Today I went to Harrods to see the Green man in the flesh. I must not lie when I say this was a particularly underwhelming experience, as he didn’t even open the door for me..... In addition, I also went to another Harrods entrance where there wasn’t any green men at all... only security guards on the inside of the doors. I thought it was ironic to see customers struggling to push the door open themselves.
Walking around Harrods I was surprised at the sheer excess of everything, hundreds of handbags light up by bright lights and elevated on pedestals. The store was busier than I expected, but few people interacted with the items. Instead these luxury goods and status symbols are almost untouchable, guarded by smart staff members and security.
The interior was pristine, with high ceilings, spotless carpets which had been recently hoovered and clear lights. One large space incorporated Egyptian style decor, with coffered ceilings and pillars. I thought the food hall seemed similar to a hotel, as people could literally spend a whole day shopping and dining. I was aware that there seemed to be everything of anything, every fish or flavoured tea, hundreds of different cakes and chocolates - a medium size box of chocolates costing only £95.
Today I went to the library to research some ideas that are inspired by Harrods and the Green Man. After seeing so many handbags yesterday and even images of the green men holding customers bags, I decided to look at bags and trunks. Trunks derive from the revolution in trade, in which they were used as structures to contain goods. Baggage was handeled roughly I’m horse drawn carriages, boats and trains. People called upon a box maker to pack precious items and protect them from the hardships of travel.
Today customers can be seen with lots of shopping bags, to hold their purchases. I am interested in the idea of filling a bag or shopping basket to explore this idea of excess. After reading about Louis Vitton's “The birth of modern luxury” I felt more informed about cases and their iconic appearance - mostly leather with the signature monogram print, buckle details etc. I would like to explore using leather or materials that seem very similar to leather in my work in the future. I think that the stark juxtaposition of soft leather with hints of neon embelishment could look very exciting, creating a modern twist on a material that has been used for thousands of years.
I then looked at a variety of handbags and their different forms - I even found handbags in the shape of other objects e.g a crown or a car. I thought this duality was a particularly interesting example of excess as one luxury item is made to look like another luxury item. I looked at other expensive items such as hats, gloves and shoes - accessories that can be status symbols, as hats become decorated with pears and ostrich feathers.
Following I’m from the trunk idea I started to think about casing is a less literal way. The idea of a hard exterior, a protective outer layer. Still only at the start of the project I looked at quite a variety of images today trying to generate ideas. I thought of animals who have their shells on their back such as beetles and tortoises. These invertebrates have the skeleton on the outside, protecting their insides. This makes me think of protective clothing such as body suits and padded clothing - I am unsure if i will explore these ideas further.
Today I was able to start collaging my research together, by combing and recontextualising Images. Even though I haven’t yet explored combining different materials, layering and combining imagery is a form of manipulation. The first collage I did combines two men carrying a trunk help on long sticks. I thought this almost had a religious aura, as religious iconography is often carried upon the shoulders of a group of men in ceremonial rituals. By combining this image with a much larger bag the sense of scale is turned on its head. I thought this was effective because the bag the men stand on seems more like a large structure they could fit into theme selves. The idea of magnified bags relates well to my theme of excessive consumerism - and enlarged shapes relates well to the theme of excess.
Another thing I found successful, is the combination of old drawings from 19th century gentlemen with modern day fashion photography. By dissecting areas of his over coat I was able to highlight the bright, playful print of the urban casual wear. Something about the green man is similar to these gentleman figures, both wear smart hats and overcoats and seem to relate to ideals of honour. The old fashioned tradition of what it means to be a gentleman, seems contrasted against the the of material excess.
The main shape of my drawing is of the silhouette of the hand bag on its side. What is sucessful? I think the use of browns is effective, as it creates a visual relationship with the leather trunks. This relationship is strengthened by the subtle checkerboard pattern, similar to the Louis Vuitton print. The repetition of the hook shape, extracted from the side of the bag shape works well in the accetate beacuse it allows me to overlay and almost connect the shapes. This ehoes the bag itself, reinforcing my research.
Although it seems too early in the project to be making samples, today I made one naturally and I am pleased with the outcome. The shape is taken from a picture of an oldfashioned bonnet hat, sourced from Accessorize, 250 Objects of Fashion and Desire by the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. This image appealed to me when I was looking at a variety of luxuary goods, and I was instantly drawn to its frill and unique ribbed texture created by the bands. Although this is not translated in my drawing, as i thought it would look too intricate I decided to highlight this frill in a bold way, creating more impact. The use of pink metallic foil hints at the idea of preciousness. The rough brown pencil marks have an almost hair like texture, relating to my research on the history of fur. I think these energetic marks create a nice variety against the photographic imagery of the polished jewellery.
