Tag Archives: Fashion design

My latest custom designer formal gown for a year 10 formal


The dress is beautiful. Absolutely stunning! Embellished in gorgeous Swarovski crystals and fine lace. The silhouette is off the shoulder panelled with a gorgeous fishtail with lace and Swarovski detail. The bodice is covered in lace as well and embellished lightly in each flower with Swarovski crystals.

 


Welcome to the Garden of Eden Collection 2012 ~ Secret Culture


Hi all this is my final collection that I made to finish my Tafe major work……There were trials and tribulations.Moments of sheer delight and overall a feeling of nausea. Here you will find the ups and lows of a design student.

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Ok so It all started  whilst I was at Tafe last year in 2011 completing my diploma of Fashion Design & Technology…..

I had arrived home after completing a day of Tafe only to find that my mother was having tea with her best friend Sheryl. Something seemed wrong like my mother was deeply upset about something.I asked what was wrong…the words seemed to siphon from her lips.I could hear them but the moment was surreal.I was lost for words.I had lost one of the most important friends that I had ever had.Someone who had not only shaped my ideals about life as I grew up. This person had been the boy that I had loved like a brother my whole life. We had wrestled and we had fought just to laugh. We had climbed trees and danced like we were in the 1920’s. We had climbed mountains and abseiled off cliffs. Canoed down rivers and swam in inter tubes.We had hiked hundreds of kilometres over the period of knowing each other. We had visited Adelaide as scouts and we had visited Tasmania as venturers. I had lost a piece of myself that is only now a memory. Nicholas Brice went to school with me. We lived approximately 15 kilometres from each other in a small town region and Nick had went to primary school with me at Bodalla and then high school at Moruya on the South Coast of Australia. He had lost his brother just 2 years before and his brother Christopher was just as important to me and had been there through all the same.He was Nicks tag along. Everything Nick did, Chris did too. They were so much fun to be with. The energy that they had was so very amazing. It had a way of exciting you into doing just about the silliest things and sometimes the funnest things.

That is why I would like to dedicate my major collection to Nicholas Brice and Christopher Brice who both died of tragic causes and both through life and death shaped the person that I am today. I would not be where I am without either of them and they are two people that I can never and will never forget.

Last year after finding that Nick had tragically passed away after solo abseiling in Sydney at North rocks I was no longer able to concentrate on design.I became very upset and depressed and lost a huge amount of weight. In that same week as his passing I had an examination of my pattern making skills.Which I failed. The teachers had given me a second chance after failing me for my notching in a prior examination.I have to say in examination circumstances I turn into a marshmallow  A written examination is easy for me but a practical examination is really not my forte.I had failed my pattern making after passing every other weekly practical for the last year. This was my last chance.I was not going to pass this year however the teachers had offered that I return and complete my pattern making this year in 2012 and complete my final or major work in 2011.I decided that as there was no mercy for my situation and I was not going to get another chance that I would just leave.I couldn’t bare to do what I love. What I love is to design and to make dresses.I have loved it since I was a child sitting in my mothers sewing room playing with her threads and sewing my own pin cushions and pillow cases. I felt lost but I became hardened. I was angry at myself and ashamed. I knew that I could do so much better. The fact of the matter was the teachers that had been teaching me had really not understood me from the beginning. I was not the atypical fashion student. I was rough on the edges and perhaps a real tomboy. Not perfect and preen and all in between. I wore what I liked. I said what I thought and I was that typical country girl who liked to drink and act like a bit of a boy the majority of the time. I  had moved to Newcastle to live with my brother who was a farrier who has worked for the likes of Kerry Packer and now works for Bart Cummings and Gay Waterhouse shoeing their horses who run in weekly race meets.My brother now has his own shed at one of the Sydney race tracks but that is a whole other story. I fancy making a hat for Gay Waterhouse one day but I guess so would most!

