Constellation Reflection

During this last term of constellation, I have found it quite challenging to adapt to this idea of actually writing a ten-thousand-word dissertation. After being in China during the first term of this year, on Erasmus and writing an essay about my experiences only and not using academic texts to make an argument it has been some what of a struggle to get back into the rhythm. I decided to use my experience in China as influence for my dissertation, after working on a project that was based on space age fashion and gaining more knowledge of this topic over time I have become more and more infatuated with all aspects of the fashion and trend which occurred in the 60’s because of the space exploration. I started off going to the library and just taking out all the books which had ‘60’ ‘space’ and ‘fashion’ on the cover. With this I just took peoples statements, comments and opinions and wrote them up just to get me started. I was initially confused how to write a lit review, as there wasn’t much information actually written on the template to give details on how it should be written up. With this in mind I just started to collect different statements from different books which linked or made opposing arguments and re write them in paragraphs making different points. It made sense to me to put each paragraph in order according to my plan. I think the most challenging part of this was re writing people’s statements and argument because they were already well written and I’m not the best at words. To be honest I’m not sure if I have done this correctly so I was to speak to someone about this, as I don’t want to plagiarise, but I have re worded it to the best of my ability using a thesaurus and given the name of who said it, so I think this is correct for this proposal. After completing the majority of the section about space age fashion, still not yet with a firm argument, I decided to then compare this with another interest of mine. If I’m honest I’m not sure how I have gained so much knowledge of designers from Japan, after going to China. However, I have become increasingly interested in the work of Japanese designers for many reason. I recently completed a work placement where I learnt the art of Pleating with a company in London called Ciment Pleating. From my point of view, I can see a clear link with futuristic themes in both 60’s space age designers and Japanese designers that I have chosen. In the second part I took out books which gave me information based on these two Japanese designers I chose, which are Issey Miyake and Junya Watanabe. Both have similarities however are very different as one is younger then the other. I thought this would work as a good contrast in linking these futuristic themes threw out fashion history. Again I just found quotes and wrote them up in my own words, to make points about these designers. After competing this I had about one thousand five hundred words In my lit review which I was slightly concerned with. It makes me nervous to this that I cannot create the ten thousand words for my final dissertation. I don’t want to make my choice of designers to random or broad, but I have found a book that talks about future fashions and I want to include information about what they talk about, Idea’s of combining fashion with science for new purposes, which none of the designers I have looked at are using. None the less, I think this gives another argument. Finalising my argument, I have decided to argue what Space age fashion is, and how we are seeing these futuristic themes in fashion throughout fashion history, but I am specialising in looking at Japanese designers for the more modern designers. And I want to argue what futuristic themes are. I think this sounds broad enough to give me the word count I need, but not wide enough to get lost, because I think its easier to word when I have a clear set of instructions which is just me. Now that I have completed the proposal I think I am much more confident with the idea of writing a dissertation because I have done the bulk of the work I think. And I believe I know what the next steps are, but between now and the real hand in I want to focus on how to write quotes in text and how to reference different theorists because I would hate to lose marks on small things like forgetting full stops. I think my tutor has been helpful in terms of not stressing me out. I was concerned my friends were getting more work done then me, after being set it by there tutors. But I have completed the work with little stress and feel confident in my work and am interested in it. Which I think is important, as I will be spending a long time perfecting my dissertation. I don’t believe I will become bored of this topic. The idea of futurism in interesting to me, and will continue to inspire my work in subject and field for hopefully a long time.

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Pleating Work Placement

During this week spent at Ciment Pleating, in London, I have learnt so many new and interesting things, which will inspire me for years to come. When I arrived I had very little knowledge of the process of how to pleat, but over time I have learnt all the different methods and processes of many of the pleats they create at Ciment Pleating. This is one of the only pleating company’s left in the UK which makes me very sad because it is a beautiful art form.

The pleating process consists of two patterns made out of card or paper. The fabric is then placed in between the paper and pushed slowly together to create the pattern. It is then either tied up or rolled up depending on the chosen pattern and left in a steamer for approximately 28 minutes. After this has been completed it is then left to cool down. This cooling process is the most important because this will make the fabric stay In the shape of the pattern. Once cooled down completely the paper is then separated from the fabric and the pleat is complete.

The first pleats I learnt about was the straight pleat which is the most basic of pleats, sometimes known as a knife pleat. This consist of one being longer then the other allowing the fabric to sit flat. The next one I looked at was the accordion pleat which means the pleat has 2 sides and both be the same length. This one doesn’t sit flat or face one direction.

The majority of the time spent at Ciment Pleating I have been helping Gary create Sunray pleats which I think is one of my favourite. This is similar to an accordion pleat but is cut in a semi circle. It starts of very small and gets bigger the closer to the hem. This pleat would mostly be used for skirts.

Because I have been very focused on geometrics recently, when it came to pleating some of my own fabric. I wanted to be very creative and try some of these fancy pleats. Firstly, I tested out the chevron pleat using some of my plastics. This is a repeating triangle pattern which is really fun to play with especially using thick fabrics like my plastic. I’ve also had the chance to play around with the star pleat, basket weave pleat, herringbone pleat and tree bark pleat. So I not got lots and lots of samples to take back with me to play around with.

Considerations when thinking about pleating fabrics how big do you need the final piece of fabric because some of my samples are now much smaller then they were originally because some patterns half the size when completed. Also some of my patterns are upside down, like I really liked the back size of the basket weave because it looked really industrial so I turned my fabric around to make it different.

I’m so thankful that I have had the opportunity to complete this work placement and I must thank Irene, head of fashion at CSAD for getting me in contact with Ciment Pleating. I has really inspired me to consider creating my own fabric to pleat and create a garment with, or even just into fashion with these interesting fabrics I have been working with and create fashion garments out of them, because they would be interesting and edgy with these sorts of geometric shapes and textures.

A girl who works at Ciment Pleating called Jo, recently completed a course at De Montford university which is called Contour fashion, which teaches is a fashion course specialising in lingerie, body wear, swimwear, nightwear, corsetry, menswear and sportswear. I think something like this sounds super interesting as a whole. I am really starting to consider weather I would be able to study fashion after my textile degree.