Following the norm, after deciding on inspiration, general mood, season, and fabrication, I then followed the design process. I knew I wanted to work with a minimal silhouette. Early on, I focused heavily on zero waste techniques and sustainability.
Months into it, I learn a lot, things change, and overall, it's a pretty fun roller coaster. I dropped the idea of using my created fabric with a white twill and will continue with just my fabric.
What is still to be determined is the greatest way of fastening my garments together in a sturdy, yet non-distracting and elegant way.
Seams that split, seams that come together, seemingly by magic; I love that stuff. I also love function. It is important for you to easily get on and off your clothing. It needs to be breathable and airy, perhaps some ventilation.
I also love zero waste, this technique lends to its own style. I draped and designed with a lot of right angles and triangles. I always want to make sure I use every bit of the fabric.
For the most part, I have stayed true to that.
Draping is where I have fun with fashion. I feel almost anything can happen when draping. My views on life have transferred over into my design and I found myself taking the path of least resistance. I loved playing with pieces cut to the body, or width of the bolt, and then folding and layering it over the body.
These are just a few of my drapes, and were done in the very beginning of this process. Since then I have opened up to pants and a traditional crotch seam. And along with other things, I have soften my curves.
When I was a kid, I loved to sketch, but now I find it more like need than a want. I like to be fun and free in my sketches, get them done quick and dirty.
The Unisex Struggle
My inspiration was heavily sprinkled with male energy. It is hard for me to think about designing for half of the population instead of the whole. Unfortunately, we study mainly womenswear at SCAD and I realized senior year is not the year to dabble in unskilled areas.
After-all, I love the human body and its many differences.
I can always do unisex, or menswear in the future. But I should play to my strengths now.
This is my tender spot.
Unfortunately, in my mind, I have failed in sustainability with my senior collection. I went into it very, VERY excited. But art bit me in the butt.
Originally, I was going to use clothing from a beloved friend who had passed, to reconstruct an entire new collection. But her style is much like mine and was too spread out all over with colors and patterns. Therefor, it would not look like a cohesive collection.
So, I turned to what was currently exciting me.
Although something is exciting and pretty, does not mean you should do it. It has to make sense. For me to forgive myself (for it not being sustainable), I had to realize the connection with my inner child and what I had built up to be a true chance of my very first, well thought out, thesis.
To put it plainly, the water soluble fabric is the worst part, the most harmful (made from 'PolyVinylAlcohol' , basically non-biodegradable fibers soaked in chemicals), but is also, thank goodness, only a part of the process and not the final product. The yarn is 100% cotton, but not organically grown or dyed with natural dies (this was not intended, colors were suffering and decided to throw up my white flag here). But the thread! That my friend is 100% organic cotton, bleached in the safest way possible! One... out of three.
I think the biggest lesson here is that I tried. And I learned that unless you're doing reconstruction, zero-waste, or using dead stock fabric, this is the exact definition of a challenge. Everyone, including me, has a budget, a deadline, and some limitations with resources, and that can be hard to work around. I feel that I now share that knowledge of wanting to do what is right but having to get there creatively. I may not have aced it here but I'm sure I will one day, if not me, everyone else is working on it too.
I think there is something to say about doing the best you can, even though it may be impossible to be perfect (what is life? right?).
Sustainability is the number one thing on my mind usually at all times. And I do not see that changing any time soon. The final product of OSM may be 85% sustainable. Who knows? Hopefully my next project could be a 100%.