For my final major project, I would like to design a collection of dresses with vintage elements. The inspiration for these dresses will be the 1950’s. As I am looking at the 1950s, I don’t want the collection to look too vintage and would like to modernise it for the women now, but still having some vintage elements to it. I have always admired vintage fashion, with the 1950s being my favourite, and has been a strong interest of mine in both the construction and the style. Because this theme is one of my interests, I thought it would keep me interested and on track without getting too lost or losing the point of interest.
My intention is to look at appliances, interiors and daily life in the 1950s and use it to inspire fashion construction ideas. As there are a wide range of items in the memory box, I will look at the each of the items and take plenty of photos for inspiration. Drawings will also be taken to get ideas for construction and to help develop ideas further.
After some research, I found out that Colchester Castle has memory boxes from different times and collections of different objects that can be hired out for a week to look at. They are for educational purposes, but anyone is allowed to look at them. One of the boxes is 1950/1960 so I will book this out and look at the objects in it for inspiration. This box has items ranging from irons, magazines and clothes and accessories. I will look at each individual object and analyse them for different elements to be used in pattern, fabric and colour. I have bought some books about life in the 1950s so this will give me a first-hand view of what the 50s were like.
For the design process, I am going to draw elements, shapes and colours from each individual items and collate an annotated sketchbook page for each. From there, I am going to lay the ideas over mannequins to get some rough ideas of fashion elements. These will then be adapted and refined to look like wearable garments. Some of the elements that I would like in my collection are full skirts and fitted bodices.
As I am a fashion student rather than a textile student, I want that to come out in my collection. To show this, I am going to design an all white collection. However, plain is not my style. My colour palette will be kept very simple with 3 different colours, the white as the main colour, and the yellow and grey being accessory colours. I want to use lots of trims and elements that will bring the colour into it. Fringing and tassels are going to be a big design feature throughout my collection. As I want these to be the same yellow throughout all my collection, I am going to buy cotton fringing and tassels and dye them myself. This will be my small dip into textiles for this collection. I will use Dylon dyes to dye them all. I would also like to use some pleating in my collection. I want to do this by hand rather than send it away to be pleated so that every part of my collection is made by my hands and I have learnt some new skills. Quilting is another skill that I haven’t really tried and will be a big design feature throughout my collection.
For my fabric, I want to keep it simple. I will buy the same fabric for all my dresses. I want to use drill cotton because I like the weave that it has. It is also heavyweight so it will hold up when sewing, especially for the quilting and topstitching. I am going to be using tassels and fringing throughout my collection, these will be bought from Macculloch and Wallis because they have a large range of cotton fringing that I can sample and buy to dye yellow.
I have researched into contemporary designers to bring more of a modern factor into my collection. This will help because the inspiration for my collection is vintage and I don’t want the collection to be too old fashioned. I looked at Delpozo SS17 because they use a lot of different construction elements in their designs. They are seen as over the top and extravagant, but still keeping a pretty, girly element to it. This is something that I would like to bring out in my own collection. Nearly all of their collection is made up of dresses, something that my own will have, and they have large, structural skirts. Another collection I looked at was Moschino SS16. Some of the dresses in this collection were inspired by the 1950s and Cadillac are. I thought the idea of a dress being inspired by and object was interesting because this is what I am doing in my collection with the memory box. Also, the idea of it being the 1950s gave my research more of a historical element but with a modern factor.
The designs are going to have a vintage but modern feel so would sell best in a independent store or a vintage inspired store. Vintage inspired clothing is popular now with any online and high street stores. Modcloth is a very popular online vintage-inspired shop. The idea of it came from the owners love of vintage clothing. The website has a wide range of different clothing, and even a section of for quirkier styles. I could see my dresses being sold to this customer as they are the kind of people that would buy my modern but still vintage collection.
For my final collection, I have set up a professional instagram profile. I have a personal profile but thought it would be more professional to set up one just for my fashion collection. On it I will be documenting the making process of my collection. People can follow my work and keep up with my collection and how it is growing throughout my final year. Instagram is a popular way of displaying photos and is popular for designers to showcase their work. This makes it easier to see what is happening in the fashion world and what is up and coming. At the start of year 1, I set up a blog to document the whole 3 years that I have been here. It was required to make one but I wanted to keep mine up to date with everything I have done and what I have learnt throughout. This is another way that people can look through my work in more detail. It also a place that can be looked through and see what I have learnt.
A dream of mine has always been to sell my own products. I started by opening my own etsy store and I made my own jewellery and accessories to sell. It was only on a small scale but it was a start and it helped me get a little bit of experience within the field. This course has helped me to learn more sewing skills and get them to a more professional level. I have had very little experience in making clothes for myself and other people but I feel I could have a chance at doing it now. A clothing brand that inspires me is Mod Dolly. The company was started by the owner, all by herself, sewing all the clothing herself. Since then they have opened up their own shop and have a studio where all their clothes are handmade. They have a unique style to all the collections which a signature style. This inspires me because I would like to design and make my own dress collections that people can buy and wear.