Those of you who follow my work, know I work extensively with elastics. The elastic pieces are created by weaving elastics onto a dress base and sewing them into position. I had a look in my archives and came across the anatomy of a dress, which explained how I created what is essentially a cloth-less dress.
When I started AW12, I was obsessed with the idea that the dress base could be dispensed with altogether and a dress could be made by attaching the elastic strips together. There are of course a number of issues which make this an almost pointless task but sometimes in order to move an idea forward you have to pursue the seemingly pointless.
Anyway. The first issue is shape so I chose to work with my number one mannequin and laid out a rough shape.
The dress had to be taken off and sewn after positioning a few strips of elastic, in order to maintain integrity of shape and strength.
The design just kind of happened as the dress started to take shape. The original intention was to create a short dress but the elastics were draping so beautifully that it made more sense to carry on.
The chest was especially challenging, to create a 3D structure.
The base of the dress was left with trailing strips of elastic paying homage to the composition of the dress. From laying the first grid to sewing trimming the last thread, the dress took 62 hours to make, or in fashion designer days, 3.
It is a process which I find absorbing and although time consuming, the results speak for themselves. This design is going to be available to our couture clients only, as it has to be made to fit perfectly. The costs involved are actually a whole lot less than a wedding dress…….now that’s a thought……
is one of the ways I chill out on-line along with Candy Crush (5th Dan master, level 375) and Farm Heroes Saga (sounds beyond but trust me on this!). When the nice people at Pinterest approached me to take part in their campaign, Pin it Forward UK, how could I refuse?
As someone who doesn’t do/like much social media, Pinterest appeals to me because unlike most others, it is inspiring, largely positive and is a very pleasant place to escape to. One of the best things about Pinterest is how you suddenly realise you are interested in things, that you never consciously thought of before and before you know it, you have a whole new board! My first love, however is fashion.
I have applied myself to ensuring the look and layout of my pinterest world is befitting my profession. My fashion boards, catalogue fashion by colour (my black/white and orange/yellow boards are my favourites), materials, style and even era (1930’s through to present). The layout, content and number of boards is constantly evolving as any design should. Sounds kind of dry but fashion is a serious business!
Most of the fashion boards are catwalk or look book based and I pin images that match the criteria and not because I have any specific opinion of the designs themselves. That would be kind of bad form and strategically a no win situation! The images do, however, need to be of a decent size and the designer has to be mentioned (of course!) and thats that.
This impartiality is thrown out, however, in my Street Style boards. These allow me to indulge my definition of style and a critical but exquisite eye (did you know I have a heart in my right eye?). Street style is great because it shows how “real” people interpret what we as designers create. That has to be the most valuable insight we can have. Street Style soon became populated with almost 2,000 pins, which no-one in their right mind would scroll through. It was inevitable that a new board, street style II was needed to take the strain of the coolness on view. In fact I am blown away by the amount of coolness that exists on pinterest because I have now had to open Street Style IV! Don’t be fooled by the numbers though. Most new pins come into board I and then get dispersed. This is entirely logical in a fashion kind of way.
I describe my street style boards as where the cool kids hang. The images must pass the entry level YT coolness filter and over time find their place amongst the 4 boards. Street Style I has now been culled to around 1,000 images and within those 1,000 or so pins lies what I would call my top 10 Hall of Fame looks. I am setting up a board which is open to anyone to re-pin images from street style I which they think make my top 10 list and if anyone gets all 10, then they must surely be the recipient of a super amazing something. This is not a competition, as I can’t imagine anyone choosing all 10 correctly. It’s just for pintertainment!
Anyway, talking of cool, my top tips for coolness are…
- NEVER wear head to toe in a distinctive piece from a single designer. Especially if that look has been used on the catwalk or in promotional material. It shows a real lack of originality.
- NEVER, NEVER wear clothes you do not feel comfortable or self-concious in. It doesn’t matter who the designer is, how much money it cost or whether it’s this season’s must have thingamajig. Coolness is a projection of your state of mind.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER wear high stiletto heeled court shoes with jeans, combats or leather trousers. Doesn’t matter if it’s Laboutin or La New Look, it is really, really not cool.
My only regret with my Pinterest experience is the lack of engagement. Yes, you can re-pin and like but not many people comment and I think that is a disappointment, given that peoples opinions can be even more interesting than the pins themselves! In fact only stylist Crystal B (amazing fashion researcher) actively uses the comments box. So please have a look at Street Style I express yourself and let’s get the conversation going!
Finally I would like to introduce you to Gemma Seager who pins as “retrochick” and is the founder of the highly successful and really great retrochick blog. Have a look at her boards and get some vintage inspiration!
8 pieces arrived in store at CREATIVATIONS in Chelsea this week. The boutique can be found at 301 Fulham Road in Chelsea. The nearest tube is South Kensington and is a 8 minute walk from the station.
The boutique is owned by Laura Jamieson who launched her first store, The Sweetshop at Worlds End in the 1960s. Her incredible depth of knowledge and experience made her the perfect venue for my work.
The choice of dresses and jackets were chosen by myself and include a cobalt blue dress with a black upper section which is completely new to the archives and was sampled last week. Please pop in, have a play and tell me what you think.