Saturday, 28 November 2009

Work from the past

I studied both art and textile design whilst at school and in 6th form. Below are a few pieces of work which I have produced over the years...

AS Level Textiles:

For my Textile AS Level project I chose my theme to be the 2012 Olympics, as London had just won the bid at this time. My brief was to design a dress suitable for a young female presenter to wear to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Below are a couple of pages from my project and my final piece:

A-Level Art Coursework:

This piece was a mixed media collage inspired by the work of Salvador Dali and experimentation with burning and charring materials. I produced this as part of one of my projects which was based on a theme of resistance to burning:

GCSE Textiles:

Below is a dress which I made for my GCSE textile coursework. The theme was Masquerade Ball. I also made a matching mask to accompany the dress:

Below is the final piece which I produced for my final GCSE art project. The theme of the project was peeling. I used chalk pastel on paper to produce the piece:

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Colin McDowell

Painter - Sketcher - Illustrator - Designer - Publicist

...and now one of the world's top fashion commentators:

Colin McDowell is currently The Sunday Times' chief fashion writer, having worked for numerous quality magazines and newspapers in the past. On top of this Colin is also the Founder of Fashion Fringe, a platform for young designers hoping to start a business; the author of 16 books on fashion and has written biographies for the likes of John Galliano, Ralph Lauren and Manolo Blahnik!

Today at uni we were fortunate enough to be paid a visit by Colin McDowell as part of a series of lectures relating to 20th Century Fashion. What with The Sunday Times' Style magazine been a weekly must-read for me, I was really looking forward to what today would have in-store, and I was not disappointed! Colin was a highly entertaining speaker and really got us involved and listening!

Colin started off by quoting "In Fashion there is no such thing as a virgin birth". In other words everything has been done before in some way or another. It is this which I think helps to distinguish true 'great' designers; those who are able to look back at past fashions, using them as inspiration and starting points for creating something new, not just copying something that has been done before, time and time again. For Colin there are 5 'Great' designers from the 20th century:

~ Madeleine Vionnet - 'Queen of the Bias Cut' ~

~ Cristobal Balenciaga ~

~ Yves Saint Laurent ~

~ Calvin Klein ~

~ Armani ~

As for the 21st Century of Fashion, he believes that there are 3 'great' designers who will push fashion forward and out of it's current low point. These are:

~ John Galliano ~

~ Miuccia Prada ~

~ Marc Jacobs ~

I have to agree that John Galliano is a truly inspirational designer. He is passionate about his work and his fashion shows are incredible! Galliano says that when designing he keeps his customer in mind, 'a modern equivalent of Mr Dior's mother', the woman who inspired Dior's famous 'New Look'. Constantly going back to the Dior Archive for inspiration Galliano never fails to impress, just when you think he might be running out of 'newness' and getting 'same old, same old' he wows us with something new!
I thoroughly enjoyed the talk today, listening to Colin talk about his favourite fashion era (the 50s, it being the last period of Couture and the last period when the age of fashion could take in elegance; his opinions of Coco Chanel and her passion for feminism and more..! and also his advice for us young aspiring designers.
Thank you Colin McDowell!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Little Black Dress (LBD)

Being a true fan of the Little Black Dress, I can't resist writing a post about it! A Fashion Staple and a must have for every woman's wardrobe, the Little Black Dress was a creation of Coco Chanel in the 1920s, designed to be a long-lasting and versatile garment during the rationing in the war times. Up until this time black had been seen and worn as a colour for mourning only. An LBD can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, intended to be of a simple style so as not to date and remain a staple in the wardrobe for many years.

Nowadays it is common for most designers to include an LBD in their collections, and are now available in an array of shapes, styles, lengths and designs. Personally I am a huge fan of the LBD and have a rather large and still growing collection of them in my wardrobe. For me you can't go wrong with an LBD, it will always be suitable for whatever the occasion, flatter the figure and make you feel good! As Christian Dior said, that black is "The most popular and the most convenient and the most elegant of all colours". Below are a couple of famous little black dresses from the past and a photo of a black dress which I made as part of my A-Level course.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A-Level Art

Whilst studying art at school and in 6th form I produced a number of pieces as a result of various projects. One project which I particularly enjoyed doing at A-Level was inspired by the works of Monet, after visiting his house and garden during a trip to Paris I started a project focusing on his Water Lily paintings. As a result I produced two large paintings, one of which is pictured below.

It was around this time whilst I was producing these pieces that Dolce & Gabana brought out their S/S 2008 RTW collection inspired by the idea of freedom painting and the work of artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel (pictured below).

Many of the pieces in the Dolce & Gabbana S/S 08 collection featured garments splashed with strokes of colour, applied to parchment canvas, tulle and 50s inspired organza ball-gowns. This technique of applying colour in a loose and care-free manner is similar to the one which I used when applying the colour to my canvases. Below are some of my favourite pieces from the collection.