Final Collection

After being inspired by my trip to china, and wanting to continue my research and development project that I initially started while at university in Beijing. I decided to continue with the theme looking at the WGSN trend for Spring/summer 2017 called digital wave, but also taking influences from 60’s space age fashion motifs.

When I was in China I was studying fashion, so I was looking less at patterns and more shapes, in particular looking at the human body. When I returned home to start this new project looking at fabric samples of patterns, I thought it might be harder for me to continue working towards a fashion outcome and moved onto stationary.

For my hypothetical brief for this project, I choose the store Cyber Dog, a futuristic fashion and accessories store based online and in four major cities in the UK, as the company to work for. I choose this store because it is so interesting and elaborate of the futuristic theme, which is what I wanted to portray in my work. The fashion could be called wacky, or out of this world if you wanted to be funny, but its different and I thought it would inspire me to be more creative with motifs and fabrics. It was after I visited the store in Camden, London, when I began to draw more of the fashion illustrations, because all of the different shapes were so inspiring, not to mention the colours and patterns. Cyber Dog have never launched a stationary brand previously, which made it more fun because I have nothing to compare it to, but also it would be a unique selling point if it was to end up in there stores.

I started working with fun and quirky motifs, some of which were inspired by my travels to Shanghai. I picked colours for my collection mostly based on the digital wave collection on WGSN, but I specifically chose bright colours because I wanted the final outcomes to be stand out visually. With my first set of motifs I applied different colours multiple times to see what colours worked together and decided that the green blue and yellow worked best, with some pink. But also the purple, red and pink worked together. I struggled to combine them all because there is a lot of colours in my colour scheme.

From the beginning I was very concentrated working with the spaceship motif, and I played around with lots of different patterns and colours to see what would work best. It was only until I screen printed the design that I realised It was working for a much younger target market then I had originally thought about creating for. Which meant most of my work up until this point was irrelevant to my project. This is then when I started to think about circuit boards and more fashion illustrations because these patterns seemed more mature and slightly raunchy which is where I was heading with the futuristic theme.

I drew out eight different fashion illustrations, with inspiration from many websites, including Cyber Dog. But in the end I choose the best seven and ended up giving them futuristic names like: Venus and Solar-Jexa. It worked out pretty well considering I was looking at stationary and these illustrations could work well for diary’s, so with there being seven, there was one for every day of the week. Which I have shown in my cad visuals.

I am practically proud of how much I have learnt since returning from my Erasmus. I have tested and gained so many valuable skills, including learning how to screen print again but also using multiple screens for one design, and how to digital stich. I think some of my best work was created using the digital stich onto the plastics. Although I am sad that I can’t use it for anything else, I love the textures it brings to my work. Especially with the stitch on top. I think it’s a very interesting idea to use them together because the plastic is so smooth and clean, but the stitch adds an element of hand-made crafted art to it. Giving the samples more character. I want my samples to be interesting to touch because after all you would be holding a notebook and it would be more interesting if the textures were fun.

My final samples came out really well. Showing lots of different skills and I believe to be presented very clean and professionally. I wanted to showcase all my skills on the chosen six samples, However I did mount the theme corresponding designs together and wanted to showcase that as one design rather then three individuals, although the top print is the most important in my eyes. I wanted to show I have looked into lots of techniques during this projects and tested both on paper, fabrics and plastics with many different motifs that work together, correctly for my target market which I think I have managed very well. I have used my time wisely and thought about ways to develop this further by given each of my illustrations names to make this project come to life and slightly more personal. Although I have thought about my market competitors, I have never seen anything quite like this with bold prints and the use of plastics. I think these designs are unique and interesting which is why I think I am so passionate to continue more work with these themes.

 

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If I was to continue this project and develop it further, I would be very inclined to test UV paints and find similar fabrics which I could laser cut into or emboss. I think these ideas create an even more futuristic fantasy impression, which in its self is quite edgy and fun. But I think overall this project has been very successful and I have really enjoyed it. My final collection are all well linked with the theme and produced to a high standard which I am most pleased with.

 

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New Digital Stitch work

Today in stitch I created a new final piece to add to my collection. Which was the three head motifs with the goggles. I first tested out different coloured plastics with different coloured thread. But in the ended decided on the pink plastic with pink thread. However, tomorrow I might complete another colour way sample using black plastic with black thread. I think these would work really well as straps around books, to hold them together and to add something more textural and unique to a basic covered book with one of my patterns on. This might bring it all together. Heres the video I created to go along side it.

Here are the photos of the work completed. First of all the test pieces I created checking different stitches, colours, plastics and backing materials. After finally decided I chose pink thread on pink plastic which I think looks subtly girly and really nice, adding texture and fun to a stationary book. Here is also a mock up I made a few days ago playing around with idea. So this could be what it looks like, but its just an idea so far.

These last two are new editions just looking at possible ideas using these wrap around plastic grips for the journals, and new ideas for the inside of the journals, showing it in more then one way. Not sure if the pink works very well with this design, but tomorrow I am going to be attempting to screen print this design in three colour ways, on the dyed fabrics I have recently completed.

 

 

New Motifs, New Ideas

So I’ve been attempting to do more drawing, and after visiting Cyberdog last week, I got tons of inspiration from looking at the clothes and accessories, wall art and colours. Since them I have come up with six new model drawings, five of which I have taken forward and make a collective group, including my previous two which I drew in China.

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I have since put this image onto a screen ready to screen print. When I spoke to Helen today about this she suggested it might be a cool idea to give them all names and make a collection of stationary for each of the body motifs. I thought this was particularly cool, so I started looking for awesome futuristic names, some of which I think are really creative. Solar-Jexa, Zon, Zarilah, Nova, Venus, Azarea and Luna. In that order. I then player around with different colours and repeat patterns for the collection of body motifs.