The big beads are sourced from Treasures in Gold, Masterpieces of Jewelery From Antiquity to Modern times, by Gianni Guadalupi. Using the photocopier I was able to change thier colour from gold to red to suit my colour palette. Placed beneath my sample, their appearence is similar to the handel of a bag. The collage is mounted on lime green plastic, almost as if it is glowing. What is not as successful? The green plastic has a slight transparency which I have not exploited here, but aim to experiment with in another sample. Although red and green are complementary colours, there is the risk they emphasise the large darker shape, making it seem clusmy. I will aim to refine this balance of colour and solid and textured surfaces.
I started to make another sample, which has the same colour palette. This still remains unfinished, but incorporates the repetition of smiley face pills, which echo the pearl beads or rounded shapes of jewels. The use of smiley pills is inspired by artist Imbue's Pills, 112 Space, Birmingham – 2015 (Solo Show)https://imbuesource.com/about-imbue-artist/
The yellow smiley face is an icon we are all too familiar with especially since the use of emojis. I think it is very poignant that ectasy pills are created in the smiley face shape, as many negative themes are related to drugs: addiction, loss of control, depression, death. I think the repetition of smiley faces communicates the idea of excess well and makes the viewer question if all this materialsim is linked to happiness.
I find it very useful extracting shapes from the images I have researched, when taken out of context these shapes can be unrecognisable and used to create interesting patterns. Trace paper is the perfect tool to achieve this, not just to extract the shapes themselves, but to experiment with different placements of the shape, as trace paper allows you to flip and rotate the shape. When sitting down to work this morning, I felt rather uninspired and stuck. In a means to generate ideas, I returned to the collage work that I did yesterday, and traced over the overlapping bag inspired shapes, creating a single larger shape. This process of abstraction seemed quite random, and to my suprise, when rotated, this shape looked like the side profile similar to the green man! This accident really excited me, and I repeated the shape but decreased its scale to create more visual interest than repeating it at the same scale. I love the idea of graduated print, which I have seen in the work of Manish Arora.
In the afternoon, I created a new sample, creating a sewn path inspired by the drawing I did. What was successful? Using brown leather with neon stitch, as the dark ground emphasises the stitch, making it a feature. I combined this with my unfinshed sample I had started making the day before, and the merging of the two ideas improved both samples. I think the combination of materials with photographic imagery of jewellery, and the smiley faces like precious gems looks effective. How to move ideas further? I used materials I had scraps of, but over the weekend I hope to buy some new fabrics - gather more resources. I definately want to explore using the smiley faces in more uncoventional ways.
Today has not been a productive day in terms of research or making, but more of a reflective day. After researching Vivienne Westwood's political solgans on her T shirts, and the anti fur protesters poster, I am starting to consider incorporating random snippets of text into the prints of my own work. I think this will complement my work, because as a consumer we are exposed to adverts everyday, telling us to buy the lastest items. I have always thought the langauge used for advertising is rather strange and agressive, as sentences are reduced to key words 'BUY NOW', 'BEANZ MEANZ HEINZ' 'DREAM BIGGER'. This poses the next question, what would my words/slogans say? Below I noted down some rather silly, meaningless ideas which relate to my research, some might have an ironic tone.
- Hairy Delight
- Extra fat baggy
- Smiley Potatoes
- Diamonds for everyone :)
- More More More
- Leather Man
Today I went to V&A to see the current exhibition 'Ocean Liners: Speed and Style', as I was aware this had some Louis Vuitton trunks in it, and explored themes of luxuary and travel. I enjoyed the exhibition, as before hand I was not aware of the signifcance of ocean liners. Although less prominant today, ocean liners remian one of the most admired symbols of modernity. Trunks and ways of storage would have been a large part of life onboard, as there was limited space, and people were want to take items from home with them when they travel. The exhibition certainly explored the theme of excess, as Ocean liners competed for customers and the interiors were similar to that of a hotel. All this excess seemed to be too much, causing the Titanic to sink in 1912.
