Wednesday, 19 October 2011

London Fashion Week September 2011


Arrival at the Kokon to Zai shop in London.
Make tea for everyone
Start to organize shoes
Assigned a grumpy male model to dress, "I must leave. I cannot try on these clothes unless I will be wearing them for the show." Response: "You're getting paid and you haven't a clue what you will be wearing as line up is still being organized therefore I would give over if I were you."
Photographed all the clothes showing what way they should be worn by the model and what accessories should go with the garments.
Organizing line up of all garments and accessories.
Everything must be packed up as we're running out of time!!!
Loading up the car.

Departing the Kokon to Zai shop and off to Somerset House!
Finding all dressers and explaining what the plan is
The missing male models... Panic not?

The day had started off what felt like forever ago but it was incredible. My job was to oversee the dressing of some models as well as dress my own. There were of course some hiccups such as the missing male models, one of which we found, the other we had to compromise on the garment he was to wear and add it to another piece in the collection.
There were also not enough shoes for the male models.... em ok compromise again.
During the actual show one of the dressers wondered off and a mad panic set in trying to dress the model in her second outfit, I had to step in a dress the model as she cursed in a foreign language- charming.

Although it seems negative it was AMAZING and I couldn't have wished for a better more hands on experience between the rush of dressing models correctly, supplying pins and chewing gum to the designers it was a breath of fresh air to the industry I am embracing.

 With great thanks to the KTZ designers I had this incredible experience.

London Fashion Week September 2011


From the long list of Press for designers which I contacted I got a massive number of rejections saying that help was not needed and there was no space for students..... Annoying yes but I persevered.
Finally some more luck, I heard back from Kokon to Zai, a group of three designers who are really fresh on the London scene, I was thrilled and decided to stop by one of their shops in London. I got chatting to one of the designers and got asked to do some beading work for London Fashion Week as some of their accessories for the show had not been completed:



Kokon To Zai which means "From here to Then" were inspired by African culture; high energy; vibrancy, this is expressed through their use of primary colours and bright prints. 
The beading I completed as seen above was quite a complex pattern for a pair of earrings which hung over the top of the ear and in behind the lobe.The designers were thankfully really pleased with my work and asked me to stay and watch them do some styling for the Fashion Show on the Wednesday. This was a really exciting opportunity as I got to watch them at work. They invited me to help out backstage at the show!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

London Fashion Week September 2011

The day before London Fashion Week began our tutors gave us the marvelous and what seemed impossible task of blagging our way into Fashion Week.... HELP!! I decided to jump straight to it and emailed everyone on Press for the designers to see if I could sway anybodies better judgement and get them to take pity on a sad little fashion student.

I got lucky......


"What ever happened to Baby Jane."

Very feminine silhouettes focusing on volume through pleats and ruffles but still maintaining a very structural, womanly silhouette without drowning out the female form. I found the garments extremely refreshing with lots of use of pastel tones rarely seen on menswear.


Caroline Charles' collection was very romanticized use of black and white with vibrant colours in between. The use of silhouette was kept very well tailored, very classic cuts were used in the collection. It felt nostalgic of a different decade; the 1920's through the use of delicate sequins and lace alongside the beautifully structured Chanel style jackets.

White Wedding

To keep my spirits up over the summer I decided to design and make my dress for my cousin's wedding (seen above on the right). I wanted something quite vibrant and fresh with a large skirt, quite 1950's style! 
I love colour but I have only recently started to embrace it with the clothes that I wear. I feel it is more about style, shape and construction of a garment which is important and as a designer print and pattern should not necessarily be relied on.

Final Designs for The Destruction of "Beauty"

The final pieces above explore the ideas of restricting the body through binding as well as the effects taken to extreme levels when it comes to adding bulk due to excess manipulation of the figure. I wanted the designs to be over-exaggerated and to raise questions about what is beautiful. I suppose it is a form of torture; the emotional torture people put themselves through to look a certain way is represented through the massive bulk.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Inspiration for The Destruction of "Beauty"

Paddy Hartley: Face Corsets

These extreme designs by Paddy Hartley appear extremely grotesque looking at how they manipulate the facial features; they are completely transformed. However they have medical benefits as well; they are used to help patients who have suffered extreme burns, they are lined with a special treatment which aids the healing process.
Hartley has created dramatic effects with a small amount of excess skin, I find this fascinating and aim to take my final piece to extreme measures.

Anna Zwick: Graduate Collection.

Inspired by the film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the idea that the main character is trapped within himself. This parallels the viscous circle people put themselves through when they desire to be something or someone else, vanity is a very destructive thing and acts by caging people within themselves, surrounding them with their own "imperfections". 
I find the use of layers and skin tones interesting in producing the various bulges which make up this human cocoon.

Jenny Saville:

Jenny Saville isn't afraid of distorting the body and manipulating it to make it appear grotesque. Saville cares about what is natural; it may be large mass but it is reality not artificiality. 
This is what I am aiming for: Enhancing the figure in an undesirable way.

The Destruction of "Beauty"

What is beauty? What is considered beautiful? What can destroy or cause the break down of beauty?


I carried out various experiments to see what way the body could be manipulated and changed to try and gain a more desired or enhanced effect.

Binding the body with tape in various areas including the waist, legs, arms, hips and bum were some of the test carried out. Above shows the binding of the waist; many women desire a smaller waist with enhanced hips and breasts to achieve that perfect hour glass figure. My results showed that when trying to manipulate the figure to make it smaller more fat was gained on top and below the area compared to what was lost from the waist (not necessarily desirable...). 
I wanted to look at how this manipulation could become grotesque by adding excess fat to parts of the body.

I designed a sample piece which was boned and allowed pieces of the corset to be removed, this caused more pressure than an ordinary corset as more manipulation could take place.

Carrying forward my interest in manipulation I decided to produce some experiments of adding and layering up bulk to obtain an extreme impact.

Applying a mass of bulk to a concentrated area was more effective in conveying a sense of destruction through extreme measure, especially when the bulk was added to less desired places on the body.

The samples above show a gradual build up to the mass of bulk, this exposes the layers therefore demonstrates the build up. For the bulk to appear more realistic it should maybe be one mass of bulk as opposed to segments.

Creating bulk without using wadding; although this appears effective, it doesn't seem full the way a mass of something should. Working with the padding is more effective in creating the impact I want.