After moving to Newcastle I worked at various places and  only just managed to make ends meet….a few things happened and I ended up meeting my future husband who I just had my second year anniversary with. I am so lucky that he has been with me through all of this.He was the man behind me who kept me strong when times have been tough. Through richer and poorer and through my terrible bought of depression that was brought on from my friends passing.I am happy now and I am stronger than I have ever been. I really feel that Nick would be proud of the work that I have done over the past few months even over the past two years.I didn’t get to catch up with him after I met my husband as things really had been busy. That is one thing that I regret as I would of loved to show him what I had been up to and heard about the amazing things that he was doing with his life.

I came back to TAFE in 2012 after 8 months break to finish what I had begun. I had regained my confidence after being named an up and coming designer by fashion palette and being able to show my work that I had designed. I wanted to make my collection and dedicate it to Nick and Chris. I wanted to pass my pattern making examination with flying colours!I ended up picking up two extra subjects which were shaped grading an extension of flat grading which I had done in prior years.The other was environmental fashion design which was based on decreasing wastage and increasing recyclable materials.

Whilst at Fashion Palette I had visited my favourite fabric wholesaler Else Good Silks who sell the most beautiful fabrics at the best and most reasonable price…Sorry guys I am not a Tessuti girl…..According to me Tessuti is a fabric store that is primarily aiming to rip off young up and coming designers by over pricing fabrics that are really not worth the money that people pay for them.I would not buy fabric ever that was $80 metre to produce dresses as it would be too expensive. I would rather let my design speak for itself!

I had this idea.The collection was forming in my head.I wanted to make dresses with snakes panelled into them wrapping around the body and hugging every curve.I wanted it to be dark and seductive. Sexually appealing and visually enticing.I wanted to make the collection one colour.Black.I made and produced three dresses. Conscience dress, Eve’s dress and Judgement dress.I have given them to the fabulous models Phoebe, shell and Natasha who I made them to fit!.They are going to have fun wearing them.I am definitely sure of that!I absolutely 100% enjoyed every moment of the adrenalin. Producing the dresses, organising the model, getting the graphic design team in on designing me a new logo and overall found that my collection has been a huge success.There were times where it was hard to get out of bed because there was so much to do and so little time to do it. But there were also times where everything went as planned.For instance the photo shoot went absolutely fantastically but the fitting on two of my dresses was terrible.Lack of time meant I was doing some pretty quick pinning …..after the photo-shoot I altered one dress two more time taking it in a whole 16cm…my model had lost two dress sizes and I had added extra to the dress because the toile had not fit correctly.Another dress had to be taken in a full 6cm from the underarm and 4cm from the skirt……Huge amounts of tailoring and fitting involved to get the dresses to sit right.Also I had to alter bust cups on both the dresses which meant I basically had to take the whole dresses apart and start again on the bust section…..This was huge!I learnt alot about resizing and dressmaking that I didn’t know prior but I did it!I got the dresses completed by the parade night. I presented my collection in front of a board of nasty old bats……and I have completed my diploma just about anyhow.I am still finalising the details on a couple of things….This time next week I should have a certificate in my hands and a smile from ear to ear 🙂 .Make-up was done by Lucy from Mary Kay and yes for the parade we decided to go with greens instead of purples and shimmer lips instead of black lips.The dresses fitted perfectly and overall I am content to give the dresses away and dedicate the work that has been done to two of my favourite boys of all time.Rest in Peace Nick and Chris.

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Fashion- Outsource This!