In the afternoon I bought some fabrics that interest me, this includes: a metallic pink cloth, geometric textured brown table grip, faux brown leather, pinky red smooth and matt fake leather and karki cotten. I am really excited to start experimenting with these materials, and have conciously chosen a few different leather like mateirals inspired by the trunks I have been researching. Techniques I aim to use; cutting, stitching into, tying, layering and joining. I also bought some very small beads, the colours really inspired me but they only came in a small size - I think their small scale will make thier application very labour intensive.
In the evening I drew my first fashion drawings for this project - some of the ideas are very unresolved, and it was more as a means to get my ideas down on paper. I tried to make the garments more focused around the idea of storage, however, i found this restrictive and forced. In order to advace my work further, I aim to explore extensions of the body more. My work is also more print orientated, and I can find this difficult to conevy in fashion drawings. In order to give my project more momentum, now is the time to start creating and make a variety of smaples. Then I can experiment with the clothes design after, placing the samples on the body.
Combining unit 7 with the Harrods project is causing conflict. I now feel like my problem solving skills are being tested, pushing me to consider a range of ideas which is positive. In order for these ideas to develop, I need to stop overthinking! The harrods project has given me the opportunity to explore the idea in my project proposal of luxury goods, and the perception of personal treasure. I have explored treasure in quite a physical and materialistic way, looking at bags and pockets which contain 'things'. However, these 'things' do not have to be valauble to everyone, and I now aim to combine this with more conceptual ideas of what we value as individuals.
I have rushed into translating these ideas on the body. I now need to take a step back and explore the shapes I have developed from abstract bag drawings, and scale them up onto the body. This will develop a more organic response to silhouette development. I also aim to develop personal jewels, additions and hidden elements to be a more abstract and less literal interpretation on the figure.
So far this morning I have explored using the shapes from my drawings on the body. In response to the theme of excess I drew my shapes very large and then tried to connect the pieces edge to edge. The main two difficulties I found was the tendency to drape the shapes on the body, rather than constructing more 3D forms. This was particularly the case when starting, as it can seem quite difficult where to place your first shape. To over come this I taped a few of the edges together on the shapes itself and then applied this more three dimensional shape to the body.
My first try was successful in some ways - the shape on the back appealed to me straight away, and I thought by coincidence look similar to a clown suit. I created the front quite quickly, but then struggled the adjoin the two front pieces on the right. Although I found a solution in the end, visually I am not pleased with how it looks. I think something less complex but with enough shape to balance the other side will improve it.
Perhaps I should try and create another leg hole and try to make it more like a clown suit ?
I have experimented with other shapes on the body to create completely different looks but I found these were much less successful. This was due to the shapes, they seemed less dynamic - I have cut some new shapes now to try again :)
After being chosen to continue with the Harrods project I have had a new sense of energy regarding the project. Talking with my partner Julia today, has helped me to question my own work, noticing the strengths and weaknesses. We both agreed that I should try to explore the ideas of containers more extensively, and later on I can incorporate some of my other ideas e.g jewellery and gems. I think the issue has been “excess” as a theme is such a broad topic and I have been trying to cover too many different branches of it. Tomorrow I aim to think about some less conventional containers, and see how these can inspire shape ideas to my move my project further. Below is a voice recording of our discussion.
This morning I have brainstormed my ideas of various types of containers. This has been a useful exercise in itself, as it has made me question what is a container ? Something that holds or encloses something. Containers are everywhere !!! We humans are containers, holding our organs, our houses contain us etc !
Out of all the ideas in the Mind map, I have been immediately inspired by the idea of an egg being a container/shell. Eggs are beautiful things which represent the beginning of life.
With my new interest in eggs, I have spent the afternoon collecting imagery to work with. Already I am excited by the commical nature of eggs - used by children in fights, relating to sillyness and missbehaviour. As the shell of an egg is fragile and can easily break I think there is sense of caution, as once it goes splat it is not irreversible.
Today I was back in the studio, creating ! In the morning I spoke with Katie about how over the weekend I have progressed on to the idea of eggs as a container. She particularly liked the image below, commenting that the yolk relates back to my idea of treasure. Strangely my research does seem to support the links between eggs and value, as there are fables of golden eggs.
I also added to my collage from yesterday, cutting out abstract shapes that almost seem like they are mouths/ teeth, or a row of eggs in a line. Naturally I like to layer materials, but This has made me think about the incorporation shapes within shapes more purposefully to convey the idea of containing. Recently I have been trying to use all of an image, or material to be resourceful - even if I cut shapes out of it, it has been interesting using the excess and negative space of shapes. In this case the oval shapes look like eggs or the ellipse, like the opening of a bag. The puffy fabric beneath provides a contrast in thickness and makes it seem less flat.
