School: MONOCOQUE & CHAIR-NESS

The above photograph and sketch are from a class called "body comprehension/understanding" (translated, in German: Körperverständnis). Among our teachers was a Feldenkrais-Instructor who did exercises with us, after which we'd have to try to translate how our bodies felt into some sort of body-based, three-dimensional collage, using whatever we had - tape, paper, fabric etc. It was an interesting, new approach to design for me. We do a lot of these "impromptu collages and stylings" at school, and it takes some getting used to, because you only have very little time to complete them, and they never look quite like I want them to. But I'm trying to accept them as three-dimensional sketches (rather than anything finished) to work with later on, I have to let go of the "do everything perfectly" thing - there simply isn't enough time to fully develop an idea before you know if it's worth it design wise. In this phase of the design process it's quantity above quality, and that's something I need to get accustomed to. Need for speed!

These are some more sketches from school. We had about half an hour to style each other with whatever clothes we had on, and objects in the room, so I dressed Pauline up in a chair and lots of scarves and sweaters (see the three black an white photos). I really liked the chair outfit! It made for some interesting poses haha. Then we went to see a shoe exhibit at a muesum - it was amazing! The collection had some historical shoes and some really crazy new ones. My favorites:

"Black Crystal Meth" by Kermit Tesoro, "Ring" by Peter Popps, "Nunfides" by Valentini Argyropoulou, "Nova" by Zaha Hadid (my absolute fave!), "Juxtapose" Marieka Ratsma, "Blackmouldedleathershoe" and "Pressedleathershoe" by Marloes ten Bhömer and "Feather Men Shoes" by Aki Choklat. Also check out these shoes by Joyce Verhagen, I didn't have time to sketch them:

They're made from those rubber ball toys!

So after sketching our Stylings with different shoes and accessories, we had to work on different silhouettes. Basically you just keep redrawing the silhouette with varied lengths/volume/colors/texture, or use collage to develop different ideas and keep drawing and transforming that silhouette until you have enough material to work on the most interesting ideas. Again, I was not as fast as I could have been, had I not tried to be so precise. But it's ok, I'll learn, I'll get faster, and I still like what I ended up with.

 

Modes et Travaux - Les Modèles Simples

Just a quick inspiration post from an old issue of Modes et Travaux:

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Love the first two coats on the left! Also the grey, the blue and the red dress. But what's up with that blue blouse? Boob flap? Is it for breastfeeding? Or maybe you can just remove it from the dress to "go from day to night in an instant". Im intrigued.

Posted on November 10, 2014 and filed under inspiration, vintage magazine scans.

Spandex Mermaid Pencil Skirt

This summer I visited New York, and while I was there, I bought LOTS of fabric! The flashiest of them all was a mermaidy Spandex.

Scallops! Blue! Green! Sparkle!

I wasn’t sure what I’d make from it. Maybe a bathing suit? Would that be too literal? Last week I made it into a skirt:

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I drafted the pattern, but I didn’t make a muslin, so this is the wearable muslin I guess. The most obvious issue is the waistline: I think I need a sway back adjustment! The waistline dips down at the back and rises in the front, something I didn't do intentionally. Something to remember for all my future pencil skirts. Another issue: you can see that the side seam "leans" to the back from the waist up. This is because I had to make the skirt tighter in the back halfway through sewing it (is this also a sway back issue? With me there's always extra fabric on either side of the zipper with the muslin. Or maybe it has to do with my high waist?).

Even with these issues I really like it! I've worn it with those winter shoes, tights, mohair socks and a white shirt layered under a comfy grey sweater (this one!). The fabric changes color (see the first two images) between two different greens, depending on the light. I made a walking slit at center back, so it's easy to walk in, great for every day!

A friend of mine had the idea that I could cut along the scallops at the hem, and that's something I might do! But I might make a second one anyway and use that for the hem. Also: we have a flatlock machine at school, and someday we'll learn to use it, which would be cool way to sew the side seam in this skirt!

