22 February 2013


Recently I have worked for company, The British Potato Council, as they wanted a dress made of chips to promote National Chip Week. I worked with another student, and came up with the final design which the client approved and we went ahead making the dress from leather and PVC fabric for the bodice. The skirt (covered with chips) was made using plastic sheets, laser cut to form spikes, to attach the chips to. The chips were provided on the day by Harry Ramsden's.

The dress was successful and was modelled by Miss Sheffield, in Meadowhall, and received interest from The Star, and was published on www.reveal.co.uk, www.femalefirst.co.uk, and www.harryramsdens.co.uk.

The Star: Video Interview



Harry Ramsdens

31 January 2013


inspiration for Klimt, Kintsugi & mosaic

Self-Directed: This project is work in progress. I have always been inspired by the artwork of Gustav Klimt, since I painted my version of 'The Kiss' in 2001, which (at the time!) was impressive and I loved it. The self-directed brief is a chance to chose a theme I am interested in and design a mini capsule collection. The first task was to write a statement of intent. I looked into two different themes which interested me to decide between: Klimts artwork as a starting point for inspiration, or the theme of Kintsugi, which I was inspired by watching this video TED Julie Burstein 4 lessons in creativity (watch to the end!).

I realised these themes linked together perfectly, as I was inspired by the philosophy behind Kintsugi, of mending something broken with gold to illuminate the cracks and improve its beauty. Looking closer at Klimt's 'Golden Phase', my favourite, he used gold leaf to improve the beauty and strength of the female figures in the paintings, and he was inspired by mosaics in Ravenna and Venice. The mosaic influence is evident in the paintings, linking to the 'mosaic' pieces of broken ceramic repaired with gold in Kintsugi. This leads to my philosophy for this design project: designing garments for strong female figures which use gold for beauty and strength and are influenced by mosaic style and pieced together geometrics.


Fashion Production: The brief was to research into a specific area of garment detail [I was given jet pockets & in seam pockets] and present my research findings. The next stage was to use my research to inform my design work, and design a garment with a focus on detail. I wanted to use this opportunity to experiment using knitted fabrics, as I love the aesthetics, feel and drape, and I think there is a scope for experimentation. I had not used knitted or jersey fabrics before, and wanted to broaden my production skills. The garment I designed was a oversized hooded coat with a open ended centre front zip fastening. The body and sleeves are gathered into the waistband and cuffs to make the coat slouchy and cosy. After researching into pockets I wanted to include jet pockets in my design, larger than usual to make them more of a feature. I kept the design contemporary using leatherette for the pockets, waistband & cuffs, and fastened the cuffs using silver metal press studs. The cuffs and waistband have stitching detail all around.

The fabrics I used were:

Knitted Wool: Found after a long search in a fabric shop on Goldhawk Road, London.

Cotton Jersey: Direct Fabric Warehouse, Sheffield

Leatherette: Fine Fabrics, Hillsborough

17 January 2013


Design Specialism: This project is intended to be an experimental design project, with the opportunity to base a collection around a theme of my own personal interest, with less limitations than previous briefs. In other words "finding my path as a designer" - more freedom to try areas of design and see where my work fits best. This was my first foray into designing menswear. I have always had an interest in menswear but have not had the opportunity during my degree so far to design or produce menswear garments. This opened my eyes to how menswear is designed, and how different the design process can be for menswear to womenswear. During extensive research and development for my collection, I found the smallest details even down to stitch length can change the aesthetics of a garment and add quality to a basic design. This led to different experimentation that I have been used to with womenswear.

Ideas for my collection went from travelling, to hitch hikers, to outdoor wear, and influences from natural sources. It also gave me insight into current issues and potential for future design work into fabric choices, like hemp.

My collection was designed towards the brand bespoken, as I like the casual tailored look.

26 May 2012


Observation & Communication: The brief was to design a white shirt capsule collection. I was given the circle as a starting point to my research and design work. After extensive thought and research, I found inspiration in chinese lanterns which are often based around a circle shape. This led to further research into chinese lanterns and experimentation with the shapes. After experimenting with different lantern shapes, I used the accordion chinese lantern as a inspiration for the basic structure of my capsule collection. During this design and production project I developed my illustration skills, CADCAM skills, putting into practice what I learnt on Adobe InDesign, Illustrator & Photoshop, pattern cutting skills, and production skills. I found the project challenging, as I designed the collection aiming to improve my pattern cutting skills. When producing the final garment I found the sleeves and collar of the shirt the most challenging and also the most exciting. 

4 May 2012


Skills Workshop: Using Assyst Bullmer software to design patterns. I designed a pattern to fit me exactly using my measurements, input on Assyst Bullmer, to make a bodice, sleeve and skirt block pattern. I can adapt these to create garments to fit me in the future, so a very useful module for me personally!

31 March 2012


Skills workshop: I created a trend forecasting magazine using InDesign for the layout, and used hand rendered techniques with Photoshop to create illustrations for each season. I used illustrator to produce technical flats for the garments illustrated, including variations of front, back, and colour/patterned variations.

18 February 2012


Contextual Studies: The brief for the first part of this module is to produce 5 illustrated timelines ranging from 1850-1999 explaining the key points related to fashion design from these eras.

The second part of this module was to write a 1500 word essay comparing a contemporary piece of fashion to a similar one from pre 1960's. I chose to investigate the crinoline from the Victorian era and compare it to Vivienne Westwood's Mini-Crini.

30 January 2012


Fashion production: This brief required producing a sample file including a wide range of samples made at size A4 in calico fabric, to assist in future production projects. This has improved my sewing skills and knowledge of how to construct garments. The project also included manual pattern cutting for a shirt from a technical flat and producing the garment in calico under timed conditions.

6 January 2012


Design Methods: This brief was to produce an illustrated brand report for REISS, using InDesign. The brand report included a brand analysis, target audience, product analysis, corporate identity, competitors and a trend analysis for menswear and womenswear. During this project I visited the flagship store in Leeds, for in depth research of the garments and store layout, down to details such as tags and bags,and interviewing someone who worked in the REISS tailoring store for information on the collections, and details such as music played in store and on the catwalks. On completion of this project I presented my research findings in a group, to 40 people.