Although I am very interested in print, and visualise a lot of my collage work as repeated prints or patches on the body - in order to improve my work I think it is important I start creating more physical, 3D, and tactile samples. As I tend to use imagery so often I am going to challenge myself to use more materials, incorporate wadding, and layering up materials in order to create thick sample.
On Wednesday I hope to buy some orange rubber from pentavile rubbers, as I saw this selling a few months ago but did not have a reason to purchase it. The rubber texture references the texture of egg perfectly, and the orange is the colour of the yolk! Also rubber is a house hold and/or industrial material - I hope this will question the value of material, and am excited to see its contrast with more decorative materials such as gems, lace, glittery stitch.
Last night I was thinking about how I could create my own primary research from eggs. I first thought about painting and then cracking/splating some eggs, and taking photos of this outcome - intending to create prints out of the photos.
This lead me to think about egg containers, and suddenly I thought about how the egg container could be incorporated into a bag. Instead of the actual egg container which is not strong, I have had the idea to create resin moulds of the bottom of an egg container, and for this to be either the base, sides or lid or a bag. I have always had a fascination with resin as I am drawn to plastic aesthetic, and it’s see through quality will allow me to experiment with putting glitter, beads, paper in the resin !
I went to the workshop to find out more information as to how I would go about this - unfortunately he was closing early... so I went to the csm shop and spoke to the man there. He feared that the egg carton would absorb the resin as it is water soluble, and said that I could try making it water resistant by coating it in pva glue. We discussed other things I could do, and he gave me a small amount of alginate, which should be mixed with 2 parts water, 1 part alginate. This will set in 2 minutes and create a latex like rubber.
I spoke with Patricia in the afternoon regarding my ideas and we agreed that I should source some more leather scraps in bright colours - finding fake crocodile skin in particular, as it hints at luxury. She said I should try create samples with egg cartons and focus on working outside of my book.
Today I created some collage pieces in my sketchbook which respond to my research on excess, eggs and are visually quite playful. The first picture combines sihouettes shapes of jewellery with the surface texture of old leather trunks. large diamond shape beads (relates well to diamond pattern aswell) from the Treasures In Gold, Masterpieces of Jewelery From Antiquity To Modern Times By Gianni Gaudalupi , become like a handel feature and referrences the luxurious and treasured. I want to explore using handels more in my work, as tactile element which engages and connects the wearer with my work. I have conciously repeated the smiley face icons again, which take on a higher status as they seem like emblematic jewels.
The second picture refers to Dr Seuss' 'Green Eggs and Ham', a more humerous image, but still has a jewel like status created by the encompassing oval boarder. The oval/egg shape itself has a powerful iconographic connotions, e.g in Christianity Jesus is oten framed by a madorla, an oval shape which emphasises his spiritual status. I have obscured the image with a decorative diamond pattern, which is irregular but used a slightly transparent material to reveal the eggs below. The pattern relates to my research on the circus, and conveys a cheerful and mischievous mood which is appropriate for the fictional world of Dr Seuss. I think the layering of a semi transparent material ontop of an image is affective beacuse it creates a variation in tone and reveals the image underneath rather than fully obscuring it.
Progressing the idea of the smiley face being a modern day icon commonly represented by the emoji, I have used imagery of potato smileys. Here, they are enhanced by jewels and a metallic crocodile skin material with the tag 'Flirt'. Crocodile skin is directly related to luxury, and creates a stark juxtaposition against the poatoe - This purposeful combination challenges the idea of materiality and its value. Can a cheap, mundane and easily accesible material be made desirable when decorated ? The jems add a quirky and boarderline tacky element as they are fake. The use of text quite literally flirts with the viewer, as the unexpected cominations of materials is humerous, as they resemble human features.
In the evening I decided to experiment with my collages digitally. This produced many varitions of the same idea at a quick pace, allowing me to try out differnt colour combinations and achieve a digital aesthetic.
This morning I finished a sample which I am very pleased with - it combines dark brown leather, yellow check and yellow neon plastic. I think what makes this successful is the unexpected material combinations. Again I have used neon stitch which is emphasised by the dark ground. The ‘&’ continues the idea of excess but this time using negative space and layering.
