Monday, 4 May 2015


Looking back at this project through the past five months I have learnt a lot about the construction and deconstruction of garments. So much more goes into a garment than meets the eye.

I found it particularly fascinating how many separate pieces go into the structure, and why garments are priced so differently depending on the brand, material and features. I really enjoyed actually taking my garments apart and working out how they can be put back together again.

I feel like I am a lot more educated now about how clothes are made compared to before I started this project. I now appreciate why more expensive garments are priced so - the craftsmanship and materials used are far superior to cheaply made clothes that will not last in the same way.

I also have a greater understanding of the wide array of available pockets and fastenings that can appear on garments and how the smallest changes can affect the overall look.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Second Set of Flat Drawings

These are my second set of flat drawings with alterations to the jeans and jacket. I wanted to turn them into a coordinating set, so I made similar changes and have chosen the same fabric for them, as shown below. They both have zip detailing, shortened sleeves and leg lengths and black linings.

I chose the fabric shown below (Jardin Pixel Floral) because it's still an oversized floral pattern like the original jacket's fabric, but the pixelation gives the jacket a modern edge. I decided to coordinate the jacket and jeans because brightly patterned co-ords seem to be a major trend both on the catwalk and high street.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2015 - Pocket Study

3.1 Phillip Lim designed several different types of jackets for their Fall 2015 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Below are an example of three - a slim leather jacket, a bomber jacket and a sleeveless jacket. They all however have the same pocket detailing on their right side: a sideways patch with a zip closure. This is an example of continuity throughout a fashion collection and allows each jacket to be recognised as a 3.1 Phillip Lim. The rest of the collection can be seen here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Construction and Deconstruction: A Fashion Film

I came across this short fashion film by Sophie Kennedy with her take on construction and deconstruction. It shows her creating an extravagant outfit from scratch then taking it apart in the same way.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Zip Research

I visited my local John Lewis to have a look at some potential zips to use on the alternate versions of my garments. I found several that were almost perfect such as the two below on the right. The left was a little too long and was silver instead of gold, but the right was denim instead of black fabric. I compromised and picked up the left one to feature in my project folder.

John Lewis did have a wide arrange of zips in varying colours, materials and lengths. The majority however were plastic and suited better for skirts, dresses or suit trousers. There was little choice for decorative zips rather than purely functional ones.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Deconstruction of Disney's Cinderella Dress

On March 13, 2015 Disney released its live-action version of the fairytale classic Cinderella. I came across this article about the creation of Cinderella's famous blue ballgown and thought it would be interesting to look at the process.

Three time Oscar winning (10 times nominated) costume designer Sandy Powell was in charge of costumes for the film and started work on them two years before principal photography began. It took a team of 20 people 4000 hours to create eight versions of the dress. She wanted it to look like a "watercolour in motion", for the dress to appear light as air especially when Cinderella was running away.

The dress is made of several layers. The top layer is Silk Crepeline - a very lightweight, fine silk. The layers underneath are Yumissima - an incredibly light and expensive (£150 a metre) material which floats when thrown into the air. Then there are hundreds of miles of frilled petticoats to give volume and lightness. Each layer is a slightly different colour, such as lilac, lavender, greens and blues, to create a unique periwinkle colour. Behind the many layers is a steel crinoline over a wire cage with secret handles for actress Lily James to hold on to.

The corset was designed to give Cinderella the traditional 19th century women's shape. It was revealed that every character wore one, including the maids! The corset made her waist look extra-tiny due to the optical illusion effect of the massive skirt and the detachable 'bertha' at the neckline, which was decorated with dozens of butterflies hand-painted by Hiroshima artist Haruka Miyamoto.

In total, across the eight different versions of the dress made, three miles of thread was used in the hems, 10,000 Swarovski crystals were hand-applied to the dresses, and finally, 250 metres of fabric was used in each separate dress.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Quotes from Alison Gill

Taken from 'Deconstruction Fashion: The Making of Unfinished, Decomposing and Re-assembled Clothes' in 'Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture'.

"The term deconstruction has entered the vocabulary of international fashion magazines, a label associated specifically with the work of Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Karl Lagerfeld, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten amongst others, and more loosely used to describe garments on a runway that are “unfinished,” “coming apart,” “recycled,” “transparent” or “grunge.”"

"Martin Margiela, a graduate of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Arts, and identified by Spindler and Cunningham as a leading proponent of “deconstructionism,” appear to share with deconstructivist architecture a point of connection around the analytics of construction."

"Margiela sells linings extracted from recovered “vintage” dresses, giving these linings a chance of a new-old life “on the outside,” that is, as lining dresses in their own right. His dresses are made from mis-matched fabrics, lining silks with jerseys, and one can see the inside mechanics of the dress structure — darts, facings, and zippers. Or old jackets have been re-cut, tacked, sewn and re-detailed, their seams and darts reversed and exposed to the outside."

"Accepting that a seamstress or tailor performs a certain labour of “outfitting” bodies and giving them an enclothed form, a labour stitched inside as the secrets of a finished garment, a secret that is kept by the garment itself as it performs “seamlessly,” Margiela literally brings these secrets to its surface."

Maison Margiela Spring 2015 Couture

"Deconstruction in fashion is something like an auto-critique of the fashion system: It displays an almost X-ray capability to reveal the enabling conditions of fashion’s bewitching charms (i.e., charms conveyed in the concepts ornament, glamour, spectacle, illusion, fantasy, creativity, innovation, exclusivity, luxury repeatedly associated with fashion) and the principles of its practice (i.e., form, material, construction, fabrication, pattern, stitching, finish)."

