could see how my designs for Indigo could work, so reworked them for the collection. I think they fit in with the River Island brand, as they are fun, bright and inspired by the catwalk.

From Brief to Bra

I decided to enter the competition 'From brief to bra' which was to design an underwear set for simply be. I thought that one of my prints from the Indigo project would work well, so used this as a print for a fun, feminine bra set. I have added detailing for a seductive tone, and a luxurious touch.

I have now finished my collection of 12 fronts for Indigo, which I feel made a fresh and exciting group for summer 2010.
I am happy with the outcome, and I think they work really well together and are commercial, which I wanted.
The hand-painted prints definately work better now that they have been constructed and added with the embroidery/ embellishment detailing.
I have realised from this project how important it is to keep working at a collection to get it right, and that if I am not happy with something, it is always better to change it to make it work. I have really enjoyed making commercial pieces, however, I think I do prefer the more luxury market rather than high street, which I think these are.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Final Collection Idea...

I was just writing my dissertation, and it got me thinking about my final collection. I have been researching for the dissertation about the importance of value of fashion and how fast fashioin holds no value, as I feel fashion is something that should provoke meaning and show identity.

"Fashion fades, only Style remains the same" Coco Chanel.

I was thinking that my final collection could reflect this, and show how emotional attachment to clothes could prolong its life and make fashion more cared for again- something to be cherished.

Historical references could form this emotional attachment, creating a story behind the garment/ collection. History has meaning, as we can all relate to that moment in time. I want to create a personal experience to the garment for the individual and make a collection that is unique and special. Maybe each piece having some sort of relevance?

I now need to find some sort of theme/ inspiration which can achieve this....

Friday, 20 November 2009

Inidgo Project

I have started my first collection of hand painted prints for Indigo, which were going to be simple front shapes showing the conversational print. However, after doing the 6 prints, I have decided I am not happy with them just as they are. I feel they are not very strong as a collection, and need more excitement in them. This could be due to the fact that the colours are all quite toned down, but I also like more detail in my pieces, which you dont get the feel of in these.I am happy with some of the designs, so I will be leaving these as they are. For the others, I have decided to combine them with the constructed and embriodered elements that I have been experiementing with for collection 2. I will now have 1 collection of 12 garments, combining the 2 collections to make a really exciting, detailed combination of colour, construction, beading and embriodery.
Below is one of the prints which I am going to keep as it is, maybe adding some detail at the neck with subtle beading.

Below are some of the pieces I have been working on for collection 2, which will now be combined with some of the prints. I will have some fronts where the top is printed and the bottom constructed and visa vera. I am now much happier with the whole collection, as I think it represents me more, and my style.

Warner Textile Archive

We had the Warner Textile Archive in college yesterday which was a really inspiring visit. They hold the second largest collection of textiles in the U.K, and document these so that designers can access them to use for inpiration. We were shown some of the textile pieces from the archive including paper print designs and printed fabrics from the 18th century through to the 20th century. I found the woven fabrics from the 18th century particularly inspiring, with small scale repeat florals in bright colours. it was interesting, however, how much of a variety of different techniques would be used in a certain period. I was also amazed at the bright, rich colours of the woven silks from the Victorian period.

They said that we can go to see the archive in Braintree, and request to see certain designs that interest us, which is exciting, and it could form inspiration for my final collection. They also have some embroidery and beaded pieces, which I would love to see, as this is what really interests me. I am really glad that they came to college to show us some of thier pieces, as I wasn't aware of what they had there and that we could visit, which I will now be taking advantage of.

Friday, 6 November 2009

We had a really interesting talk from Studio G yesterday, who showed us some of their print designs, which they sell at Indigo Paris and New York. They showed us some mood boards, which show how they look at catwalk trends for inspiration which they translate into thier own prints. They design for the high street, so thier prints are very commercial focused. I found it really useful to see how the industry works and what is involved in working for a studio such as Studio G.

We have to opportunity to design a collection for them, which they might be willing to take with them to New York, which is a really exciting opportunity. It would be done on photoshop, as this is the technique they use, so I am thinking I will do a collection of digital prints, taking my inspirations from collection 1 to deveop furthur, and maybe using the theme of tropical, or anaimal?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Mood board collection 2

Inspiration is taken from 18th century pleasure gardens and nature, with bird wings and reptile skins an influence, creating a delicate, detailed collection of constructed fronts for spring/summer 2011. Embroidery and screen print will combine with cutaway elements, appliqué and beading and light, soft colours of ivory, gold and spring green form the base with accents of black, cinnamon red and a rich green creating an authentic theme. Soft silks and sheer chiffon fabrics create a seductive, feminine tone.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Mood board, collection 1

Exotic reptile patterns and spots and the bold patterns of butterflies will combine with soft floral’s to create an exciting, bright print collection for spring/summer 2011. The colours are based with ivory and mushroom with soft tones of spring green, arctic blue and yellow, hints of gold, bright emerald and sapphire and splashes of fuchsia and black. Hand painted prints will form the collection with screen printing for added detail, on light silk fabric.

