Tuesday 21st March

Today unfortunately I felt really ill with what I think is a cold that’s going around everyone at the moment and decided that it would be a more effective use of my energy to work at home instead of getting even more tired dragging all my equipment to Archway. However, I have asked my colleagues what the tutors said generally to the class, particularly about what they would like for Thursday, so I hope I haven’t missed too much. I asked Alice to look at my work yesterday so I have had a tutorial this week.

Firstly I finished off filling in the gap I left in my sketchbook for my pages working on padding and deconstruction, by printing off pictures of a deconstruction I had done and then putting them on top of drawn models. I think that this is a good way of quickly showing the drape on the body, particularly when I photographed it on a mannequin rather than a person, although I am aware that I haven’t really done any live drawing for this project so this is something I would like to do for further developments.

After this, one thing that I had wanted to do for Thursday was to have a toile of a part of a garment as a constructed piece rather than the drapes that I have been doing so far to develop my idea. I think that personally I find cutting a pattern according to an idea and still reacting instinctively and testing out new things, but in a more constructed way is something that suits me so from this point forward I think that I will mostly be experimenting in this way. I have written a list of possible toiles to try in the next few days, although I think it is realistic to only aim for one to be finished for Thursday, and I decided to make a bodice with very long oversized sleeves with arcing asymmetric flared panels and an oversized padded lapel collar twisting around the head. I think that this combines two of the things I have been experimenting with, the padded structure and the draped elements whilst still treating it in a structural way. Another toile I would like to do would be one wholly focusing on padding to experiment with this kind of look, but for now I am focusing on this one as an introduction to how padded elements could look in my garment.

I decided to cut a bodice with kimono sleeves already attached to the main bodice piece, and then to have separate panels to continue the sleeves down past the fingertips. I particularly liked this look on some of the drapes I did where the lining of the sleeve was pulled out past the original sleeve to obscure the natural shape of the arms, and I particularly like oversized shapes for this project in order to convey a sense of power and authority. Once I had done this I cut various flares pieces to sew on top of the sleeves, which at the moment were simple bell sleeves, with I did by drawing on layout paper on top of the sleeves how big I would like them, then slashing and spreading the shapes to add flare before cutting them out of calico. I tried to place the flares in an asymmetric way, with varying lengths to create an uneven tiered effect inspired by the layered shapes I found in one of my drapes. I think it could be interesting to develop this idea forward to have a texture on the underside of the flares that could be peeping through, similar to the effect of the layered padding I found in my deconstruction of the suit.

Additionally, once I had done one sleeve, I found that the contrast of the heavily flared sleeve with the bell sleeve was actually quite effective, and made the structural effect of the flares to be even more prominent, and I think the asymmetric quality gives it more of a fresh effect. I therefore just did one flare on the other sleeve to balance it out slightly, and cut the collar so that it balanced the flare heavy sleeve. I really like the effect of the padding, as it creates structure whilst retaining softness, and is something I would like to develop. I am really pleased that despite not feeling that well I was finally able to start constructing toile experiment pieces and I think that the shapes look really effective. Although I don’t know whether this will be part of my final piece, and it could do with considering how to more fully integrate suit elements and sheer or cut out elements, I think it is a good stage in my development and I think it captures the sense of arrogant, assertive femininity that I want to portray. 

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