In the afternoon I went to the shop in KX to buy some clear resin and reactant - polyester based. After this I went to Pentonville rubber in order to get the oranger rubber which reminded me of egg yolk. In the store I realised the thickness of this rubber would be highly difficult to work with, as you’d have to puncture holes in for thick rope or plastic tags rather than stitch. As a result, I considered other materials - I found much thinner latex which came in bright colours and was a more suitable thin light weight material. Although latex is still not ideal with stitch, I purchased 4 colours, as the rubbery appearance and slightly transparent quality of the grey colour really appealed to me. I did not purchase green latex, as I couldn’t decide whether it worked well with the other colours - I decided I could find the same colour in a different material to create variety.
There was also some thick clear plastic which I bought, in the hope that this could look interesting layered on top of my prints - I am still abit unsure whether this will work with my project but I bought it anyway.
As I was leaving I saw a pink foamy material which I liked and the owner said this was merely packaging material and gave me a large amount for free :)
Today was an exhausting day of problem solving. I went into the workshop after our talk on the final exhibition and explain to the technician Rachel my idea with an egg box I brought it. She said I had to coat it in pva first, which we did but then we had to wait for this to dry. Whilst drying I went to buy more egg cartons to experiment with. To my surprise, Sainsbury’s sold a square plastic egg carton which I bought along with a regular 10 egg pack. I dislike the appearance of the plastic one and I think this is particularly because of its shape not being longitudinal.
To get a resin egg container I would have to make a mould. Because the pva was not yet dry I wondered if an egg box could be vacuum formed, and then this could be used as the mould. The technician was unsure as to whether the vacuum form would crush the egg box, it being only cardboard. As a result, I decided to fill the inside and line the edge of the box with clay on a wood block. We drilled holes in the wood block to allow air to pass through and be sucked out in the vacuum. The vacuum form was not as successful as I had hoped.... unfortunately the shape was too distorted for a mould.
Feeling rather frustrated, and determined that I wanted to use resin, I set about making a mould. I built a thick wall around the egg box which had the pva layer, making sure it was at least an inch taller than the egg box. I also had to create a ledge around the edge of the egg box and spray it with a lubricant coating. Then I cut up around 1540g of red vinamold into cubes like jelly ( the yellow vinamold is less malleable so picks up on less detail). This was put into a bowl and in a microwave for around a minute. After this 1 minute period, I had to keep taking it out every 30 seconds to stir it to make sure it was all melting. After around 6-7 minuets is doing this the vinamold has melted ( avoid bubbling) and I poured it into the mould.
I am very pleased to get as much done as I did, as it is the last day before Easter and I would not be able to do this at home really ! Tomorrow I aim to do the same thing again for the other side of the mould, but working at home will make this much harder.
This morning I picked up my mould and the technician had kindly left out some clay and a wooden board for me to take home. As I needed to buy some more vinamold I went to the suggested place: Tirantis, a sculpture shop in Warren Street. Here I bought 1kg of red vinamold, a protective mask and I also ended up spotting coloured resin ! The man who worked there said the less of the pigment you add to the resin, the more transparent it is. I had not considered using coloured resin, and bought yellow and orange in the hope to experiment with it at some point in the future.
In the afternoon I started cutting into the pictures I had edited of my collages in order to manipulate them further. I took an experimental approach and tried to combine elements that I thought were visually successful from the edits with my unfinished '&' sign sample. Below I have included some photos which show how the placement of the collage can create varied dynamics.
Today I continued incorporating my edits of my collages into samples, combining the materials I have sourced from fabric shops. What is successful about these samples ? I think the houndstooth check is very effective, as it is mirrored by the digtal checkered print! Ordinarily, if I were in a fabric shop I would not choose a check or tweed pattern, and tend to go for bright colours of platicy materials. However, I found these samples in the fabric box in the fashion studio - I really like the contrast between a traditional material and the bright contemporary glitchy pattern of my edit. Although the tesselating pattern is quite complex, the two dark tones and plain brown leather balance the bright green edit. The '&' motif is highlighted by a neon yellow plastic scoobie and neon stitch - I think it would be interesting the '&' repeated in the same way, without the digital edit, but experimenting in differnt colours and scales.
In the second sample the digital pattern is more pointilist, which is complimented by the circular pattern on the metallic bubblewrap. I think visual connections like this are integral to my work, as my style is quite decorative, but I still want that to be purposeful. I want my work to have a visual richness and intensity that really captures someone's attention and makes them look closer. I have incorporated the phrase 'De-lite' in gems, as a personal refference to the word 'delight' as I want my work to be uplifting and delightful. The wordplay hints at my research on advertising slogans, and creates a sense of unfamilairity, complimented by the surreal purple eggs. I aim to explore using more catch phrases like this in the future.
