Monday, October 2 -Wear it project

For this one day project we were asked to reflect on the words "suspend", "support", and "surround" after been introduced to the 3DDA curriculum area. This class was mainly focusing on fashion accessories such as footwear, jewerly, bags, and how they influence the body. We had to come up with words, concepts, or emotions which we related to the three words mentioned above. In my case, I was mostly inspired by the word "surround", since I was able to come up with quit a few terms such as restricting, extending, protecting, covering, warping, atmosphere, etc. In my perspective, these words are simply the functions of "surrounding" the body. As for the words "support" and "suspend", I was not able to come up with much thoughts because I found them to be more complex. Why? I do not know exactly. I guess I was more comfortable and, therefore, found more inspiration with the word "surround". Perhaps because surrounding and enveloping the body, in a broad sense, is generally what fashion is about.

Afterwards, we were asked to create ten different accessories for each of the three words in a very short amount of time. This is where things got very complicated and frustrating because I found myself stuck with no inspiration or ideas and I know exactly why. If you interview the most successful designers you will find that each have their own techniques they use, their own ways of solving problems, their own ways of working and doing things. In my case, I generally get inspired  by the things I see or notice around me. Whether it is behavior, emotions, textures, landscapes, nature, buildings, structures, colors, surfaces, and so on. They form the base of my inspiration, which I later on transform into a more complex and personal outcome. On top of having a very short amount of time, we have had nothing more than our brains to come up with 30 different designs which I was unable to do without making research, which is also a major influence and aspect of my inspiration. Coming up with 30 different designs with limited time and no proper research was a very stressful task, but I tell myself in these situations that you cannot grow without being challenged. 

 When I create, I enjoy including different aspects of society such as religion, superstitions, behavior, politics, history, culture, architecture, and many others. I like when my creations, on top of being decorative, have a purpose, a sense, deliver a message, or are symbolic. I could not go very far without any formal research, so I decided to inspire myself from an aspect of my life which I master quit well: my own culture. First, I had to figure out which part of the body to surround, how will it be surrounded, and how will it affect this particular part. In my head, I pictured many Moroccan, Muslim, and Arab accessories on different part of the body. Nothing of what I had imagined worked better than a Hamza as an accessory for the hand. The Hamza is palm-shaped amulet used throughout the Middle East and North Africa usually as a necklace, bracelet, earring, tattoo, and many other forms of accessories. Its use, mainly superstitious, is to protect from the evil eye and symbolizes strength, blessings, and power. Because the Hamza is literally the shape of a hand, I thought it would go perfectly serve as an accessory for someone's hand. I had many ways in which it could surround the hand which I have drawn in my sketchbook. My final outcome at the end of the day, after we have constructed our accessories based on materials provided by the tutors, was too simple, which is why I was disappointed. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the right materials to bring what I have initially imagined to life. I had to make my design simpler and adapt it to the materials provided in a short amount time, which was another challenge I had to face during the making process. 

The accessory could either blend with the hand's movements and motions, causing no restrictions, or the opposite. I did not have enough time to think too much about details and had to go with something basic and easy. Therefore, I have decided to go with no restrictions using malleable metal sticks that were extremely thin. I drew my hand on my sketchbook and used the drawing to shape the metal sticks. After this step, the metal had the shape of my hand but could not be worn on the without some support. I measured my finger's diameter and cut small pieces of metal stick that were half the diameter of each finger. They were worn like a ring cut in half. I wanted half of the hand's side to be covered and the other side to be open; like gloves cut in half. I would then stick the half rings metals on the metal stick that was shaped like my hand at places where the fingers do not bend. It took me more time than expected and was unable to finish everything and achieve my goal. Therefore, one finger did not have half ring metals as a support and I did not cover any side of the hand. I wanted to cover one of the hand's side with either geometrical arabesques or traditional decorations found on a Hamza. These decorations would be drawn on paper that I would wrap around the metal sick shaped like my hand in a way which would cover one side of my hand but not the other.

 If I have had more time and better materials I would have been more careful with the little details such as size. Perhaps I would have expanded it to the entire arm instead of just the hand. In a few days I would have came up with better ideas and different accessories. This project was a great challenge in which you have to be careful about time; however, I already knew that quality takes time. I also realized during the part in which we had to come up with 30 designs that I barely draw my ideas on a sketchbook. I usually come up with ideas in my head, but I never document them. I simply draw my favorite idea(s) after I have imagined a dozens in my head. That is how I have always been and I might want to change this habit. 

© Ilyas Machhour, all rights reserved