I am currently creating a mini collection for EcoChic design competition.
I decided to work with denim only as I believe this fabric has so much character – all different shades and ways to treat it is definitely enough to make a whole collection for variety of different customers.
Although denim requires intense labour and huge amount of water to be produced, it is long lasting, and, if made only using cotton fibres, can be easily recycled. The New Denim Project by Iris Textiles, for example, collect old denim garments and recycle them into new luxury kitchen accessories, clothing and and footwear.
Due to fabric’s popularity it is easy to collect huge volumes of it and upcycle or reconstruct them. Produced garments can be the same construction, but different shades and levels of wear would make each garment unique, which can be a good selling point.
Upcycled denim has been used by designers to create luxury one-off pieces (Maison Martin Margiela, Jeffrey Wang)
Sadly today was our last day with Jenny from Missoni.
Each of us needed to present our final moodboards, textile samples and line-ups and briefly discuss what inspired us. We were firstly given feedback by Jenny and afterwards we were asked to give constructive criticism to each other which gave us opportunity to learn from each other. I was complimented for my line-up and samples, however, my sketchbook received some harsh comments which I see as an opportunity to improve.
Throughout this project I improved my research skills – I do not only go to library much more often, but also I am building my own ”library” of inspiring and informative books at home.
Jenny answered some of my questions that I had in mind for a very long time, which restricted my creativity – now I know that in some occasions I do not need to worry about practicality and other aspects because there are other people in fashion design teams that are responsible for that. I usually want to consider everything – from making sure that garment is easy to look after to planning how to minimize the impact of Chinese New Year to supply chain (seriously), so I feel a little bit relieved now.
I loved making textile samples and now I know more about how to professionally present them. I would like to do something similar for my final year collection – something very textured, with a lot of detail.
We love Pinterest. Well at least we did – until Jenny from Missoni told us that Pinterest is not cool. She insisted that we need to do research from books which made me feel a little bit sceptical. I believed that not all talented people have enough money to publish a book and even if they would, library would not have enough money to buy them all. Jenny, of course, was not interested in any excuses and we soon ended up surrounded by piles of art books in a remote corner of the library – quite an unusual experience.
I was scrolling through books without knowing what I am looking for. I needed clearer explanation. The explanation that I got was ” find what you like”, which, I thought, was a really good one. I was advised that I do not need to think about theme yet.
I ended up collecting a pile of images – expressionist paintings, floristry, crafts, architecture, just to name a few.
The most inspiring book that I found was Vitality by florist Annette Kamping which included variety of up-cycling ideas.
Another one that I liked – Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe by Margaret Courtney-Clark. I took the book home to read it and make sure that I know what I am doing. Jenny said this book has previously been a source of inspiration for Missoni collection which means it is really relevant to our current project.
In the next few days I will be working on sketchbook and collecting yarns, fabric, nets and other materials for the next session with Jenny – we will be making textile samples using various techniques including heat pressing.
The moral of the story is… Yes, I will definitely come back to do research in the library!