The last sample incorporates the same harlequin egg edit, but here it is more fragmented. The repetition of the eggs I think works well, but I am concerned if it looks too busy? Unfortunately the houndtooth sample was not big enough, so I paired it with another grey woolen material as a background. Although this was a material compromise, I quite like how it looks. I aim to make more samples and buy some more houndstooth check - soon I will have to consider these on the body, either as embellished pockets or repeated prints.
Today I created two more experimental samples, NOTE the second one is incomplete. As yesterdays samples included the same egg print, today I tried to manipulate one of my previous collages in my book and combine different photocopies of it. By doing this I aim to really rinse all the outcome possibilites of my research, and further abstract my work to create new outcomes. I combined this with the metallic pink bubble wrap again, which compliments the circular smiley faces which are elevated. The brown, grooved pattern is a thick plasticy material I bought at the start of the project when I was investigating materials that reminded me of leather trunks. What I like about this material is its rubbery thick tactile quality - it is designed for a table cover or floor matt, and is far from luxurious. The rubber glove reminds me of a farm or kitchen, relating to my theme of an egg - the bright rubbery quality is reminscent of an egg yolk. There is a duality and conflict between the luxurious accessories I have researched e.g gloves, and then a mundane rubber glove which is related to labour. This really interests me, and I want to explore embelishing rubber gloves, and making them more desirable in order to challenge this. I am also interested in incorporating multiple gloves which could create a ruffled sample.
The second sample is still unfinished, but incorporates the silhouette of golden jewellery. Despite being unfinshed I included it in some of my edits - I think the way the fake crocodile skin is translated with the digital editing is really effective - similarly the rubber glove is instantly identifiable, and seems almost surreal or out of conext surrounded by abstracted pattern
After having some time off for easter to rest, I have a new approach to the project. Unfortunately, I have decided that creating the resin mould of the egg carton is not possible in the short time frame as I don’t have the technical knowledge or facilities. I have tried to make the mould but it is too complex and now I must reevaluate my options.
Trying desperately to rethink my options i tried searching online for egg containers for sale as bulk buying is more cost effective. I came across plastic egg containers on eBay, which function to protect eggs on camping trips. I really like the globular shapes of these containers, something about them is quite cyber/scientific.
I also ordered some photos of my samples and edits to be printed on linen material on Contrado. I have been interested in using canvas / linen like materials as I like the slight rough rigid quality, and it reminds me of the material used for circus tents.
After doing some fashion drawings this morning I am feeling much more open minded about making a garment. All the garments have some exaggerated or oversized element which relates to my research of circus costume and also excess. I have tried to communicate elements of print through drawing but I am unsure how effective this is - maybe using collage in the future will help me overcome this in order to communicate my ideas effectively.
I like the idea of using dogtooth check which is quite a traditional material, contrasted against my my contemporary patterns and imagery. What I think is successful this arched shape, which is like an upside down smile or rainbow. I want this shape to be repeated at various sizes and places on my fashion drawings as a motif. However, I do see this shape primarily on trousers, on the front or backside.
My favourite of the drawings is the dog tooth check suit which is inspired by the oversized clown clothing. The very wide but cropped trouser leg highlights the comical and casual nature of the collection. This is extended to the incorporation of rubber gloves as a decorative frill and feather like detail coming out of the hat. This coincides with me wanting to make mundane materials luxurious. There is also something quite light hearted about the rubber glove and it’s material relates well to my use of latex.
I went to a fabric shop in order to buy some dog tooth check in mind for making a garment with. Unfortunately there was not a wide selection, only one that didn’t suit me because it had streaks of blue in it.
In a means to still be productive, I bought some wool so that I could make a few weaves in the evening. I thought using a new process would be good for me and help me experiment with colour palette outside of my book. I made 3 small scale weaves using pink, charcoal grey, lime green and mint green as my main colours. This is purposefully quite a bold colour palette, which I want to give off a lot of energy as the colours clash/compete. I have decided to use greys instead of browns even though I have intended to use brown since the start of the project. What was successful ? Using plastic scoobies and a metallic fluffy wool to create textual variation. Although I love my chosen colours of wool, they all have a similar weight/thickness so including less conventional materials is really vital to bring the weave to life. The grey wool has a gradient dye which also works well, as it does not look like a solid mass of colour.
