Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Please vote my design at http://www.triumphinspirationawarduk.com/vote/?v=1

I am very excited to be competing in the Triumph Inspiration Award National Final on 23rd May 2012.

The Triumph Inspiration Award acts as a platform for design students to show their work to a global audience by designing a showpiece garment. The theme this year is ‘Butterflies and Dragons’ and the criteria which the garment will be judged against are:
  • Innovation and creativity (interpreting the design theme)                  
  • Individuality and uniqueness
  • Concept
  • Aesthetics
  • Quality in design and execution
  • Presentation
These criteria have been considered throughout the design and construction of the garment.

The most direct inspiration for the created showpiece garment is a butterflies chrysalis, and the contrast between the plain exterior and beautiful creature inside. The beauty and fragility was something that it was important to convey in the garment. After initial research into butterflies an interest in metamorphosis and transformation developed. China itself is a country that has transformed in recent years so the theme seemed particularly appropriate considering the international final for the competition will be held in Shanghai.

The garment designed is a one-piece body as this reflects the chrysalis ‘cocooning’ the body. The silhouette of the garment is strong and edgy but simple as it acts as a backdrop for the more conceptual elements of the garment. A wire is inserted around the neckline to give the garment a strong shape and structured feel appropriate to the design inspiration.

When considering how the concept of transformation could be realised as a 3D outcome, and how the garment could appear in a catwalk environment, the idea of light as a revealer developed. Inner light could suggest the new life hidden inside a chrysalis, it could reveal a quality or element previously hidden. A garment that initially looks plain could through light be revealed to have a whole other dimension and if this was revealed in front of a judging panel could create interest in the garment.

The garment exterior is made out of hand made paper, with the shaping largely made out of folds as opposed to separate pattern pieces. Having only four pattern pieces gives the garment the feeling of being wrapped around and enveloping the body, like a chrysalis. Paper has long been associated with China and plays a role in many Chinese spiritual beliefs. It was important to select the right paper for the garment as it needed to be light enough to allow the light to shine through, but heavy enough to obscure the lining when not illuminated. The look of the paper was also important, selecting a paper with a texture and visible fibres gave the garment a more natural feel and these qualities are highlighted further when light is shone through the paper. The fragility of the paper used in the garment creates a sense of delicate beauty. 

The interior contrasts sharply with the exterior. The interior is a more traditional material, a synthetic silk, and features a bright, modern digital print of a butterflies wings. The print is symmetrical throughout the garment for added impact. When the garment is worn the inner print is entirely hidden, but when light is shone through the garment the inner print is revealed to the onlooker. The glow of the garment could be seen as a visual reference to Chinese lanterns.

The garment fits all criteria as an innovative showpiece garment - interesting materials and striking design are combined, backed up by a strong concept. Although not a highly wearable piece, concepts from the garment could easily be translated into a more wearable garment for when Triumph look to create the commercial version. The idea of a plain exterior but beautiful interior (only known about by the wearer) could be developed into a garment appropriate for the Triumph consumer and experimentation could be done remaking the one-piece body with more traditional lingerie fabrics.

You can vote for my design at http://www.triumphinspirationawarduk.com/vote/?v=1 by 'liking' the photo.

Monday, 16 April 2012

This is my design for Playful Promises S/S '13 'Paradise' collection.

Creamy pink suede sits next to a modern ‘ice-cream’ print suggesting summer naughtiness and sweet temptation. The design has a frivolous, playful feel with the colour palette keeping the style sophisticated. Unusual fabrication gives the design a modern edge - matte suede is combined with sheer, printed stretch powermesh. The set is made up of a bra with two-piece cup and suspender knicker, with two suggested colourways. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Marlies Dekkers Project

At the end of last year I worked on a collaborative project with Marlies Dekkers. The aim of the project was to produce two collections that would develop and grow the brand. I focused on the UK market, designing three collections that take inspiration from early Marlies designs and appeal to the UK consumer.