I hate the fact that fashion exists-The endless waste created by mass production and especially the outsourcing to countries with lower regulatory standards but that doesn’t stop me studying the course.To me the name Fashion is just a name and a way to discover things that I couldn’t learn from my mother who has worked in the industry in factories when they existed in Australia.They are still here but I think it is unlikely you might only be paid 50 cents for a shirt-maker dress nowadays in Australia although you never know.I mean I worked for Suboo a supposed high fashion swimwear label as an intern for nothing(clothes were really made with poor quality control and sold for ridiculous prices).Intern is the equivalent of slave labour with a pretty name.Fashion is the only comprehensive course related to designing your own clothes around.I actually had the argument yesterday with some friends studying the advanced diploma in fashion design.They justified the fact that they could outsource to other countries because of the cheap exchange rates because they have been told that people are paid reasonably in comparison to the country they live in and those people have reasonable conditions in comparison to the country they live in.I gave them a case study to look at.The link for the video is  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmZkkYxHaaM&feature=plcp&list=PLA5D40D9AC0E2CF5B which didn’t change their mind and rather made them outraged.The truth is to be a Fashion Designer as I have been trained to be you have to decide between your own moral judgement or justify your actions.With cheap imports and so many other designers and large corporations you hit a major moral dilemma.To mass produce or not to mass produce. To outsource to another country or to have your product made here.I personally am in a situation where I could easily import from India a mass produced product allowing me to break into the market and reach my target market successfully. To become successful in my industry that is what you do to get to the top.I personally would like to mass produce and outsource to another country in the future.The way I go about it I am hoping will be different to other designers.I could not live with myself if I allowed myself to just call a factory overseas or email them and then get my products made.I want to own the factory and pay the workers straight into their bank account.I want to ensure my workers are protected from abuse and mistreatment.Have appropriate baby minding facilities in the factory.A school education supplied and scholarships for further study for the children of the women who work in the factory.Appropriate living arrangements that are not just conditioned on what is appropriate to that country.Whole family health facilities. Training programs and wages that are better than reasonable.The management who run the factory while I am not in India will be continuously tested to ensure that there is no corruption and that standards are maintained.That is just one of my ideas on how to change the world in fashion.It makes me so sad to see videos of people that have worked and lived in such terrible conditions.My father and brother recently went to China and wanted to buy jackets because they were so cold (one for my mother was a dolce and gabbana jacket which I am pretty sure is not counterfeit).My father and brother were amused to see Chinese factory workers living in the boxes with the fur jackets that they have made to send overseas to us.These people are forced to live in boxes so that we can wear that new faux fur jacket.I could never live with myself but so many designers do. They are taught that certain standards are in place and certain Government regulations because if they weren’t taught this these large companies and the whole Fashion industry would have to reassess and rethink how things are done.The fact is the regulations are there but the factories and management are the people who decide what standards are adhered to.That is why I have already started thinking because one day people are going to have to stop ignoring the harm the fashion industry is causing. Not just to countries with the ability to supply poor labour but also to the environment everywhere. I do not know the actual percentage of which landfill is textiles, clothing and footwear and we can’t forget related products such as beds and lounges which are all made from textile fibres.Our society might be finding innovations in relation to fashion but are companies actually using these innovations or age old techniques to save wastage of water and fibres.Do the people in the companies care what happens to the lives of the people who work for them in that other country so long as the garments are delivered on time to reach the catwalk and the market.I could talk for hours on this topic but the truth is this is something that effects printmaking aswell. The fashion industry uses the techniques of printmaking so commonly and in such repetition that having your work printed overseas by a machine or a small child is something not unheard of.Ofcourse with printmaking there are quite reasonable businesses in Sydney and around Australia that will print your design on a shirt. For the  larger companies they would still rather send it straight overseas to cut costs. Look at Bonds factory for example. They packed up and moved out of Sydney around 5 years ago overseas.I was lucky enough to walk through twice in high school and it was an eye opener.Even in Australia the standard of that factory was poor.There were gigantic cracks in the floor. Rat baits everywhere. It was cold and wet in some rooms and then almost dusty in the spinning rooms and knitting rooms.In the main designer offices where products are sold it was lovely and clean which has sort of stuck with me. I guess it is the personal note of seeing how factories actually work and knowing my mother worked in many in her time that made it hit home. Designers and management in large companies and even small business have the chance to change the way workers at the bottom of the fashion tree are treated.I will leave you with a video of an exceptional factory to think about..
Link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxGLdTARCMk&list=PLA5D40D9AC0E2CF5B&feature=mh_lolz
This amused me because all the women seem to be wearing their best saris and the floor is spotless. This is the clean image that designers imagine when they are purchasing via email or phone.If you actually went to the factory would it look like this?Would these people be getting paid right?
Have a look at this website if your interested in womens rights http://www.dfid.gov.uk/What-we-do/Key-Issues/Economic-growth-and-the-private-sector/Women-and-business/

Margaret Olley an Inspiration for All Artists Everywhere


English: Margaret Olley at the Reopening of th...