Monday, 26 October 2009

My Initial Ideas!

These are some of my initial design ideas, using floral and abstracted butterfly patterns with screen printed dots and patterns taken from the reptile drawings. The idea is to use hand painted print combined with screen print on a silk fabric.

I think the bright, bold colours work well with the watery patterns, as it shows them up well. The dots also add another diamension and extra detail. I am now thinking about combining some of the prints together to create a more detailed outfit as a whole, with more going on.

I have decided to do two collections for Indigio, and first I am going to concentrate on a print collection. I have not done much print before so this is a good opportunity to improve my skills and learn and perfect new techniques. I have learnt how to do hand painted prints using procien dyes and a clear screeen to paint onto, and I have found watery techniques to be really effective in bright colours. I have been using the patterns from butterflies and also the floral shapes from the jewellery exhibition for inspiration.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Valentino s/s 2010

I love Valentino's Spring Summer collection which has a vintage, delicate feel with feminine details and a really soft colour pallette. This beautifully embellished dress has really inspired me to do something with light fabrics and with embroidery detail. I love embroidery, and I think it works well with the cutaway element, which also looks great against the sheer fabric and combined with beading. I feel I now need to go and do lots of embroidery and cut-away samples!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Alexander McQueen show S/S 2010

I loved the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 2010 show, which I unfortunately didn't get to see live as the internet seemed to crash, but I found all the images on The colours are vibrant and lively, and the prints are detailed and rich. I love the way he has combined aspects of different print into one dress making a mix of colour and patterns. The structured dress shapes are sharp and bold to add to the impact. I like the colour story he has used with bright colours against a neutral pallette of browns and creams.

Indigo Project

I love 18th century fashion details, and also like to look at vintage pieces for inspiration. The centre photo of embroidery is 18th century and has influenced my colour story as well as some ideas of sampling I will be doing for embroidery. The beading and delicate details of the vintage pieces has inpired me to do something quite soft with light fabrics and maybe beading and lace details.

This piece is really unique with the bold appliqued blue shapes against the delicate sheer fabric and lace, and I like the contrast of it.

My current project is to design a collection of fronts to exhibit at Indigo, Premiere Vision in Paris. The collection is for Spring/summer 2011, and the brief is 'Cabinet of Curiosities. I have decided to look at nature for inspirartion, drawing from the pattern details in the butterflies, birds and lizards.
I have been really inspired by the symmetrical shapes of the butterflies, and also the geometric shapes in the birds wings.
The lizards textures and reptile skins have inpired me, and I have been drawing from these references as a starting point.


I went to the V&A museum to get some inspiration for my project. There is an amazing new gallery of 'Jewellery throught the ages', which showcases beautiful pieces of delicate jewellery. I loved the detailed diamond pieces, like this 19th century spray ornament. The floral pattern has inspired me, as well as the florals in the gold plague, which is an 18th century piece.

Alfies Antiques Market in London is an amazing place to get great inspiration from antiques and vintage fashion. I was really inspired by the beautifully ornate photoframes and jewellery elegantly decorated with diamonds and patterns. The vintage colours of gold, bright blues, dull greens, cream and rust have inspired me too.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

SHOWstudio images...

Jacket from the installation The Sound of Clothes at ShowStudio

To see the Gareth Pugh Film visit to web address below...


Last week I visited the ShowStudio exhibition in at Somerset House, Fashion Revolution and was really quite inspired by what they are showing there. It shows a really interesting new take on fashion and design and how technology is really coming to the for-front of fashion. I loved the way you could really interact with the designers and you got a real insight into their thoughts and inspirations behind the collaborations. The main thing that I came away with was how important computers and technology now is to designers and how it can enhance and change what we do. It also showed quite an artistic slant on fashion which was new and innovative.

My favourite piece was the Sound of Clothes: Synaesthesia by DANIEL BROWN / NICH RYAN, 2006. This was a really interesting piece where you could interact with the jacket, by touching the screen, with different parts making different sounds. The idea of a music making piece of clothing is really fresh and innovative and something that would have been impossible without the technology of today. It was also a gorgeously made lace, vintage looking jacket, which I adored.

The fashion films was another part of the exhibition that really inspired me. It shows films of collections by the designers, such as Gareth Pugh's dark, emotional film of his a/w '09 collection. It is a really inspiring way to show a collection and gives a real sense of theme and emotive feel to the concept behind it, and has inpired me to possibly want to do something similar for my final collection.