Friday, April 30, 2010

Little Secret - April

I have decided that at the end of every month, I will post something I have noticed that has inspired me, made me think and maybe even just made me smile. I have decided to call this "Little Secret". I thought of this idea while walking towards Leeds Rail Station last week and looking at some of the architecture on my way. Like many old buildings, this one had little heads sculpted into it, mainly of lions. I love to see these and see the differences between each one, you can really admire the little details of the building as a whole this way, not just of the sculpted heads. So, as I was looking I noticed one that stood out, and this is April's Little Secret:

Image from my own camera.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Level Art

In my A level art classes, instead of drawing and painting in the conventional way, I used my talent from textiles, sewing. I enjoyed this so much more, I found my work to be unique and completely different to what everyone else was doing.

I took some inspiration from Gustav Klimt's painting called "The Kiss" for one of my pieces. The colours and All Seeing Eye seen throughout this painting inspired my piece.

First I embroidered an eye using different shades of green and blue on silk. I then stitched some gold fabric with red swirls and twists in different ways. The eye was then attached to this and I embroidered the golden and red swirls with beads. The piece was designed to look luxurious, which was achieved by the intricate detail in the eye, the golden fabric and the beading.

Image of the painting is from and the image of my work is from my own camera

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cassie's Therapy Video

The other day I came across a blog, which I think is just lovely. Every month the author completes a blogger tag based on "Cassie's Therapy Video" from Skins. I hadn't heard of this seeing as I don't watch Skins. However, I find this very interesting and it looks like a lot of fun.
I would like to tag: Erimentha - it is her blog that originated this, and is such a great blog to read.
Jasmine - I always look forward to your posts, and I think your blog is amazing.
Paige - A really good read, lovely posts and such creativity.

The task is: fill in 12 likes, 1 love and 8 hates like Cassie in her therapy video. Below, the bolded things are what you MUST include. Also, please link it back to me, and link it onto 3 other blogs you admire!

Abracadabra, Wow!
I like boys with good a sense of humour and girls with natural curls in their hair
I like when the sun shines and everyone is happy
I like spending time with family and friends
I like having dreams that are out of the ordinary
I like snuggling under the duvet with Nathan when it's cold
I like to be creative and make things
I like getting post, it makes me feel popular
I like reading the newspaper the morning after it was bought
I like cups of tea
I like cakes and sweet treats
I like reminiscing about funny stories
I like feeling like a child again (even though I'm 20)
I love dancing and singing along to music
Today I feel tired after a long but very fun weekend 
In some ways, I love everything.
Its less, its less of a thing to like, its less distinct, its less particular
I like things that I like but I love everything
There’s more choice in like
Cos even the worst things have things you love in them
I don’t know what you mean about things I hate
I hate when it's rainy and windy
I hate how bed socks aren’t fashionable
I hate deadlines that seem to creep up on you
I hate being late... for anything
I hate not being able to sleep
I hate how people think Fashion Design isn't a real subject but in a way, it makes me want to prove them wrong
I hate waiting for a bus that never comes
I hate the word hate, it's an awful word
I hate this, wow. . .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview Technique

When I found out I had an interview with Cohen and Wilks in February, I wanted to do all I could in preparation for this. I didn't feel confident about my interview techniques, and I was feeling excited but also nervous. Cohen and Wilks is situated in Leeds and this was where I wanted to stay to complete my placement year, and many students have recommended the company from their past experience there.

In my design development module, we were advised that if we had time to produce an extra project for the company, showing how your skills can be related to them. This, to begin with sounded like a lot of work but I wanted to be remembered at this interview and this seemed the best way. I did a little bit of research into the company when I was applying for the placement, and found out they supply clothing to a number of high street stores. George at ASDA was one on the list and I decided to complete a childrenswear project for them, as I haven't got much experience in this sector of fashion.

I started by looking into George at ASDA as a company; their history, website and future products were just a few sections I wrote about. This was very interesting for me to look into and I felt more prepared for the interview just by doing this small amount of research.

Next I looked at their current products for girls and boys aged 4-12 years. This allowed me to see shapes, style, colour, print and fabrics and also enabled me to get a feel for the childrenswear sector so that I could analyse trends and predicted shapes to see how well they would work in a collection for George.

After this I researched childrenswear trends for Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 on WGSN and began to look at colours, shapes, moods and concepts of these trends. This was quite different to menswear and womenswear trends as they were less about the world around them but the experiences and lifestyles that you lose as an adult. The predicted shaped I looked into were coats and jackets, which incidentally is the area Cohen and Wilks provide the most garments in for chidrenswear.

Next was the creative part, and the most fun part for me, creating moods for both the boys and girls collections. The boys collection was called "Nostalgic Nature", which inspired the mood for my current Design Development project for Burton Menswear. And the girls collection was called "Favourite Fantasy". I then designed a page of jackets for each collection, and analysed them by hand after they were printed.

All this was completed on Illustrator, to show my skills in using this design package. As simple as this project looks, it was designed this way. Each decision in terms of layout, colour and font were all thought about carefully to display the right feel for the project and to provide clarity in my work.