English: Margaret Olley at the Reopening of the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am absolutely fascinated with Margaret Olley so much so that last study period I attempted to paint her face on my textiles visual diary…You can buy them with canvas nowadays……Which is awesome:)

Back on topic.Margaret Olley is fascinating mainly because of how she lived and how she painted.Her works span back from the last 60-70 years at least.She would set up a space in her home and paint and then set up another space and paint.She might leave those sets as they are for some time and not move her subjects so that she continue painting her perfect set when she has time. Arguably it has been said that she actually got better over the period of her life which I heard somewhere or rather is unusual because we should all be good while we are young and peak in talent instead of peaking as we age.I hope that I am the same. I know with studying print making aswell as management, marketing and now finishing a diploma in fashion for the next 4 months my work load is humongous. Let’s not forget my husband expects a clean home and dinner on the table…….I took from Margaret this sense of joy and excitement that she never let anyone get in the way of what she wanted to paint and what she wanted to do.She was hard working and often woke up early in the morning to climb to the obelisk in Newcastle to make some painting of the water or whatever might take her fancy.On the 24th there was an amzing documentary on ABC called Margaret Olley “A Life in paint”.

You can purchase a copy on the internet from Catherine Hunter who created the doco (www.artbrief.com.au) or contact her privately via email chunter@yesno.com.au she is very lovely and has made many more documentaries in the past!

All her films can be found at the Art Gallery of NSW and various other galleries.

If you would like to pay money for this documentary it is awesome.If you are like me and watched it already she is a fantastic artist to research just for her spirit and love of art. Her dedication to Australian artists and portfolio of paintings may just inspire a print. Who knows her spirit might wash over you like I feel it has to me.It is strange because she is from the same age as my nan and looks and reminds me totally of her although my nan didn’t paint because she was more submissive and domesticated and the perfect wife.She was more a cooker and cleaner. My pa was the painter and he would paint for hours in his little room.He would first take a photograph of what he wanted to capture and then amazingly transfer that to a painting.He painted with watercolours whilst I am quite sure that Olley painted with acrylics although don’t quote me on that one.There was a part of the documentary that talked about artists and how they paint. This idea is transferable to print and to us!No matter who you are you have your own personality and your own order of thinking. Your own way of organising.How you lay your roller. How you roll on the ink. How much pressure you press into the tile or on the paper. What technique you like to use the most and even though you have been taught other ways you still think your way brings the best image and en-captures what you are trying to encapsulate. You will always have your own style when creating and that is what makes your art have meaning.When someone sees a good print they will first think wow that is a good print and then wonder how they printed it.The majority of our research has been based on how another artist has printed the picture and that meaning transfers another image to mind of the process.I am not sure if this is just me but when I see art that I like I imagine the artist creating that piece. What tools they used. How lightly they pressed those tools, how delicately pressure was applied to create that stroke or cut that stone.when I see a garment I like I think of the pattern pieces that were used to make it and how it was sewn. I think of where their inspiration comes from. This all seems to happen like the jolt of energy that we usually call a brain wave immersing my brain with images that somehow inspire me to create my own art.With Margaret Olley the idea of her life and dedication to art has excited me more than any other about art and her inspiration is something that we all can use a piece of. It is something that brightens the eyes and lightens the brain. You almost feel like your floating on a cloud of inspiration and whilst watching the documentary I almost felt like pulling out my own painting set and creating immediately although had to withdraw from that idea because I have so many other projects that are under way at current.I hope this might inspire you all and might help you find that sparkle in your eye for now and into the future!


