background illustration

To enlighten the viewer (or wearer)  on the swimsuit with a cape, I shall provide here a brief explanation of my theme and how it came about:

Briefly, it explores the defensive attitude that humans have with nature.

The day of the triffids

The day of the triffids

A brilliant reference point for me, and an excellent way for the viewer to understand this concept, is the book The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, written in 1951.  An illustration of the post-apocalyptic novel is shown above; the story of a sort of whip-like plant species that conquers world. Basically it details a powerful natural force and consequential human fear.

I have observed two juxaposing aesthetics in design today, which I categorise as decay and armor. The natual environment’s power is seen in many designs, where organic shapes and lines are prevelant, with fashion designers like Rodarte referencing decay with misformed knits or architects like youmeheshe imitating the spiders web to connect their structures. 

Rodarte's knits

Rodarte's knits

youmeheshe's ecofloat

youmeheshe's ecofloat

Meanwhile, the agressive forms of armor are prevelant in car design, think Jeep, and in the shoulders of fashion design, see most designer collections.

proenza schouler shoulder detail

proenza schouler shoulder detail

 

danielle scutt shoulder detail

danielle scutt shoulder detail

fendi shoulder detail

fendi shoulder detail

To be so defensive toward nature  is inefficient, and defines the reason for sustainability, where design works with, not against, natural form. Or at least, this is the purpose, hopefully one day to be realised. Of course, I will not insert the lengthy information that is available on this topic, but will passionately recommend anyone to research sustainability in design or even nature as inspiration for design (search TED talks on ted.com).

To develop a swimsuit that harnesses the practicality and steamlined likeness of nature I looked at the features of sportswear. I particularly like Mark Fast’s combination of streamlined practicality with organic lines in the form of handcrafted inserts.

mark fast's balance of sportswear and traditional craft

mark fast's balance of sportswear and traditional craft

My designs were specifically developed to imitate natural forms and the contours of the body. My chosen design is closely fitted to the body, the back detail abstractly references bone structure or maybe butterfly wings (which are surprisingly similar), and the cape extends from the body in a way that continues this human/creature effect. The cape also then provides protection from the destructive aspects of nature, particularly the sun, an increasing health concern. 
design development, one of many pages

design development, one of many pages

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Above is a simple design specification that can be used as a reference point to the development of the garment itself. Note that I have already taken much of the volume out of the cape, making it less swingy, more streamlined; less angel, more butterfly.
Next post: garment development.
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