Back to the beginning of the final major project, I still remember that was so exciting when I first time got the project form. Because this time we can choose two themes, besides, we have 12 weeks to do the project, which means we have more time to deeper research the themes and develop the ideas. But or put it to another way, due to 12 weeks such a long time, so we need to allocate time properly, also at the beginning we needed to search both two themes. However, the most important thing at the beginning was that chose two themes, which we were enjoyable and also it’s full of content to research.
At first, I started to think about two themes. However, it was not a straight way and so confusing to choose. I with my friends went to Nottingham to travel during the half term, we lived in a house where had a wall full of mirrors, I got some inspiration. Furthermore, I thought about the painting that is Not to be Reproduced by Rene Magritte. The painting shows a man stand in front of the mirror but the weird thing is that the mirror shows the back of the man. Besides there also is a book on the table, but the book is normal which means the direction of the book is correct. So I think my theme can extend to illusions, because the theme “mirrors” is too specific and the reflection of the mirror also is another type of illusion.
About the second theme, I inspired from a music video, “Yes No Maybe” by a Korean singer Suzy. There is a scene that depicts a girl sitting in front of the laundry and watching the washing machine rotating. Then I came up with the idea, that we put the messy things in the washing machine, soak, rotate, squeeze, dehydrate and dry. After a series of processes, we get clean clothing. However, the clothes are disordered as well, because maybe the socks are in the coat pocket, the trousers and shirts are entwined. In different situations, the state of clothing is different. Maybe there is a lot of foam or it’s wet and the colour of the clothing becomes darker. There are so many different possibility and plenty of combination of different garment. So I want to pick up the texture from the washing routine and rearrange them.
After I decided two themes, I started from the theme “illusion”, I searched a range of mirrors, which had different texture and shapes. Besides, There are many optical illusions, which are really interesting and magical, for instance, GRID, the original version of this illusion was first reported by German physiologist Ludimar Hermann in 1870. It simply involves a white grid on a black background. As you move your eyes around the image, dark dots quickly appear and disappear at the intersections. However, whenever you look directly on any intersection, the dark dots vanish. I will search some information about Yonatan Frimer who combined the maze and illusion. Rocio Montoya who is a photography and graphic designer also combined the illusion into her works. I went to school’s library to get some inspiration. I found a series of picture which played with the reflection material, I also made a mood board in my way and I tried to use the really metal to make a experiment piece. From this project, because we have more time, so when I found a idea or related work, I tried to make some artwork using the similar images but in my way, I tried to think about more and expanded more.
Then I moved to the theme “indistinct”. One of my ideas is about the laundry, so I started from the history of laundry, I searched how the ancient washed clothes, what tools did they use. Furthermore, I paid more attention to the hand washing, so I searched a range of information about hand washing and I got some primary research through I washed clothes by myself, I asked my friends to help me take photo when I was washing the clothes and I sat in front of the washing machine to observe how the washing machine works to see what different between those two. I found washing clothed by hand there are a lot of processes, so I searched more into it, I developed each process, based on the observation I made some experiment. Until here, my mind was clear, but after I finished each steps about the hand washing, I was a little bit lost.
Fortunately, we went to Barcelona and we went to a lot of exhibition and museum, so I got a lot of fresh ideas. In MACBA Museum, I found plenty of painting that only used the pants as the main character. There are plenty of trousers of different shapes. Based on the painting, I recreated a painting which is full of trousers. In Dali Museum, there were several painting that the texture are like the reflection of the surface of water. I draw on the small sketchbook. Besides, I found a painting called Salvador Figure. We can see the triple silhouette of head, with the suggestive and descriptive shadows. I inspired from the triple silhouette, I think it’s a good idea to use in the design. In addition, I also got some primary research for theme “illusion”. There are a lot of exhibition booths that it have 4 sides, the two sides which are in the middle are mirrors, another two are two similar images. I played with it and brought it into the design.
After the trip, I was sure that I wanted to do theme “indistinct”. So I continued to research about “indistinct”. There are some designer’s work related to the theme, for instance, Viktor & Rolf 2016, Maison Martin Margiela 2011, and the Hongkong designer XimonLee 2017 collection, he used the fabric which mixed the Denim and PVC, so the garment have a special texture.
Then I started to think about developing the idea which based on the research. I went to fabric shop several times, first time I just want to got some idea about the fabric, because at that time I was a little bit step, I didn’t know the direction of the development. So I thought that maybe when I saw the fabric, I could get some ideas. At the beginning, I tried to find more special fabric like PVC, because some of them are translucent and the textures are quite special. But I another fabric caught my eye that is Denim. It’s a very common fabric, we wear almost everyday, however, the denim are processed and after we washed again and again, it can be seen clearly after a long period of wear, it will fade and wear down. So I decided to use it as the main fabric, then I played with the denim fabric, I made a lot of fabric experiments. For example, I cut it to pieces and sewed them together or scrubbed them, or I mixed several different colour denim fabrics and also combined the reflection PVC fabric. Next, I used them to drape on the mannequin.
I separated my draping into three parts. The first part I used the fabric sample to drape. I moved around the body to think about which part is more suitable. I left quite long time to develop my design idea, because in my previous work, I considered that I was not really think about the detail about the design, due to this time we have more time so I wanted to push myself more and improve dealing with the details. I thought about each fabric sample I made and all design several garment. Then I also tried to bring several fabric sample together, I mixed the check pattern with the knitting piece.
In addition, I went to the second hand shop and brought some pieces for draping. Then I moved into the second part of draping. I wanted to imitate the messy status when we washed the clothes, so I thought about using the second hand shop’s clothes that it’s an easy way to do and also I can task how different texture fabric match together. After I draped, I draw them down and also colour them. Actually, I didn’t draw them very particularly, because I just wanted to give myself some inspiration.
Based on the twice draping, I started to design, I drew a range of design and also I drew both of the front and back. I tried to bring the ideas from twice draping and the research I’ve done. At this time, I was thinking about the 3D effect, because the garment should try on the body, so I decided to do draping again. I chose three of my design and made the pattern. For the final design, the main elements I chose the waistbands and pockets, using the pattern moved around the body to test. The pants I brought two design together, I used two jeans and overlapped them, the inset is the normal state but the outside the jeans I design it opened. The bottom of pants made up of plenty of waistbands. Moved to making part, actually this part didn’t spend me a long time, I’ve already made the top pattern, so it’s more easy to make it. The pants I used the second hand shop’s jeans and put the textile piece which I made.
When I though about the photography idea, the first idea is shooting in the laundry room, I tried to ask my friends and also searched on the Internet to find a nice laundry room, but unfortunately I can’t find a nice piece, so I just used the studio. The background I choose the blue, because it matched my garment’s colour. I used the Photoshop to edit, I added more graphic element into my final photo.
12 weeks is not a short time, I was lost and confused, so many day and night fought for the problems and myself, however the result is pleasuring, I was enjoying doing my project. Through the project it expanded my view and improved my understanding of every part. Besides, I also learned about time management and analyzing my work. Hope the method I’ve learned can help me improve in the future.