Everyone knows it’s fashionable to arrive late… so… here I am! … and 5 weeks into the semester I can safely say this project has been an enjoyable learning experience. I remember initial reactions to this project were mixed, I guess we were unsure of what to expect. After a brief introduction to the Woollen Mermaids brief, we then had a (lengthy) summer holiday… where I spent time in South America experiencing bustling Latino cities and exploring ancient villages in high altitudes where time seemed frozen. I have to admit that during this time, my mind was far away from swimsuits and QUT… although I began to think (panic) about design selection on the plane home to Australia, I found the complimentary gin and tonics (sss) to be soothing to the nerves.
So after arriving back (2 weeks after classes started, once again, fashionably late) I found that most of my class mates were well and truly underway on the research component of the project (Luke!!!). So I hurried myself into a suitably creative frame of mind, and began thinking swimsuits. My response to the brief was fairly literal, deep concepts or meaningful comments on society or the environment were not explored… I simply liked the idea of ‘Active Glamour’… and I set out to communicate a concept of ‘memories from the future’… which I picked up on from the brief’s focus on ‘looking to the past and designing for the future’.
Research: I love history. I have always had a strong fondness for the past, vases, tea pots, clothes, toys and people or figures . My interest in history goes hand in hand with an interest in society and how things have changed. To live in another era for me would be like living in another world. So it’s obvious then, that I enjoyed looking into the history of the swimsuit considering its place in society. To clarify where I ended up with my research, I will give a brief outline of the concept behind my designs
Nostalgia – evoking memories…creating a sense of familiarity and sentiment
A longing for the past is inherent in human nature
Reminisce – objects, possessions, memories or people from the past are redefined to suit the modern.
A collection of designs…. ‘My Sweetheart the Lovebot’ s/s’09
I wanted to capture the feeling of nostalgia and combine it with the modern to create a freshness that is forward yet familiar. I found inspiration in vintage silhouettes and futuristic sportswear… I focused on strong simple lines and panelling for design interest and subtle texture.
‘My Sweetheart the Lovebot’ is built on memories from the future… a reinvention of the past for the modern women’s swimsuit… a reference of the past to create fresh, modern luxury… classic black wool jersey…
Above pic shows my concept board, technical drawings and my final design board.
NOW…to bring things up to the present…
This week and last week, I have been working on my pattern. I used the boy-leg pattern block as a starting point for the ‘bottom half’, and added panels lines and shape to fit what I wanted. It took a few attempts, and several hours, but was easier than I expected. The ‘top half’ basic shape was achieve by free-handing on the dummy… this invloved draping, pinning, drawing and cutting fabric until I was happy… then I transfered these shapes back onto paper to draw up a pattern.