Fashion Illustration


The best designers have excellent skills in illustration

This is especially so with Fashion Designers. I am going to upload quite a few images from my portfolio and I would ask that if these images are copied that people can at-least draw their own versions!

Fashion illustration has been a hobby of mine since I was a small child. In high school when I was selected to study at White house for a short course scholarship in illustration was really when I started to understand the form and shapes involved but it was not until I was studying my Diploma in Fashion Design and we had a more intensive course in illustration did I start to think more about shading and using copic markers. Rendering without drawing black lines everywhere. As it can be so tempting to do at times.lol.I have drawn some really bad illustrations and I am definitely still learning. I am still young and would call myself a beginner in the field of illustration however with this skill if you learn it well you can conquer the world finding a place in the hearts of many. I would like you to link my Blog to your Facebook page if you do;).Or even if you don’t think about sharing it with other fashion entrepreneurs.

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Front view Croquis

So firstly you start with drawing the croquis which is a shell of the body without any rendering. Rendering is how you fill the image e.g. lead pencil rendering, ink, copic marker, water colours, chalk, paint. So this croquis will show you the basic silhouette of the form your wishing to drape your design onto. All illustrators would have atleast 20 or more of these basic shapes or as they design would think of a body type and position for which they would like their design displayed and draw this basic croquis that they can draw onto. What this means is that if you draw half the image and screw up majorly with a basic slip of the brush or pen you can simply retrace the image off this croquis and make any adaptations you would like. You can also keep the image in a basic A3 folder for when you may like to practise another image your designing and so on.

Fashion illustrations have their own scale and that has been a century old tradition dating back to the Greeks where they defined the perfect human body as following the golden mean.The golden mean is a way of using symmetry, proportion and harmony to define perfection.All very mathematical rather as you will find out if you read this article: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/technical/04/033104.asp#axzz1jbGdZOgs

This perfection in illustration is the ability to draw between a scale of 1-9 or 1-10 if you count the feet of a body.

Drawing Croquis

Grab your A3 design folio or A3 visual art diary (or more expensive ink proof paper that costs a ridiculous amount).If you are just practising it would be best to start on the cheaper side of the wheel because it will literally take you a couple of hundred drawings before you start to appreciate your own work as even resembling decency.Unless you are super spectacular because you may be:)

Scale your page from 1-10 using your chosen width that you calculated earlier.Then write the numbers down the side 1-10 so that you know which is which. Draw a center line lightly so that you can cut the body in two sides. The head is the most important beginning of drawing your croquis. This is because the width and height of your head define the width of certain parts of your body.Draw an egg shaped head between 0-1 and make sure it is centred appropriately.

between 1-2 you will be drawing your shoulders which should be the value of 1 and a half heads either side of centre front and also half way between 1 and 2 unless you are drawing a shape that is standing in a different pose.Shoulders meet the neck at 1.5 heads down.Chest is at 2. Waits and elbows should be on 3 and the waist should have 3/4 heads width.Hips and wrists on 4.The crutch is at 4 1/4. Hands reach 5. Knees 6. widest part of calf is at 7 1/4 – 7 1/2. 9 is the beginning of the feet.

Contemporary Fashion Illustration Techniques

Contemporary Fashion Illustration Techniques

There are many books that have been written on fashion illustration however it is up to you on which ones you empathise with and can really gain something out of. For up and coming designers Naoki Watanabe is fabulous to start with.

Colors For Modern Fashion / Drawing Fashion With Colored Markers Nancy Riegelman Nine Heads Media

Colors For Modern Fashion / Drawing Fashion With Colored Markers Nancy Riegelman Nine Heads Media

For the more experienced that would like to brush up their own techniques “Colours For Modern Fashion-Drawing Fashion With Coloured Markers” Nancy Riegelman is probably the best reference around atm. The book depository sells these for fantastic prices and if you are looking for bargains Ebay can be fabulous when trying to buy these very in demand Illustration guides.