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under Sewing, finished garments.

Gloom Installation

I'm finally posting about this! It was a school project from my art foundation course that I worked on last january. We had to make an installation that we would photograph for a fictional record cover (LP), and all text had to be incorporated into the installation. A lot of my fellow students worked with drawings and paintings, but that's not my strong point, nor do I have the most fun doing it, so I decided to work with textiles! Also, the band I picked is my best friends' band, so that made it more fun :)

The song I picked for the cover was inspired by Twin Peaks (my BFF and I are fans!), so I wanted the installation to mirror that. I would have liked to shoot in a bedroom, but we had to shoot at school, so I had to bring the bedroom to school, which I did like so:

This project was similar to the fashion photography course in that we had the same teacher and everything had to be made by us! So I used some wood, glue and cardboard to make a bedframe and wall.

Next I built a nightstand from an old winecrate my dad gave me (he likes wine so I make him give me the boxes :)), a board from the "leftovers" bin at the hardware store and 4 dowels. I spent forever staining and sealing them all, but I wanted to be able to use it after the shoot. I would make a tutorial but I think it kinda explains itself:

I wanted the nightstand to be the focus of the photograph and fill it with all the many things I associate with those teenage years and objects that allude to themes that are kind of universal in the process of growing up. All on one messy nightstand (cause mine was always messy...), like a shrine to adolescence.

And since, you know, Twin Peaks, I made this to be the centerpiece of the shrine:

Laura Palmer! Rose Petals! Hands with cigarettes! Glitter! Lipstick! So confusing! Aah the teen years... It's weird that I'm slightly nostalgic for a time in my life where I was very unhappy alot of the time and longed for it to be over. I think I might be nostalgic for the daydreams I had during that time, or for a false memory rather then what it was really like. Like how you always get really excited about summer approaching and all the things you'll do and feel in summer - complete freedom! - and when it's over you think "that was it? summers used to be so fun and exciting and just the best!" and it wasn't at all how you imagined it to be. But it never actually happened that way, that's just wishful remembering I guess? Or maybe that's just me. Anyway I'm rambling so back to the installation.

To spell out "GLOOM" (the name of the Band) I made knitted letters:

This is where I was at this point, I brought a ton of stuff (objects that somehow tied into the themes of adolescence: childhood, changing body, candy, death, sexuality, drugs, religion, beauty, womanhood, time, fashion etc.) in to style the scene:

Next I bought a blank Ikea lampshade, drew some of the lyrics onto it, cut them out and covered it in a flowery fabric...

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... printed out a flower pattern on multiple A4 sheets of paper and used them as wallpaper, embroidered lyrics on to a sweater and a pillow...

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... brought in pillows, blankets, carpets and turned my corner into a bedroom:

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And then we photographed it all!

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I you'd like to know more about how I made anything in the photos, let me know.

Posted on October 22, 2014 and filed under DIY & Crafts.

The Blanket Coat - Sketches

I have so many finished projects from the last few months to share, but I'll just add those in between current ones, so here's something I'm working on right now:

A winter coat! Made from a blanket I found at the thrift store for 15.- francs. I loved the color and though it would be nice to have a coat that feels like a blanket, so why not make it from an actual blanket?

Also, I liked this color combo and I'm considering using a dark red for the lining:

(image via)

I made the first draft of the pattern and first muslin on friday, I'll have better pictures up in the next few days. For now some instagrams will have to do:

In the second picture I've started draping the darts at the bottom, but it's not quite right yet, still working on it. (In the first picture you can see my schools sewing room!)

Also, since the blanket is very drapey, I'm going to have to interface the sh*t out of it to make it hold the shape of the sleeves. I hope it's possible without adding too much weight... I was thinking of using horsehair. Anyone have a good idea?

Posted on October 20, 2014 and filed under Sewing.