1st Collection: Swimwear

I feel that while there are a number of fantastic, directional lingerie brands in the UK, swimwear is still lagging behind in the design stakes. I felt this would be a fantastic opportunity for a brand like Marlies Dekkers to expand within the UK and proposed the collection below.

2nd Collection: Diffusion Range

 The second collection I proposed was a diffusion range inspired by early Marlies Dekkers designs such as the 'spider' bra shown below.

I wanted to design a collection of simple, edgy designs that could be updated each season using modern prints. The 'Wired' collection appeals to a young, trend conscious consumer who is attracted to the Marlies Dekkers aesthetic.

3rd Collection: Outerwear

'Good design can solve a problem'

...and this applies to fashion design. A problem experienced by Marlies Dekkers is that consumers simply don't know how to wear their products. Marlies lingerie designs are exciting and often extend beyond what is traditionally considered underwear - so how should the product be styled and sold to the consumer? My response to this issue was to design an outerwear collection that is purposely designed to be worn with corresponding lingerie pieces from the 'Wired' collection. Mesh panels on the garments are placed to reveal interesting design details on the lingerie, and could be styled and sold alongside the lingerie collection in a retail environment.

I was selected as a finalist and on presentation to the brand my proposed collections received a very positive response.
I'm a finalist!

I haven't posted on here recently as I have been ridiculously busy with uni deadlines, however, the hard work has paid off. After working on my submission for the Triumph Inspiration Award since January, a couple of weeks ago I (nervously) presented my design to a panel and was very happy to be selected as a national finalist. 

I can't show my garment however the image below is one integral to my project.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Triumph Inspiration Award

This term I will be taken part in the Triumph Inspiration Award, a global competition that recognises new designers in the lingerie sector. With the final being held in Shanghai, the theme this year is 'Dragons and Butterflies'. I am currently finding the theme to be a difficult one, developing a unique concept within what at first seems a very prescriptive brief will be creatively challenging.

Await my results...

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Designed with the consumer in mind...

This collection, inspired by the Ballet Russes, was designed in response to a brief from London College of Fashion. The brief required me to design with a consumer in mind, it stated that...

'Truly successful designers understand the greater responsibility they have to research, understanding their market, their consumer and finding the appropriate research which will take them on a journey of creative development and innovation.'

It was the first time I had been asked to consider who would actually be buying my lingerie and I initially found such design considerations restrictive. I chose my consumer and researched into 'her' life and background, feeling confident that I understood what 'she' wanted and could design appropriately. My initial research was a visit to the Ballet Russes exhibition - I found it hugely inspiring and came away scribbling down hundreds of ideas. However, when I looked back on those first designs a couple of days later I realised they did not 'fit' with my consumer. Then began the most extensive design development I have ever undertaken! I worked at my designs until I created a collection that is both beautiful and wearable.

Below are some images from the project...


Mood Board

Monday, 9 January 2012

 Ann Demeulemeester Project

In my 2nd design project at London College of Fashion I was asked to design a lingerie collection for an existing label. The brand I was given was Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester (I must point out the project was in no way in collaboration with Ann Demeulemeester). My challenge was to research the brand thoroughly until I had an integral understanding of how and why they designed, their aims and motivations. From this knowledge I could then design a collection of lingerie that would comfortably sit alongside the brand's existing womenswear collections. I found it fascinating to explore a designer in such detail and the fact that I had little previous knowledge of the brand meant I had no preconceptions regarding 'a Demeulemeester garment' was. My final collection featured fabrics with strong tactile qualities in a monochrome palette. Hand-painted prints on the inner of the garments reflected the 'attention to detail' design ethos of Demeulemeester.

Highgate Cemetery

I first visited Highgate Cemetery a few years ago and was immediately entranced by the place. I had been given a project entitled 'Faded Splendour' and had been stumbling around for a while trying to find the inspiration needed to begin the design process. In Highgate Cemetery I found inspiration. As a place it is beautiful but unsettling - there is something very solid about it and more then anywhere else I have been it has a sense of timelessness. 

Below are some of the photographs I took on my first visit as well as work it has inspired.