I was told during my interview that this was a really good idea to do in preparation for the interview and is something I will probably aim to do as part of my research for future job interviews. It creates a good starting point for a conversation and also allows the company to see research and skills based purely on them. I would advise other designers to try this in their interviews, it will definitely make you stand out!

All images are of my own work; trend images are from; information about George and the current collections are from,default,sc.html.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nonwovens Nonsense?

This semester in Garment Technology, we have had group work in a project called Nonwoven: Decoratif. My group, made up of Amy, Emma and myself (all menswear designers) were given a leather jacket with embroidered cross-stitch roses embellished over the front and sleeves, designed by Martin Margiela. We were also asked to design and make some nonwoven trousers that would work with the key piece. Unsure on where to take this, we tried out a number of different experiments to help us decide on the route we would take with this jacket. We tried tie-dye, beading, painting, sculpting and just about everything you could think of. Eventually we came up with some very inspiring ideas.

Using PVC for all our nonwoven garments, we have come up with 3 very different, but well themed items. The trousers will be pretty basic, sonic bonded with laser cut strips and pockets as their decoration. The first jacket is clear with green coverstitched seams and bright red and blue felt roses placed in a similar fashion to Margiela's original jacket. Our second jacket is painted silver and gold with a haybale netting texture teamed with sequins and beading stitched to create abstract flowers over the jacket.

All of this has been challenging but very inspiring, and now as we watch the garments being put together, it is getting very exciting and we get closer to the end of year show that will document our items.

Below is an early sample of the jacket with roses, to display how these would work in the final garment.

Image from my own camera of work by myself, Emma Clarke and Amy Gibson.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Well it's been Spring for about a month, and I'm only just seeing some leaves and blossom forming around Leeds. The sun has started shining (even if it is still a bit cold) and you can start to hear the birds singing early in the morning. I love Spring and Summer, I think the sun makes everyone happier than the cold, even if they do sometimes complain it is too hot!

Back in Lincolnshire over the Easter holiday I took some photos on the beach of the sun glistening over the sea. I thought it would be a treat to share some with you! These are all really inspiring, and are scenes that were readily available for me visit everyday when I still lived at home.

 All images are from my camera

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wii like to play

I remember when the Nintendo Wii first came out, it stood for family gaming where everyone can be good at sports, racing and playing games that regular controllers made difficult. The wireless technology, range of fun games and probably the fact that it was made by Nintendo was what appealed to me. Gamers complained about the graphics and all the kind of things that I didn't really expect from a game's console, I don't need that to enjoy something. What was really good was that you could play tennis and bowling, and for once it was more of a challenge for everyone, it required more skill in a way, but that was what made it fun. No one could be perfect at it first time and the range of games, even just in Wii Sports, allowed there to be at least one game you were good at, and probably one you weren't.

I've had my Wii for nearly two years now and I love it. I have games such as Mario Kart, which is probably my favourite and the most fun game I've ever played, Rayman's Raving Rabbids and the New Super Mario Brothers. These are games that encourage you to play with others, sometimes up to 4 or 8 people in some games. They're enjoyable for all, everyone can take part and in some games, two players are needed to complete different tasks and parts of the game.

You can buy channels, allowing you to surf the net, check the weather and news, find out about the latest Nintendo games, and also to interact with others. You can buy Wii Points to buy games from older consoles that you can re-live on the wii, and you can create your own character (or Mii), and many other characters to enter them in Mii contests. There is something for everyone of all ages on the Wii.

I love the Nintendo Wii and I'd encourage everyone to get one, they're no PS3 or Xbox 360, but it's a console worth having.

Images from

Thursday, April 15, 2010

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Sustainable Style

Since the new term began in January, I have been researching into slow fashion and designing for a sustainable brand for Burton Menswear in my Design Development module. This has been extremely interesting as we not only had to look at the world around us and how fast fashion affects it, but we were also made to think about how we affect fashion and how we let fast fashion dictate our lives.

I am someone who rarely chucks anything away, after living in a small town in Lincolnshire for most of my life, I would rarely go shopping (due to lack of time and travel facilities). This would mean I was encouraged to keep hold of the clothes I had and to make the most from them. It also meant when I did go shopping, I'd buy something I loved rather than something that would be liked for a small amount of time. However that doesn't mean I haven't bought things and then only wore them a few times, surely that's is every girl's weakness?

I decided to aim my collection at a young market, to make them aware of sustainable fashion and to give them the option of affordable clothing that lasts longer. After researching into the more affordable end of the market for young adults, I found that Burton Menswear does not currently sell a "sustainable" collection or brand, so I decided to create one for them.

The brand is called Sustainable Style, and is aimed to be stylish, fit in with their usual seasonal collections, but to also contrast towards usual features and stand out as something different but also something good. Below you will find the Customer Board for this brand:

The customer is aged 20-30 years old, and would have a low disposable income. This fashion conscious gent, is creative, appreciative of music, has a great social life and loves to travel, however, he is also very aware of his personal social responsibility. He would choose this collection so that the items would last longer but would be in style with other items from Burton Menswear. The mood for this collection is also the mood for the brand, using natural shapes, features and fabrics. Below you will find the Mood Board for this collection, entitled Natural Nostalgia:

I am currently working on my design development for this brand, including unique features to make garments long lasting, but also very interesting.

Images are from my own camera.
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