SPECIALISM: FASHION & TEXTILES
TIME: 6 Weeks
MATERIALS: Mixed Media
RESOURCES: Sewing Machine, Computer, Camera, drawing media, Photocopier, basic hand tools, 3D workshop and an object……
The idea of make do and mend is becoming more and more prevalent in modern day society, despite being born from war torn times when people really had to make the best of what they already had as little else was available to them, the concept couldn’t be more valuable today with depleting natural resources, and the constant anxiety of inadvertently increasing the size of our individual carbon footprints. What we are now seeing on both the high street and the catwalk firmly acknowledges that this is a very real problem and one which needs to be addressed and appreciated. The race is on, fifty years ago the earth was populated by half the number of people it is now, by 2050 this number is likely to be increased further, possibly up to 10 billion, and by all estimates there simply won’t be enough resources to go round. Deforestation, depleting food sources and a rampant consumerism are all taking their toll, and did you know that last year alone 1 in 50 people lost their homes due to either, war, natural disaster or foreclosure – this is a scary statistic and none of us are immune to this. It is believed that in the U.K. each year, we throw away an average of two million tonnes of fast fashion clothing that was probably only worn for around six times a piece. Fashion could probably be described as one of man’s biggest failures in the safeguarding of our planet with corporate groups encouraging dream lifestyles of selfishness, apathy, superficiality and greed. Something has to give and something has to change…. Few things touch as many people as fashion; therefore the continuation of what is beginning to emerge through sustainable clothing rests firmly on your shoulders.
Using just a single object which may be commonly found in the home and an existing item of clothing, you are being asked to create a hybrid piece which uses the idea of recycled fashion. Furthermore you will be working alongside other individuals in BOTH of the BTEC groups to develop the idea of a collection.
1. The initial stages of this project should be spent on some thorough investigations. First of all you will be allocated your initial departure points for the project. As this is a random selection, your object, garment and fellow collaborators are all purely down to chance, so this could see you working alongside someone you currently know very little about. It is vital however, that you do work closely with your collaborators throughout the duration of the project in order to achieve a believable result, and by not doing so, you risk failing the overall project. This entire week is concerned with gathering material – this should consist of the sourcing of the various varieties of your individual objects, examples of how these may have already been used in fashion and a range of careful studies of these objects, both as photographs and illustrations. As a matter of course you should be thinking all the time about how you will combine them with your item of clothing to create something new and exciting, it will be up to you how flamboyant or understated your ideas/designs are, but you should bear in mind that you are actually going to have to realise one of them! With regards to your allocated garment, you should again be finding as many examples of this as possible and looking for ways that you will be able to adapt your own. Where your garment comes from is entirely up to you, but it must be something which has previously been worn. What you collect/produce is going to be presented as both moodboards and a “prezi” (www.prezi.com) or powerpoint next week, so at this stage it is advisable not to stick anything into your books…Week 1
2. Once you have looked at your objects and garments in detail you will be required to present your findings visually, as previously mentioned. It is not always appropriate to hand over a sketchbook to a group when expressing your ideas purely because it is difficult for lots of people to be able to see the work at the same time, so in order to get your ideas across to the rest of the group effectively, you are going to work on a much grander scale! Following the guidelines given you will create a series of moodboards which will explain your ideas and concepts so far. A moodboard is an important tool in the design industry and will often be created at the beginning of a project as a means by which to maintain a constant flow of ideas, yours will be instrumental in helping you to get the most out of this project and will be photographed as you go along, so do make sure that you have a camera at the ready – NO EXCUSES. These images will then be used to create your Prezi, again, guidelines will be given so do not panic, this slideshow will be your first collaborative piece and will require good communication and a well organised plan of action as you will both be working on the same presentation. This will be added to as your projects develop and you will need to follow the checklist provided in order to ensure that you have provided all the necessary information…. The beginning of this week will also see you undertake some sustained investigations into what a collection actually is. Use www.style.com, www.elle.com, http://fashionarchitect.blogspot.com/ , http://www.fashionisspinach.com/ http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ , look specifically at individuals like Hussein Chalayan the late Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Gareth Pugh and Commes des Garcons, for the more alternative in ideas! Sustainable fashion heroes are Gary Harvey, Martin Margiela, Junky Styling, Ciel, and From Somewhere, and this one is just interesting if you want to get a bit more into the magazine side of things – good for layout etc….. http://magculture.com/blog/ . The library also has some amazing books – check out Maison Martin Margiela, Skin and Bones, A century of fashion, Techno textiles volumes 1 & 2, Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed, Fashion at the edge, Fashion: Concept to catwalk, to name but a few! Week 2
3. Select two different fashion illustrators’ work and document it in your sketchbook, providing analysis on both their work and how you think their style of illustration might be appropriate to your own designs. You should endeavour to produce a design idea of your own in each style too. Following on from this you should now begin to produce further design ideas and start to physically gather more of the same object, and get stuck into manipulating them, seeing what works and what doesn’t work in order to apply it successfully to your garment. Remember to collaborate with your partner throughout –design ideas must actually look like they have come from the same collection! You will possibly need to compromise on things so prepare to be open minded….. There will also be workshops given to help you with your figure drawing, so do not despair! You may also wish to look at www.art-dept.com for further fashion illustration inspiration. Week 3
4. Now, how you go about using your object(s) is up to you – I am looking for clever, inventive, original, technical and carefully engineered results – remember – we are not making costumes for the school play, this is a serious exercise, and the results will be going into your folios, so make the most of it, oh, and BTW, you will all be showing your work on the catwalk after Christmas too, there will be an audience and at least 4 photographers taking your photos – I probably wouldn’t want to look like a plank if I was you! Think about weaving, stretching, melting, burning, adhering, scoring, rolling, wrapping, dissecting, reproducing, representing and smashing as considerations for getting the most out of not only your object, but your imagination too. Update your Prezi. Weeks 3 & 4
5. Following your investigations and trials and tribulations you should now be able to come up with the definitive design – it is now time to make it…..Photograph every stage as you go so that you can continue to update your Prezi appropriately. Take a series of well styled photos of the final outcome – Do not just stand in the studio or corridor to do this, find an appropriate space, even if it means you have to put yourself out doing so, I cannot emphasise enough how even the best design can be completely ruined by a lack of attention to detail in its final documentation…… Use www.art-dept.com to help you in this too – someone like Rankin is really worth looking at, as is showstudio.com & Tim Walker…. You could also check out James Carver on www.flickr.com – he is an ex-student here, who went on to study at London College of Fashion.
6. Write a 500-1000 word evaluation of the project – guidance notes will be given. Week 6
MINIMUM SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
· 1 COMPLETED SKETCHBOOK.
· A SERIES OF MOODBOARDS – PHOTOGRAPHS AS EVIDENCE
· 1 COMPLETED PREZI – EACH PARTY SHOULD HAVE IT DOCUMENTED IN THEIR SKETCHBOOKS + PREZI ACCOUNT DETAILS.
· RELEVANT FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS.
· FINAL GARMENT AND PHOTOS
· WRITTEN EVALUATION
Use the internet.
Use the library.
Use your imaginations!