Having thoroughly enjoyed my eureka moment, and believing for 7.3 seconds that I have discovered the best thing since cat’s eyes (which, btw kicks the ass of sliced bread in the all-time death match of great inventions), shit got real!
I’ve got to turn my concept into an actual collection. My Protest project was a resounding academic success, strong concept, nicely explored, and evident in all my final designs, the palette was project appropriate. Now, if you have followed my blog, met me on the school run, or happened upon me at the Halberton Farm shop, you will know that my ‘style’ is an eclectic mix of delightful random accumulated on budget from generous or fearful friends (bequeathing their overexcited poor choices), vintage/charity and some Eve Copper makes. The only thing my style has in common from one day to the next is that you’re gonna see me coming. There’s no subtle whisper in my dress code, a cacophony of colourful berets, a twist of fancy pantsiness, a dash of mad 80’s and some gargantuan earrings. Pretty far from appropriate or classy. So my lecturer’s ‘feedback’ went like this:
‘Although this project speaks of your intellectual and conceptual approach to fashion, I don’t feel like it belongs to you visually, it would be great to see more, well, EVE jumping out of your designs.’
Although I dress in hi-def sparkling technicolour, I design mostly in black and grey, so, I took this as a sign that I had to do some serious colouring in for this project.
This is how mistakes are made of course, as colour in I did, without consideration or regard for any outlines. The challenge is finding fabrics which work together in colour, and feel, are fit for purpose and don’t cost a fortune, oh yeah aaaaaannnnnndddd look like me. So, I found the most magical scuba jersey with mad geometric floral print on it (the hoody), this cost me £2 per metre and was an industry second from a trader at the Birmingham Rag market. Then came the 70’s stripes in a poly-satin, again Birmingham Rags, I had to cut round some serious pattern defects, and the odd mouse poop…..but hell, the colours sort of worked. Then there was a dash to Goldhawk Road in London for what can only be described as an evening cityscape, which would not have been my first choice, but again the colours were ok.
Finally, as apparently I wasn’t there yet with the flamboyant, I decided on sequins. There had to be sequins! My last 3 years as the extroverted fashion supernova that I think I am, has been accompanied by a trail of fallen sequins. Sequins it was, I went classy and found some lovely navy ones.
This Psychedelic, collection of madness came together for the final collection, at its most eye watering in this adjustable jacket. I tell you that my design drawings were of such great standard that this pictures lulled me into a sense of security, that this was possibly my Sistine chapel…
Frantic mesh painting (to dye it an insecure purpley-blue, that I named ‘shade bruise’, on account of the mottled final dying effect), plenty of pattern cutting, and sewing, and I finally assemble a garment, which has permutations which have excited me throughout the sketch up process and I have created……..
‘The Kickboxing wizard’ jacket.
Yup, it wasn’t great, and despite loving a bit of MMA, (I’m a yellow belt) and the adaptations looking really good, the whole thing just is exactly how a wizard would dress to the ring for a round or two with Jackie Chan. It’s clear at this point that I need to perfect the concept as illustrated in this piece, even on my gorgeous model it’s pretty goddam awful.
So here’s to mistakes, to trial and success, to making an idiot out of yourself and making an idiot design. I’m happy with the overall of this collection, I think it goes a good way into exploring a solution. I may not have arrived at destination yet, but guarantee I’ll be found kick boxing my way through the next part of development, in a flurry of midnight sequins and the British Airway’s livery stripes circa 1976, until I can give this piece a serious title.
If you want to have a go at configuring your own outfits out of these pieces, I’d encourage you to sign up for my upcoming trials, if you haven’t already. Complete my survey for more information, it’ll be awesome to have you involved.