After looking at patterns, I started thinking about creating mock-ups of products for these motifs. I first thought about creating book marks, for each of the motifs. Its a quirky idea for my ideal customer however, its fun and I think gives each customer a sense of personality, that they can choose which ever they like best. I then went onto looking at books, borders and and coordinating patterns. I got this really good idea because there is 7 of them, that I could create a diary, and each day would be a different body. So I attempted a little mock up of this idea, which I think would be really fun, but I need to look into how diary’s look, what kind of sections they contain, because I’d want it to be interactive and fun. The coordinating patterns were just an idea, but I think it needs a lot more work.

I have also been playing around with these three motifs inspired by my time in Shanghai. I wanted to play around with more interesting/random motifs that are still quite relatively simple. This is a repeating stripe pattern in three different colour ways. I think looking at all three, I personally preferred the purple, pink and blue colour scheme because I think it works the best for my customer. I then tested out one mockup with this pattern but using it as a stripe rather then a complete pattern as it just makes things slightly different and more interesting.

New Digital Stitch

For my current project, I have been playing around with this design a lot. After looking at the current prints that my store have been using, I have been playing around with photoshop designs, and digital printing, and decided to create a large digital stitch sample of this print in blue and green. Here is the finished piece created, with a few pieces that need stitching over because of thread snapping. I’m really pleased with how its come out. It looks interesting and works well with the theme. I’m slightly nervous though that this will be too similar to my companies current patterns. Maybe they want to see something very different. But I think it would be really nice to keep working onto this with new stitch samples maybe onto plastic and layer it up.

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Here’s a short video clip of the stitching in progress:

New Competitors Board

During my visit to London, I visited a store in Camden called Skinny Dip, Which is a London based fashion accessory brand, which have a range of stationary products. These products are all fun and good quality, made for a similar age range to who I am creating for. Young edgy women, most likely students. With this in mind, I decided to change my competitors boards because these all seem much more relevant to who I’m creating for and what I’m creating. These are all the brands I am competing against because they are all high quality made products with a slightly expensive price range, but not too expensive. For this modern young women.

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Visiting London Design Week 2017

My initial thought when visiting the Chelsea Harbour Showroom, was that it wasn’t what I expected at all. I assumed it would be something quite similar to New Designers that is held in the business centre in London. But I was pleasantly surprised with the layout of the place. It was an interesting building with lots of big spaces for each company to show case many of there collections and not only just the samples but actually create showpieces and examples to see how different samples would look in real spaces which I thought was very appropriate. Here are a few pictures I took during the day, I couldn’t get photos of everything I wanted to because some designers didn’t allow it, but I think this gives a good range of what I saw.

The major theme I saw threw out the show was this tropical rainforest feel, with animal prints, botanical illustrations  and lots of bright colours. This really shocked me because on WGSN I think one of the trends for 2018 is phyco tropical. However, this might be a different in trends between fashion and interior, because since going to China I have had very little focus on the idea of interiors. I also saw lots of geometric simple patterns in many different show rooms.

In terms of colour schemes, I saw many following this trend of the rainforest with bright greens and turquoise, contrasting this with either black of white. I also saw lots of rich orange and brown colour schemes which I thought made a warm alternative.

I was really inspired by there layouts and ways if presenting their work. In particular I was looking at how they showed colour ways, and mood boards. In many showrooms, they had an easel with lots of different fabrics of illustrations pinned up, creating a simple yet very effective mood board. This meant you could see the inspiration of all the different prints around this. It made the vision clear and fun to look at. Not only this though, was how they showed different colour ways, as this is something I have been thinking about with my upcoming deadline. Some companies had books full fabric samples of different sizes. The one main one would be at the very back in the correct scale with the colour ways trimmed smaller and smaller down one side of the page, and the other side would include a paper image of the whole print, so you could see what it looked like, depending on the scale. This aloud you to see all of the pattern as soon as you open the book, which was visually beautiful. I think there is an example in the images of Manuel Canovas. Another way I saw was having a large scale print hung up with the colour ways attached as small samples down one side of the large scale print. This was also visually nice to see. But I think I prefer the style of the book better because it allows you to include more.

I was able to get some samples from some two different companies. One of which has already arrived. Although we couldn’t take photos in the showroom, I am really pleased to see such fun and edgy prints in bold colours. It was the most similar thing I had seen to my work which made me question if my prints could work for interiors too, we’ll see. Also In this same showroom I saw a designer Kirkby Designs was doing a collection based on the Underground, Which I have to say is very inspirational and creative because I think the underground is full of inspiration. Although the prints are quite simple and basic I think you can easily see where the inspiration has come from and they really work in the space.

 

Digital Stitch

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some workshops in order to learn how to do digital stitch, using the facilities available to us. With the help of Maggie she taught me how to create my own designs in different formats. Using a few different motifs, I have been able to try out a few samples of different stitch and on different fabrics. Take a look at my video I created showing some of the process of the digital stitch. Video

Here are the pieces I created from the Video. These are all samples. If I was to make them a final piece I would want to re create all of these because I’m such a perfectionist. I wanted to test the stitches, colours and fabrics to see if this was actually a route I wanted to continue with because when I think of Space Age, I think of very clean lines, I wouldn’t necessarily think of embroidery. But I think this is an interesting edge with this theme and my final products. When I go into Paper Chase I am always drawn to these hand made books with lots of intrique stitch on them, Which might be an interesting point of view to try out on some mock up stationary pieces. Especially working with the plastic because it gives it a more futuristic feel and an interesting texture.