Tomorrow I aim to make a bigger scale weave using these bright colours and textures combined with brown tones. I can see elements of weave being the side of a handbag.
Today was a break through ! In the morning I experimented with placing my samples on the body. This was a very informative exercise, as I could really start to visualise how my flat samples appear in a more three demential approach - tailoring and pinning. For example I thought the arched neon pink shape from the symmetrical sample looked effective cupping the breast/ curving around the ribs. The rubber gloves looked interesting as a foot/ankle addition
Then at midday my fabrics came through the post ! This was extremely exciting and satisfying, seeing my own prints enlarged and translated onto a linen fabric. I started to combine them with some of the badges I had made that did not belong to any samples, to try and build up layers.
Over the last few days there have been lost of moments where I have felt very frustrated that I cannot execute my ideas and as a result my ideas are compromised. The main frustration is that I have no pattern cutting skills and I don’t know how to use a sewing machine/ own one. Ideally I would love to create my own enlarged clown trousers which incorporates my print and dog tooth, along with a resin egg carton bag. With not a lot of time left to make a garment I have decided that it is too ambitious to try and create a garment with my experience. Instead, i am going to use a long, sleeveless hooded dress which has a pouch pocket, as the base of my garment. This is plain white and will provide a canvas for my prints and layering of embellishment. To try and personalise the structure further I plan on elongating the hood, as an exaggerated pointy form which relates to clown hats. I also will consider additional pocket features, relating to my research on storage.
Today I have been working with the fabrics, exploring different placements on to my dress. Tracing over the enlarged shape of the ring silhouette I cut this out in the semi transparent latex - this created a really nice overlay, and introduces repetition and consistency. I am already quite pleased with this layout for the front of the dress and have set about sewing parts of it to the garment.
My thoughts have turned to the back, as although I have more printed fabrics of my samples, I do not see those paired with the imagery already on the front of the dress. I was looking through my Instagram, and came across this picture that really inspired me. It seems to be of a lizard, it’s scales reminded me of my use of fake crocodile and snakeskin. I also was really drawn to the writing in the background, and how I could not understand it due to it being in another language, but recognising the letters themselves. Seeing it’s potential I tried incorporating it into my prints and editing it with my samples. After playing around for a while I was really happy with how this image and my work fused together and could visualise this marrying well with the imagery on the front of my dress. I then ordered this to be printed in linen !
OVERLAYED THE 2 IMAGES BELOW
I am very excited for the lizard print to come through but waiting for the delivery is delaying me to move forward. I really feel this is the final piece of the jigsaw !
As the hooded dress is sleeveless I thought it would be quite interesting to elongate some rubber gloves with my print- responding to the them of luxurious accessories and the extra long circus gloves I drew from the Victorian and Albert museum at the very beginning of the project.
After feeling really inspired by the lizard image my thoughts have turned to incorporating text again - i chose some fonts that appeal to me and the digital aesthetic and cut some phrases out of latex such as “Eggs & Diamonds” which I plan to combine with my sewn '&' Sign. I like this phrase beacuse is combines 2 opposing things, the ordinary with the luxurious. I want to turn the idea of luxury on its head and create an upbeat world where anything goes: eggs can be paired with diamonds, rubber gloves can be paired with pearls, Bamboo can be paired with plastic, bubble wrap can be paired with gold. I have also written out “Green man” in a more glitchy font which I want to repeat about 3 times.
Today I set about making the hood for my garment. This elongated shape enhances the comical and playful element in my work. I first used layout paper to experiment with the scale and length of the hood roughly, but I found using paper was actually unhelpful as it became a rigid cone. I then watched a video on YouTube as to how to make a hood but found this very complicated. I found an old Father Christmas hat in my cupboard which I cut into to open up and use as a template. I had originally thought to make the hood out of latex, but because the print on the back of the garment is rather dominant I decided that a white hood would work better.
I cut an old white Cotten T-shirt to a semi circle shape from the template - extending The semi circle to make the hood longer, narrow pointed shape. After cutting and sewing this I attached it to the skull of the pre existing hood. In the afternoon I set about making some tassels - I cut strips of my chosen fabric about half a meter long and cut lines into them. Once rolled up in on itself he strips of fabric fray out. I did his first in bronze latex but I didn’t make it big enough. I tried again combing the fake snake skin and orange latex on a wider strip so that the tassels would be longer but found that the snake skin was too rigid and didn’t fan out as well. I thought the two colours was successful so repeated this with a light weight pink metallic fabric, and grey latex. I am happy with this and attached it to the end of the hood.