"At one level, the word “deconstruction” suggests a simple reversal of construction and therefore, at this common-sense level, a reading of clothes that look unfinished, undone, destroyed as “deconstructed” fits. With this view, the many who know the work of the garment-maker — cutting, constructing, altering — that is, a uni-directional making toward a goal of a “finished” garment, will not find deconstruction fashion startlingly original or more than a reversal of this practice of the garment-maker."

"Margiela deconstructs the aura of the designer garment, and by extension the industry that upholds the myth of innovation, by messing with its integrity and innovation, by stitching a dialogue with the past into its future. When his recycled garments are literally turned inside out, apart from ravaging the finish of the garment, the frame that holds them together is also revealed like a clothing skeleton."

Friday, 27 March 2015

Alternate Fabric and Design Sketches

Here are a few examples of alternate fabric and design sketches that I have been working on. I like the idea of turning the jacket and jeans into a matching set using the same fabric and adding similar alterations to each garment.

From left to right: The jeans with no pockets or stitch detailing, the jacket with no collar, and the jacket with no sleeves

From left to right: The jeans in alternate fabrics, and the jacket in alternate fabrics

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Milly Resort 2015 - Zip Detailing

The Milly Resort 2015 collection used some really interesting zip detailing on their jackets. The zips are primarily decorative rather than functional, but the gold of the zip works really well as a feature against the monochrome fabrics of the jackets. The rest of the collection can be seen here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Deconstruction Of The Jeans and The Jacket

I decided to create two videos showcasing the deconstruction of the jeans and the jacket. They show the garments laid out in pieces after being completely taken apart. I found it so interesting seeing how many pieces go into each garment after laying them out over the table. Considering each garment was only small originally, each one almost covered a four metre table. You can see as well all the 'hidden' parts that went into each garment, for example the lining of the pockets and interfacing around the edges of the jacket.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Preview Of Alternate Fabric Ideas

I visited my local John Lewis store to get some inspiration for alternate fabrics for my garments. I came across the following five, some with the jacket in mind, some with the jeans in mind and some with both.

I'm intending on making a number of sketches of my garments in these fabrics and exploring the results.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Garment Research - Part Two

I went to Cambridge city centre to do some primary research on jackets and jeans similar to those I am basing my project around. I looked at brand, price, fabric and target market.

From left to right: River Island, Ted Baker, Topshop #1

From left to right: Topshop #2, Whistles

River Island jacket - £60.00
100% Polyester

Ted Baker jacket - £229.00
76% Cotton, 21% Polyamide, 3% Elastane

Topshop jacket #1 - £58.00
100% Cotton

Topshop jacket #2 - £58.00
80% Cotton, 13% Polyester, 7% Viscose

Whistles jacket - £325.00
100% Lamb Leather

High street jackets all appear to be priced around £55-60 this season, as shown throughout this blog so far in Topshop, River Island and ASOS, despite their style, fabric or detailing. The price of higher end jackets will vary due to these factors, as shown in the examples above. Ted Baker is considered to be a designer brand, whereas Whistles still caters for the high street, yet the jackets have almost a £100 price difference because of the Lamb Leather used by Whistles. The target market is also different for high street versus higher end brands. Ted Baker and Whistles are both found in John Lewis, a store not frequented by those on a budget, whereas Topshop and River Island are very much in competition with each other as their target market is larger and their styles not dissimilar.

River Island Molly Jeans in multiple colours

From left to right: Ted Baker, Whistles

River Island jeans - £45.00
65% Cotton, 31% Polyester, 4% Elastane

River Island jeans - £40.00
92% Cotton, 6% Polyester, 2% Elastane

Ted Baker jeans - £89.00
90% Cotton, 8% Polyester, 2% Elastane

Whistles jeans - £95.00
94% Cotton, 4% Polyester, 2% Elastane

As seen in my previous post 'Garment Research - Part One', the pricing of jeans seems to mostly depend upon the brand name. The fabric quality between the River Island jeans and Whistles jeans differs very little - only 2% between the cotton and polyester counts. It is possible that Whistles take other factors into account such as production quality and cost which causes their jeans to be priced higher, however the seams, fastenings and pockets seem almost identical. I also took note of the fabrics and colours being used in jeans this season. Jeans are in the usual neutral shades but waxy and imitation leather finishes are also popular in black.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Coach Fall 2015 Collection

The Coach Fall 2015 collection features a wide range of fastenings on their jackets including toggles, zips, double breasted buttons and single rows of buttons. The fabrics used in the entire collection vary greatly also, from furs to wool to leather. A monochrome colour palette mainly features but the fabric weight differs, with both sheer and heavy fabrics used. Deep pockets feature on almost every garment, with and without flaps and button detailing.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Flat Drawings

These are my flat drawings of the jeans and the jacket I'm using for this project.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Things Come Apart - Todd McLellan

Todd McLellan is an artist who has created the set of images 'Things Come Apart' as an extension of his 'Disassembly Series'. The following pictures show a bicycle and a chainsaw disassembled with the components laid out in a logical way. I found it interesting to look at other objects deconstructed as well as clothes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Project Encylopedia

I came across this set of Fashion Terms and Styles for Women's Garments here and thought it would come in useful throughout my project.