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.

China Video

Here’s a video documentary I have been working on over the last few days. A collection of images of my time in China during my Erasmus. Hope you enjoy it. Credits to Hongbon for the Music.

Returning Home

This seems like a long time ago now, but I remember it like it was yesterday. The struggle at the airport trying to reduce the weight in my suit case from 28kg to 21kg. It was so nice to be sent off by Richard and Dana, they have both been so helpful during this entire experience. I cannot believe now I am back in Cardiff reunited with all my friends. I still love looking back at these photos, I am just so grateful for this opportunity and the wonderful friends I have made. Thank you to everyone who was part of my exchange trip you have made it so worth while.

Final Day’s at BIFT

Today was my final day at BIFT, and before I left I wanted to finish Macy’s project, in my research and development class and I wanted to make a mask to go with my skirt keeping with the theme of space age fashion. I had already made a template for my first mask, and cut out the fabric, all I needed to do was stitch it together. After making the first one, I had the rest of the day so I started doodling some more ideas and ended up creating three more different masks, with different shapes colours and patterns. I made some people in the class try them on. I think its a challenge to use them because it is such thin plastic, they stick to your face and its very hard to blink. However, with the resources I have I am very pleased with them, as I think they look interesting and match the theme and my skirt. When we got home, Alice tried them on, but it seemed her head was a tiny bit too big for the small bands I had made. Lets hope they fit the model.

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This in the final page in mu sketch book, showing the final design ideas, looking at masks and the skirt panels and brace straps. I want to complete the straps perhaps when I get home but will leave it for now because I would like to use a guillotine to cut the stars straight which I don’t have access to here at BIFT.

Considering this in my finished product for this project I want time to evaluate this project as a whole. I want to start of saying, I have really struggled to find the balance between attempting fashion techniques without the knowledge and textiles techniques without the resources. So I am glad I have gone down the fashion route with this project, I have learnt many new techniques and experienced many problems along the way, but think this has all been part of the experience. I am glad I chose such an interesting era to study as I find it fascinating to look at fashion, fabrics and patterns during this era. But also I like the chance to work with some more unusual fabrics I wouldn’t normally chose to work with. If I was to spend more time on this project of go back and change things, I wish I had researched into more 60’s artists and designers from the beginning, and I would make WGSN forecast a bigger priority in my work. If I was to re create my final piece I would change the colours to go with the forecasted trends, perhaps red and purple. But I think it has opened my eyes to the ideas of using unusual fabrics to cover the body, and ways to look at the body. It has also made me more aware of different techniques I want to test out when I return home like pleating, fabric manipulation and laser cutting (testing this plastic). I think this would all benefit this project, which I hope to continue when I return home with more textile techniques. I am very glad to be returning home with a new point of interest and many new interesting fashion designers to influence me into new direction.

 

 

 

Professional Practice

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During this term I feel firstly I have gained the confidence to travel, which although I’m lucky in my life to have travelled quite a bit.  Before this experience I had never travelled without an ‘adult’ presence like a parent of teacher. Specifically travelling on my own in an area that is unknown and slightly harder to navigate around because of the language barrier. I feel much more confident about the future potential to travel to new city’s, or countries on my own. Secondly while being in China, I think I have picked up some of the language which I think is a really important language to learn. I think this could be helpful to all aspects of my life in the future with the idea of meeting people from different backgrounds within industry. I hope to continue trying to learn more Mandarin when I return home to better my future potential. Whilst being in China, we have acted as ambassadors for Cardiff Met, which has given me the chance to travel and speak in front of large groups of students and teachers. I think this has given me more confidence to speak in public. Especially about something I am passionate about, like Cardiff Met. It has given me a better understanding of how to act in front of different people, I feel I can differentiate between different circumstances, weather to act professional or more casual. I have also made many contacts in the hope that in the future I can get a Job in China acting as part of the Cardiff Met team, or as a teacher, which I think would be another great experience and opportunity to learn the language and gain more skills in the work place. Not only this, but I have also made many friends who are Chinese that hope to travel to English in the not so distant future to study. I think these contacts are also very important, and I hope I can help them out when they travel to England.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Today we visited another part of the great wall, called Mutianyu. We asked Richard to help us book tickets, which turned out to be very cheap. This part of the wall  was very different to Badaling, it was much less crowded and full of westerners. perfect for a picture.

When we arrived we were told it was 100 Yuan for a ticket to get the cable car up the wall, and to get back down we could get the cable car or the toboggan. It was a very scary ride up, and Alice was kind enough to let me and Rosie go together, because we were both so scared. When we arrived at the top, we were at tower 6. We decided to set our goals high and attempt to reach the tower where the next cable car was situated, which was tower 15. We walked a very long way, however took many photos along the way. It was a fantastic day to go, as it was sunny with blue sky, and it wasn’t too crowded.

When we finally reached the 15th tower, we took a rest for 10 minutes, as we had walked so many steps, maybe 6,000 by this point. We then made the long trip back down the wall to the 6th tower to ride back down the wall. It only took us 30 minutes to wall back, which was surprising but I was shocked how much my legs were shaking when we got near to the end. We decided on the toboggan as it looked so much fun. I went first as both Rosie and Alice seemed slightly scared, and so was I, but I was very excited. I tried my hardest to go fast but I was very scared I was going to fall off the edge. I got some great photos and videos though, can’t complain. Literally think this was the best day yet. Got lots of exercise, got some sun, took some lovely photos and tried some new things. Was a great day out, so pleased to have been able to go back to the wall, and experience a completely different part. Much better then Badaling if you are thinking of going, i recommend Mutianyu.

I want to say a special thank-you to these two girls for making this experience the best ever. We’ve made so many fantastic memories together in such a short space of time. I’m so thankful we got to do it together, and if I could do it again I totally would.  Rosie and Alice thank-you so much.

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Leaving Party

Today was our leaving party to celebrate our time at BIFT with all of our friends that we have made during the three months we were here. We had so many ideas at first of what to do, but nothing really seemed to work out. So Richard suggested we order pizza and have a party at uni. He was nice enough to apply for funding to buy us pizza which we are so appreciate off. He found us some decorations and we decorated the room and played some cheesy music, turns out the girls had never been to an english school disco.

Some of our friends were nice enough to bring us gifts which was so thoughtful. One girl called Zoe, who is in Alice and Rosie’s sewing class bought us each a bunch of flowers and wrote us a card. It was so thoughtful, the flowers were gorgeous. Zoe and Lily bought us a cute little wizard toy and my friend Rachel bought me a beautiful pair of earrings. So thoughtful, I feel like I should be buying them gifts, but I want to buy them something British. We all sat down and ate pizza together which was nice. Afterwards we tried to make the girls dance to the Cha Cha Slide and the Macarena but didn’t really go to plan. I think they were pretty shy. It was so cute.

Later on the boys arrived, after attending there rehearsal of the school talent show. and we decided from here to move the party to KTV, which Zoe suggested. As we had never been before we thought it would be a good idea to go as a big group. We traveled via taxi and arrived at this beautiful location. It was an odd experience. We went into a room, and we could choose from a huge selections of songs, and we sang in-front of each other. Of course Hongbon sang to Justin Bieber. It was so nice to celebrate with all our friends. A lovely end to time here at BIFT. Defiantly went off with a bang. I’m so thankful for all my friends I have made. I think we will be friends for a long time, and I am excited to know they plan to study in the UK in the future.