Angles of the Body

Angles of the Body

The body leans in many different ways depending on how you are standing. Just remember that the centre of your body is defined by the hollow at the base of your neck down. No matter what stance you have this will display the central most part of your body.Also when drawing different poses it is easy to draw guidelines of the direction you want your shoulders waist and hips. Even drawing little circles for wrists, shoulders, ankles and knees will help in drawing the croquis that you are after.

Drawing an illustration from photography:

renel

Renel

illustration

Bikini Collection

A good designer can look at a magazine and see an image or a pose of a girl and then draw that image in the proportions of a fashion illustration equally splitting the points of the body into the perfect mean. As no human is actually perfect sometimes it can be hard to split the body into perfection without losing certain likenesses. Although with practise this will become very easy.

bikin

Swimsuit Illustration

After you redraw the shape of the person into the prefect croquis for your design you then draw your design onto the form making sure you take into account the shape of the body and how parts will be different shapes. E.g the calf muscles being bigger at the top below the knee then smaller towards the bottom. The arms will be bigger nearer the shoulder than the wrist.

Rendering an Illustration:

Some basic tools you might want to invest in.

Here is a photograph of my copic markers and water colours that I use for basic rendering of illustrations.

rendered swimsuit illustration

Rendered Swimsuit Illustration

Next rendering the illustration: You can do this using basic techniques of pencil and copic markers and it will look fabulous after you have practised and sorted out the best way for you to render your image. You can also use black ink or any other material that you think may suit the way you would like to display your image.This illustration was a buttons collection that I designed a swimwear range based on. Hence I have tried to bring in some elements from that idea like the needle and thread.

African Lady

These are some Illustrations I completed whilst practising for my course last year.I am not especially happy with the lines in either but this is the sort of thing we are aiming for when rendering. The more you practise the better it will get. Especially when using copic markers.

Asian Styling

 

Asian Styling Variation2

Asian Styling Variation2

Drawing Womens Faces:

Womans face

Facial Illustration

The more you draw the more you want to make your facial illustrations look beautiful. You can do this by practising on a larger scale.

Split an A3 page into 1 head length and then draw 2/3rds of that length as the width. Draw a big egg head shape and then split it further into half both ways length and width. then 1/2 of 1/2 and 1/2 of 1/4 this will mean that you will have the basic lines in place to draw your face. Your eyes are half way nose is just before 1/4 and your lips just above the 1/8 line. Your eyes are half of half the width of the head and this width is also the separation between the eyes.

Drawing Men’s Faces:

mens facial illustration

Mens Facial Illustration

Men have squarish features usually in fashion illustration. The illusion of having more angular features is very attractive and so that is why they are dran like this. They also have larger foreheads and more angular jaw structures.Thinner lips and chunkier eyebrows.

Drawing Male Croquis:

male croquis

male croquis

Also with drawing men’s croqui’s you do not tighten the waist of a man as they are all muscle. Drawing a waist will actually make the illustration look like a manly woman.It’s more like broad shoulders and tiny hips making the man look more masculine rather than effeminate. That is the main change between drawing fashions for males and females in illustration.

Current Collection:

Current Collection

I generally draw all my collections onto basic croquis when I am designing because I find them efficient in deciding what looks good and what looks bad on a form. You can then draw the illustration from this image.Here is one I have been preparing for my current Autumn/ Winter Collection 2012.

Tie Dress with Boat Neck and Japanese Stylisation

This is my croquis for my Japanese Bow Boat Neck dress before rendering.

Rendered Boat neck Japanese Dress

Rendered Boat Neck Japanese Bow Dress Illustration

After Rendering with Copic Marker and Water colour pencils you have something beautiful that you can use in any format to display to customers or buying teams when you have meetings with potential customers. Of course this is the fun side of Fashion Design because there is a lot more work in actually making the collection. Especially pattern making and toiling. Then you might even want to make your whole collection yourself which is a massive undertaking.


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