by CLAUDIA VINTER
Starting Locating and being told I had to balance my time throughout two projects was daunting. To begin with I felt I had equal amounts of interest towards my live brief and my self initiated, but over christmas gathering visual research and drawing from my photos made me sway much more towards my self initiated brief. With it being much more experimental and knowing I could fully do my own thing made it much more exciting to work with. Having two completely different colour palettes and concepts really helped me to push my practice; my live brief being quirky with bright neon colours and 3D leather aspects, to a much more professional high end fashion take on my self initiated brief using much neutral toned down colours.
Creating a collection inspired by Sophia Webster’s S/S15 collection seemed very exciting, being one of my favourite footwear designers. I chose this particular collection as I imagined it would be very interesting to work with and there were lots of ways I could take it. I managed to make successful connections between the footwear and my own concept, but found it a lot more difficult to translate into knit samples whilst getting the feel of both my own photos, and the brand. I took my colour palette from the collection of shoes, but it weren’t until my final tutorial that I realised my yarns weren’t reflecting the brand, giving me only one week to find new ones. I would have liked more time to experiment more with interesting yarns, and different ways I could combine my concept with the collection, but was happy with my final collection of samples. The leather flowers I created to attach to my final samples worked successfully, but I didn’t have the time to experiment with better ways of attaching them to the fabric, with the leather being thick, it was hard to get a needle through it and would have been very time consuming.
My interests were definitely stronger for my live brief, with being more engaged with the concept and having a lot to experiment with. I had never worked with the neutral and metallic colour mix before, and was excited by working professionally for a high end fashion context; looking at designers such as Parsons MFA and Maison Margiela. I chose to enter this project into the Bradford Textiles Society competition, consisting of 60% Merino wool, which was at first my choice of live brief. But deciding on the branding brief and entering my self initiated into this seemed like a better idea. It wasn’t until the last week that I realised the percentage of wool, as much as I loved working with it, was holding me back with the outcomes I wanted for my project; so I decided just to enter it into the more open competition. My final collection of yarns and materials I feel really pushed on the project and the contrast of yarns worked well together.
Overall, I feel my time management balanced over two project was good, but just felt a lot more interested towards my self initiated brief which resulted in me prioritising it. The branding live brief of Sophia Webster’s SS15 collection, turned out to be a lot more difficult than I expected, trying to develop drawings but keep my samples looking like they were for this particular collection. I feel there is more I could have pushed on this project, and if creating for a brand in future, I will make sure the chosen brand/collection is a lot more open. I thoroughly enjoyed my self initiated brief and working in a professional way has brought out the best in my work. Focussing more on the parts I lacked in in my last feedback, such as visualisations, I feel I have really progressed and pushed my practice through this unit. I think my live brief would be most suited to catwalk based fashion, as the materials used makes them impractical. My self initiated brief is very much aimed at high end womenswear, made up of unusual materials and sophisticated colours.