In the afternoon my final delivery of the Lizard print came through in the post! This was incredibly exciting!! I knew instinctively which sections to cut away and I have pinned it on the back of the garment. I want the back of the garement to be visually very rich, with words, imagery, beads and colour - in an almost excessive way! I traced the enlarged jewellery shape from the front of the garment and cut this shape in latex - the shapes are going to be layered and sewn ontop, merging into the print. One thing I am aware of is the sharp boarder of the print on the back - perhaps i will find a way to soften this, either by layering another shape or using beads. However, there are a few other strong horizontals and verticals within the print, and I think it might have to become part of the overall feel.
I have spent all of today hand sewing the enlarged jewellery silhouette shapes to the garment. This is time consuming meaning progress is slow. The main frustration is sewing the latex flat as it easily crumples - requiring patience and time. I also sewed a diamanté face which I got from an old iPad case I got in a charity shop. Although I did not make this myself it relates perfectly to the green man icon. Tommorw I aim to add LOTS OF BEADS! The beads I have bought are a very small size but I want my garment to have a certain craftsmanship about it - I want it to be detailed, encrusted with beads and as a result it will be better appreciated up close.
Partner reflection sheet - 4d partner. My parnter and I discussed how advertising differs - on Luxury items the price tag is very discrete, or often not on dispaly! This suggests that the shopper can afford anything in the shop, and that if they want something, they will simply buy it. If you go to your supermarket or drug store you will see the opposite - bright signs that say 'WHILE STOCKS LAST', and luminous price tags. I thought this was a very interesting view that I had not thought of myself.
Today I created the bag using transparent plastic I had bought a few weeks ago from Pentinvile Rubbers. I first set about building the sides of the bag, that would surround and become the walls above the egg crate base - total of 4 sides. I used a hole punch to create equally spaced punctures along the sides of each piece of plastic, and then laced/sewed them together with plastic scoobies. I decided that the plastic scoobies would be the best suited stitching material, beacuse it was in keeping with the transparent plastic theme. The transparent wall at the front of the bag became a viewing window for one of my fabric samples. Due to the transparent quality of the material I felt the sample needed a coloured backing/lining. The bamboo handels were extracted from a bag I purchased at my local charity shop. I thought these would be perfect as bamboo is related to luxury goods, and incorporated in the Gucci collection I saw in Harrods.
Gucci Crocodile skin Bag with bamboo handel £3,400
Overall, I am pleased with the bag, and I see the potential to create a series of different shapes. If I had more time for this project I would certainly explore creating less conventional shaped bags. I like the idea of pod/egg like bags, however it would be much more difficult to mould the plastic to curved shapes. What is less successful about the bag? I would like to make the egg crate base more integral to the design. I would also like to create weave linings for the side walls of the bag! I thought my pink fluffy key chain suited the bag perfectly - If i have enough time or if I were to continue developing the bags, I would investigate making personalised key chains, combining mundane materials with more decorative and desireable materials, adding beads and tassels.
Below is a picture I took at Harrods when visiting the store - Key chains become excessive adornments to emphasise accessories.
Today we shot the photos of our garments on models for the magazine ! This was a really exciting day - seeing my garment on the body and styled with other items. I decided the look would be improved with knee high platform boots and a long sleeved white top with green stitching. What was successful about today was seeing my garment on a dark skinned model ! This is something I had never thought of but really emphasised a certain cyber quality of the print and white material. Seeing the bag being worn with the dress was also very satisfying, as I felt they completmented eachother very well - the only thing I had not considered is that when the model held the bag at arms length it did obscure parts of the print on the dress. To solve this problem I directed the model to hold the bag over her shoulder/ raise it higher and have it more infront of her.
I brought in some eggs to use a prop - I had in mind for the model to hold these by her eyes or interact with them in a spontaneous way. This wasn’t as successful as I thought as it didn’t come naturally to the model and may have looked it of place.
Below are some quick pictures I took after the shoot, these are very rushed as my time slot was over.
The shoot today has really encouraged me to take photos of my own, as I’ll have much more time to experiment with positioning, props, pose, backdrop and makeup. I hope to do this over the weekend, perhaps with an oriental model to make comparisons. Sadly this model is busy over the weekend ;(