Friday, October 30, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I apologize for my absence, I've been crazy busy for 20 days, apparently. I'll just give a rundown of what I've been spending all of my time doing. After draping a creative dolman in Soft Silhouettes, our next project was a creative pant. For the creative dolman, I really let the fabric lead me and it turned out very interesting. This time there were so many directions I could have gone, so instead of taking a lot of time to play, I decided to see if I could execute a pant that I had sketched previously. I wanted a drop-crotch pant that was skinny under the knee. Voila, pretty simple. Next time, I'll take the time to play.

Our next project in that class was the creative cowl. My work in progress.

My final cowl garment. The black style tape above the bust is not intended for this design. Other students often leave their tape on the forms and it is out of courtesy that I did not remove it. I think my design looks kind of vintage, yet modern. I picture it with a black pencil skirt, long black gloves, fingerwaves and a small hat with netting over the face.

I'm about to make myself look bad since my design was much more simple than most of my classmates' designs, but I simply love the variety and creativity, so I have to share.









Isn't the variety striking? I always thought it would be hard to be different from other fashion designers but being in this program has actually strengthened my sense of individuality. I also love the creative process and the way we all ask each other's opinion, so often there's a little bit of each other in our designs. For Fashion Illustration, I spent more time on this simple 3/4 turn assignment than I should have but, I'm happy with the way it turned out and it was fun to design lingerie.

The class that takes the most brain power for me, and for most of my classmates, is Flat Pattern. The teacher gives us a basic lesson and then she emphasizes that our projects need to be "extremely creative." Our assignment was to draft a pattern and sew a front and back bodice using dart manipulation and combine it with a creative dirndle (gathered skirt) to make a cohesive dress. To explain dart manipulation, a flat piece of fabric needs darts (or gathers, pleats, tucks) in order to fit the curves of the body so dart manipulation means we take the normal darts that are usually at the waistline and bust and we move them around on the flat pattern and create a unique look. To reiterate, this took a huge amount of my brain power to pull off so I'm pretty proud of it even though its kind of odd... I don't know if you can tell from the photo but the white triangles are actually the darts turned inside out with a closed dart underneath, the flap on the yoke and white under the lace both reflect the peak-a-boo effect. I got an A minus because my pattern pieces had no notches...

I'm really loving learning the ins and outs of Photoshop. Continuing with our Marc Jacobs project, our assignment was to fill in the styled figures that we drew using the fabric prints that we created. I like her, but we probably wouldn't be friends. =)

It seems I never quite recovered after a side project that I did a few weeks ago, I've been really busy and tired ever since. However, I am glad I challenged myself. The side project I am speaking of is the application for the Fusion Fashion Show. Fusion is a competition between rival schools Parsons and FIT. Fifteen students from each school are chosen to complete a 5 look collection for the fashion show in the Spring. My inspiration was androgyny, and I designed a collection that combined masculinity and femininity. Out of 250 applications, I made the top twenty for my school. However, I didn't make it to the final 15, but I am the second alternate in case two people drop out. In the off chance that I do end up doing the show, I am opting not to post my renderings. However, I thought I'd share my mood page. I created the pattern that showcases the title, "ANDRO." I thought it was interesting that A's and O's are bi-directional so the word can be spelled forward and backward and still stay connected. This duality is analogous to the androgyny concept. My second inspiration was the Fall season, I am loving the brick and olive colors right now.

Side note: I am considering studying Knitwear in Milan next year. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Drapes of Wrath

I encountered my toughest challenge thus far, the creative dolman. On Monday, the professor encouraged us to simply play with the fabric to get a feel for what it wanted to do. I was originally working with a lightweight crepe georgette and I discovered that soft draping is much harder than it looks. I felt as though I needed at least three hands to be able to do the job right and I started to get really nervous that maybe I was a null at soft draping. Wednesday night I decided to take some extra time to play with a heavier fabric in order to get some more practice before Friday's class. The extra play time and sturdier fabric really helped and Friday I created a dolman that I liked. The professor said I was skipping forward to a future lesson by doing an underarm drape but he didn't want to discourage my creativity so he encouraged me to move forward. This is one piece of fabric draped under the arm to create a dolman sleeve on one side and I later draped another piece of fabric to match at the center back and other side seam. All pins at this point, I later tacked and marked it with thread.

For our assignments, we are only required to drape one half of the garment if its a symmetrical design. I was tired of throwing away fabric and having nothing to show for all of my hard work, so I decided to drape the whole garment. That decision almost led to a breakdown when I took all of this drapey fabric off the form and it ended up looking like a confusing jumble of nothingness on the table. After a long night in the work room, I pretty much had it sorted out and today I finished it "classroom style" for the grading. I still have some tweaking to do to it for it to be wearable but overall I am really proud of myself for what I created.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Til the Cows Come Home

Before leaving Kansas City, I, along with my good friend and fellow fashion lover, Andrea, created a two-look collection for LemonLime Photography. They specialize in wedding photography and are hoping to branch out into the fashion photography niche, so they asked us to create a collection. The location was on a cow farm in Kansas, so our collection had a country chic feel. "Country Chic?" you ask? It can be done! Andrea created the mustard-colored skirt and white blouse, and I created the lace jumper and glovelets. I adore the cowboy boots. Taylor and Christina make beautiful models and major props to the photographers, the photos look spectacular. Click on the link to see more photos of our collection as well as our friend Mary's line, Belle Amie.

