In the beginning there was…

ummmm not a lot really… We were given this project at the beginning of summer and like Maxine, I chose to spend my holidays in chilly London working in the industry and gaining invaluable experiece. My mind was elsewhere and to be honest I thought of swimsuits very little while I pulled on my third pair of tights every morning in the 2 degree weather. What I didn’t realise was that my idea of a concept was developing all around me everyday. During my time overseas I saw London in a dark light. The frustration of the recession and its impact on the fashion industry and the social impact was blatently evident. Abuse was being hurled at bankers in the city, business’ were going under and high street shops were closing quickly and in surprisingly large numbers. English favorites like Woolworths, Adams, and MFI have gone. Panic and despair started to hit the country right in front of my eyes. This darkness became the base of my concept.



During fashion week, a prevalent point from editors and the fashion crowd was that too many designers were ‘playing it safe’, they wanted to see colour and creativity in a time of darkness but they felt there were too many classic items and not much crazyness.  Stand out pieces were limited. At a time of financial uncertainty most designers had decided to take the safe option and pick boring silhouettes. The anger continued. I felt this anger and decided to look at it in a design term. The sharp fierce lines of fashion became an obsession for me and started to notice them everywhere.  I was lucky enough to work on and watch Emilio de la Mareno’s A/W 2009 show. The sharp shapes of his show inspired me greatly. These are some of my images. 6a00e5508e95a9883301127914d7f528a4-500wi4

Emilio De La Moreno A/W 2009

The show was amazing and the shapes that Mareno created were just beautiful. I then started to look at some other designers and see what they were doing with interesting shapes and sillohettes.


Sandra Backlund

I was and am always really inspired by Sandra Backlund who I was fortunate enough to meet on my travels. Her designs are unbelievably complicated and I’m always left wondering how the hell she even begins to work out how to design it let alone work out the construction. I was also very inspired by Louise Goldin and her S/S 2009 collection which I think just shows the amazing new talent that is coming out of places like London.


Louise Goldin S/S 2009

It was quite a natural progression for me to go from sharp geometric designs to looking at cubism. I became very interested in Picasso’s work and from here started to look at the art world. I looked at the artist Eduardo Paolozzi’s very tetris-like work and his sculpture and then began the journey of design development.


Picasso’s Woman Playing Mandolin


Eduardo Paulozzi

Within the three days I had to do all my research and drawings I was kind of pleased with my designs. I really would have liked to have had the pleasure of time to really expand my designs as I couldn’t delve as deep as I’d wanted into a creative state. And now its pattern making time! Bit scary as we’ve never worked with stretch before. I was getting a little frustrated in my first attempt at making my pattern because I’m so used to being so pedantic about pattern making. I’ve realised though that I need to just get on with it and make a shell that I can work with as the material is really forgiving as there’s so much stretch. So tomorrow I try again and hopefully have more positive results! 










One response to “In the beginning there was…

  1. Hi Ashlee,

    Yes, it is an interesting shift not being as pedantic with the ‘exactness’ of the patterns for stretchwear. Ideally the patterns should be perfect, but stretchwear certainly allows for a degree of forgiveness if the pattern has some discrepancies.

    Did you feel a sense of moving forward yesterday with the pattern?

    Yesterday, it was interesting to note how critical it is to start with the most suitable base pattern – in your case a stretch block that has a true armhole and neckline shape. Maybe include a photo of the base pattern with the style lines drawn – this could be interesting for those who read the blog and are not familiar with patternmaking.

    Do you think the style lines will accurately translate to a three dimensional item?

    Not sure if you stayed back last night…if you did, what stage did you get to with assembling the sample? Let’s see a photo.


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