Throughout this module I have independently developed my successful pre-collection concept, the concept for my final major project concentrates on subverting the rituals associated with marriage and addressing the compatibility of luxury and sustainability. The fashion industry is currently assessing the impact fast fashion has on the environment and some companies are beginning to make amendments within their business philosophy to minimize the impact. There is a current trend between young designers to rework and repurpose clothing which otherwise would end in landfill and therefore reduce waste. Through independent research I have discovered that the bridal industry is behind in this development and I have chosen to encourage it to be more forward thinking and sustainably aware. A wedding is seen as a once in a life time event therefore suggesting the bridal gown is a one wear item and so the perfect garments for me to recycle. Through independent research I discovered that pre-worn wedding dresses sell in a variety of organisations and therefore there is a market for them, however many donated are unsellable. The starting point in my collection is based on using upcycled wedding dresses which would otherwise end in landfill or traveling overseas provided by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Extensive research and contextualization of conceptual designers and analyzing their garments was beneficial to the success of my collection as I could understand the methodology needed to create this, such as Viktor and Rolf AW16, the use of multiple textures created with recycled fabrics within their looks correlates with my concept as I am exploring the capabilities of recycled elements of traditional wedding dresses and creating a luxury aesthetic. The scale of their work was inspiring along with the fabric manipulation techniques used. I explored features within their designs along with Comme Des Garcons 2012 which all influenced my colour palette of white on white, along with the traditional ritual of wearing a white wedding dress. Analysis showed the designs were successful due to their use of texture and tones and therefore I aspired to create a similar effect.
I developed a skill I found successful in pre-collection which was responding to research in 3D. This method allows freedom to explore whilst manipulating with my hands. Having a wide range of fabrics donated it was imperative I understood their properties and what their capabilities were. A technique which I found successful was carding, the ability to elevate fabrics such as poly lining was key in creating a aesthetically beautiful element to fabric which would be seen as undesirable. I produced innovative ideas which were refined and contextualized, through extensive practical investigation of recycling readymade garments including deconstruction of dresses, subverting traditional elements, fabric manipulation techniques and experimenting with placement, this process was challenging as I have previously not worked in this way, letting go of all restrictions was empowering and led into successful points for a final collection, exploring how the fabric can move and be manipulated was liberating and was fundamental in attaining innovative garments. Carrying out practical investigation for the ‘something old’ ritual was more challenging as subverting traditional techniques such as smocking was limited due to the weight of the wedding dress fabrics, however after assessing all of the fabrics received I was able to identify key fabrics which could be used and elevated by the process carried out with the princess pleater. The vinyl cutter was the tool of choice for the something new ritual which was used to elevate some fabrics. It had it’s challenges as the consideration of motif scale is something I was not comfortable with. For this I sourced guidance from Happy Fabrics who were extremely helpful and supportive and talked me through any issues I had. I would certainly use them again.
I visualize my work being available in concept stores such as Dover Street Market, a store which offers high fashion brands such as Comme Des Garcons and Elena Dawson my work contains a similar aesthetic and quality.
Millennials are aware of the impact of textiles on the environment due to social media, however they are avid consumers who don’t want to buy less but more responsibility, willing to purchase investment pieces and value self expression with their clothing rather than fitting in. They need to be given the opportunities to be more environmentally conscious and my collection would feed into this easily. Whilst using recycled fabrics the traditional dresses are unrecognizable and the millennial would be wearing a bespoke garment which subvert the traditions and push the boundaries of bridal traditions.
Through the development of my designs I have challenged my fabric manipulation and construction skills along with deconstruction skills, these include constructing garments with a high volume of dress netting, pushing the boundaries of embellishment, exploring fabrics and identifying their capabilities in construction and investigating the behavior of fabrics. This has pushed my knowledge of construction and its elements further which will have a positive effect on my future as a designer.
During my time in the studio I have provided evidence of competent health and safety practice by following the rules set out along with completing my own health and safety form. Using the industrial machinery safely and correctly is imperative to the students and staff’s own safety.
Through independent exploration, I was able to produce a successful collection of 5 including headpieces along with a professional portfolio of my work which show my engagement and competence in constructing a variation of complex approaches to fashion construction, fabric manipulation and adobe software skills which have all built on my knowledge from 1st year.
My final garments and headwear create a strong aesthetically pleasing collection due to the consideration of components which went into them. Throughout this module I have considered, contextualized and analysed the garment designs for my final professional exhibitions which have been developed and refined as my knowledge grew due to the extensive research and experimentation I carried out. My attention to detail and confidence in my ability to create innovative designs with high construction skills has contributed to the success of my final major project.