Form my previous projects, I delved into certain areas that I want to explore and expand upon through this new project leading to my final collection. I mind mapped my last projects and ended up with one word from each that repeated constantly:
My aim is to make the fabric tactile, to make the audience want to touch it, grasp it and wear it. Exploring the different mediums of yarn to see what and how they can be used in a traditional way. Using wool and mixing it with elastic and cottons and seeing what can be created through experimentation. My main inspiration to make these textures will come from the descriptive words and phrases from fairy and folk tales. Looking at the different variations of the stories and seeing how these words can be portrayed through textile. Researching also how textile designers and fashion designers incorporate this and create it with in their garments as an end project, either as a small detail to a lavish design.
Using my technical knowledge on these garments in a non overdose way, keeping it either tonally or one colour. With this I will illustrate what i’m capable of and what can be achieved through knit by hand and machine. The relevance of me choosing this is to explore how these variations of textures and fabrics can be linked and connected together, with looking at a variety of fasteners and joining techniques but not necessarily using them in a conventional way. Designers especially Issey Miyake explored technical and the process of what knitting can be pushed too, he created red and black separate garments, from a far they looked simple and as a block colour but from close up they have explored and used a variety of techniques. These uses of colour has inspired me to create garments that have some variation, as the more techniques you use the more block of colour and vice versa.
Traditions to me is home craft, keeping it neutral and at home, Knitting is a traditional technique which is speedily moving more to the reliance through machinery, although with this assistance the designs are becoming more intricate on a smaller scale. Not many people have much accessibility to machines, and through my last project, i relied on the simplistic forms and methods of hand tools. I thoroughly enjoyed it and through using these tools, it has awakened me to the ideas and possibilities of how garments in general can be designed, joined and made, with the use of as little material as possible and using only a select amount of media/fabrics. The relevance of using traditions is that the minority which will hopefully turn into the majority, will go back to sewing and making garments from scratch that will have emotion, past, preciousness, fragility and memories. But relating most things to traditions, you can’t always follow and rely on laurels and of what has previously been achieved. It is up to me to create the most effective and creative design solution to solve the issue of using traditions in a contemporary way. That i’ll be using all the methods and techniques that i have taught myself and what i have previously learnt from my degree.
These three key words are going to allow me to stick to an updated Manifesto from my last project Zero. In Zero I swore not to use any knit Methods, but now from doing a complete project without any I want to fully immerse myself into knit and combining knit with other materials to make an entire look. This look will be sourced from researching the knitwear market now and what has been previously achieved in the past and seeing what the gap is, whether I need to be more experimental with the material choices or have a clearer divide between the two. With this in mind I will create an explorative journey through the connections between Contemporaries and the Traditions, transforming the consumers attention in what can be achieved.
Through networking I have worked alongside knitwear designer Sid Bryan who runs his own collection through Sibling with Joe Bates and Cozette McCrerry. They’ve created a new range of knitwear especially for men, with experimenting on another level compared to all other knitwear designers. Sid himself also does one off cat walking pieces for Jasper Conran, Giles Deacon and Marcus Lupfer. In relation to what Sid allows me to do in regard to the start of the project, he also allows me to do the experimentation and fabric development; for example, at the moment i am working on Jasper Conran pieces, going from fabric development to the final garment. Working alongside Sid has enabled me to have an insiders view on what is requested and acceptable for a knitwear designers. He creates the fabric first after getting key words and illustrations from his designer, and then create simple but exaggerated forms always having an extra eye to detail. Through this i have learnt how to communicate with the designers ( keeping them updated with photographs of the designs) and liaising with yarn suppliers.
In order for me to develop my collection further i will continue working at Sids, to keep learning the basic understanding of contacting suppliers, talking to designers and learning different ways in creating and finalizing garments. From taking what i have learnt, i will use inspiration which i have previously mentioned. But using Sid as inspiration and watching him tackle different designs and processes, seeing how he achieves the end project, with this in mind i’m going to make a diary illustrating what i do on each day and how i go about making the pieces from the mundane to the extraordinary. Another thing is that his designs for the catwalk evoke a sense of playfulness, and a sense of tradition. using methods of knit and crochet. From this i will also research into potential partners and collaborators of which will assist on in my final collection. I shall endeavor to push the boundaries with the understanding of the functioning of the garment and the view of how the garment or art piece can be worn. With this in mind I aim to create a Sophisticated and Feminine Look and to have people to take pleasure in the ordinary and in the norm. This look will include a variety of methods, to create a more diverse outcome, with the use of hand and machine, I realize these methods have already been produced and are at the main thought of inspiration for many designers in general, but I wish to develop this and create a better understanding and a more refine look in the connections between the two.