Last night, I stayed up until 2:30 am again working on my draping project, but it is so worth it to me when I get a good grade. More importantly, it shows I understand the lesson and can execute it well. I actually have a 100% in that class and trust me, thats not easy. Today we displayed our shift dress, which can be very boxy like the one I made, or can be taken in at the waist to make a fitted sheath dress. The shift can easily rekindle a 60's vibe but I think mine is pretty modern. I even put in a side pocket and the bias rolled collar gives a polished finish. I also bought fabric to make one for myself since I'm tired of draping and sewing all of the time without a single garment to show for it. Just like me to squeeze in more sewing in my free time...

After all of the draping and drafting, I really enjoyed settling in to render a walking croquis for Fashion Art and Design. As I was drawing I kept thinking, "I could do this for hours." I spend hours on draping, drafting and sewing, but I could do illustration until the cows come home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Week in Full Swing

Wednesday, my favorite day of the week and getting closer to Friday, my favorite day of the weekend! Yesterday started out with the grading of our princess bodice, peter pan collar, puff sleeve, yoke and dirndle skirt concoction. When you add a peter pan collar and gathered skirt to something, it tends to look a bit like a waitress' uniform but I thought I did a nice job of continuing the curve of the collar in the yoke and the sleeve to make it cohesive. Another "A" thank you very much! Should I stop bragging about my grades? I'll consider it... The sleeve was also for a grade in Flat Pattern, I'll just let you guess what I got on it. =)

Monday started out with Computer class, where we've been learning the basics of Photoshop. Luckily, I am pretty familiar with Photoshop, otherwise the speed of the class would be daunting. However, I have much to learn and what we have learned has already come in handy. In fact, I used a lot of my new Photoshop knowledge on the illustration project that I turned in for the Art Concentration application. Results are in: I made it! I am one of 25 students who was accepted for next term's Art Concentration! In the Art Concentration, we will be focusing on conceptualizing and illustrating numerous collections and have an amazing paper portfolio that we will have on exhibition for graduation. The students in the Apparel Concentration will be focusing on advanced draping and flat pattern and will have to compete to exhibit their term garment at the time of graduation. It was a hard decision to make since I didn't want to miss out on any skills at all, but I don't see myself draping ball gowns in the future so I think I'm following the right path.

Back to Photoshop. A lot of the students view the class simply as work but I really enjoy what I'm learning and know I'll use it in the future. We started a project where we are to use Marc Jacobs as inspiration and design textile prints to use in predetermined silhouettes for a Late Spring/Early Fall Collection. Below is my Mood Page which sets the color scheme and gives me my template for my print patterns.

From the Mood Page, I created these repeat prints below. These were created quickly and are not necessarily what I am going to use but I am excited about the possibilities!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week 5

Our assignment in Flat Pattern was to draft and sew a short puff sleeve. I have included photos of the steps for those who are curious.

First step: Using a straight sleeve sloper, trace the back half of the cap/underarm to the length you want the sleeve (minus the cuff).

Second Step: Using the slash and spread method, divide the sleeve in half lengthwise, then divide the right half into 3 equal sections and slash to about a 1/4" away from the bottom.

Third Step: Draw straight grainline  down center of paper and touch bottom of sleeve to that line. Then, spread equally to create puff at top. I put an inch in between each section and a 1/2" at center since it will be doubled when opened as full sleeve. Then add at least 1/3 of what you added to the width into the height. So since I added 3.5 inches to width, I added about 1 1/4" to the height above 3rd section. Then, using a french curve, true to nothing (meaning draw a curve to touch) at the 1st section. Then, blend the rest of the curve to basically follow the underarm curve.

Final Step: Put grainline on fold of paper and trace to both sides. Voila, a puff sleeve. I added two petals and a cuff. The cuff should be the measurement of your arm, where the bottom of the sleeve will hit plus 1/2" for ease and the cuff will be on the fold. We used 1/2" seam allowances. Cut out fabric and sew!

The sleeve goes with a bodice and skirt that I will showcase later. I included a few of my drawings from Life Drawing. Its always shocking at first to see someone naked, and then I start to think like, "wow, thats a graceful curve on her calf." Silly.

Probably my favorite, but most stressful, part of the week was working on my illustration project. It was also doubling as a project for my Art Concentration application, so it was doubly stressful! But, as it developed I liked it more and more. Below is a photo of the rendering process.

My new favorite technique for rendering denim: put a piece of denim under the page and use colored pencil on top to pick up the pattern of the twill!

The final project. First page: Mood Page

Second page: Swatches

Third and Fourth pages: Figures and Flats

You like? Well, I hope the Art Concentration Panel liked it!