WHITE SHIRT JOURNAL
This afternoon we started the White Shirt Project which will last one week. We began by going around the building and photographing anything we found that was a shade of white, there was such a wide range of materials and objects around me that I found and could already see bing translated into techniques with fabric later on.
Once we had collected a series of images we were told to create paper manipulations that resembled these images. I have done a lot of paper manipulation on the past so I was very much in my comfort zone here there were multiple origami and plait techniques that I could relate to the images I had taken and also developed an intricate weave though cut and folded paper. I found this task very helpful as it began to get your mind thinking about how these paper manipulations could be translated into fabric ones.
I took photographs of all my manipulations and adduced the work into my sketchbook and also started to sketch ideas of how I could rework the white shirt.
Today i worked on finishing my white shirt and updating my workflow. I decided to remove the sleeves and add frills around the arm holes and collar to add texture and to overall create a more flowing look to the final piece. I researched fabric manipulation techniques and felt that the frills would work best with the smocking i had already created on the breast of the top. I also made the choice to un-attach and reattach the collar of my shirt before i added frills to the neckline. My whole piece has been hand stitched and i am very pleased with the overall outcome, i wanted to step away from the draping that i had done in the workroom the past few days and instead focus on what i could actually do with the fabric.
Today was the first day of the white shirt project we were all given a white shirt and told to partner up. In our pairs we were to rework the white shirt by doing nothing but pinning and tying. I struggled at first due to me having a male partner to model my shirt on, I have never worked on a male model and the proportions threw me off at first but i soon came to my first final design which had very sharp crisp lines and a high collar.
We did a series of drawing activities, involving the shirt we had just reworked. At first we were told to draw nothing but the outline, then using a different medium draw the creases, then using another medium draw the negative space and so on. I struggled a lot with this task at first as it was pulling me out of my comfort zone of small sketch like illustration and teaching my to work with different mediums on a larger scale and to focus more on the garment then on the illustration as a whole. Although i struggled with this task I found it incredibly useful and am now starting to use the techniques i learnt in my fashion illustrations.
After lunch we were told to use the textiles and paper manipulations we had done the previous week and apply them to our shirt. I purchased some polyprop from the shop and created 3D triangles which i then attached to the collar and breast of my top i then tied my weave i had done the previous week around the neck of the collar creating the look of an ascot. When actually manipulating the shirt itself i wanted to focus on the triangular shapes i had created on the collar by pulling the shirt up and around the back leaving a triangular opening at the front as shown below.
Today was the last day of the white shirt project. we were split into groups of ten and told to make two different installations of all our shirts.
At first my group decided to do a static installation to mainly focus on the shirts themselves. we created a levelled background using cupboards, tables and string as shown above; we noticed that a lot of our shirts had similar textures almost resembling scrunched up paper so we literally scrunched up paper and placed it around the installation. Although, this was a good idea when receiving feedback from fellow class mates we felt that it was a bit to random and the placement should have been thought out more clearly.
The second installation involved live models as well as mannequins we placed the models at different heights to create further layers. However, I felt that the models were to bunched together compared to other garments in the installation, it made it too much to look at in such a small area and detracted from the shirts unlike the first static layout we had developed.
We then reverted back to our first installation as our tutor instructed us to different methods of recording the placement using mixed media such as: collage, ink, pencil, biro and charcoal. when i practice these different methods i can feel my drawings getting looser, less constrained and not as ‘sketchy’.
We ended the day giving feedback to the different groups and reflecting on the work we had created during the day. I found this task really useful when writing this reflection as well as understanding how other people respond to my work.
Today was the second day of the white shirt project and we started manipulating and creating our final outcome. I have always been interested by the technique of smocking and have used it in the past when manipulating fabric. My idea was to smock the breast of my shirt and part of the sleeves as well as cutting the back and using the spear fabric to do a looser smock that would be placed under the unbuttoned front section.
Smocking is an old embroidery technique that gathers fabric and allows it to stretch, it is a very time consuming process but the final outcome is both delicate and intricate. I felt that this technique was a good one to use as a lot of the class seemed to be focusing on draping and tying the fabric and not actually manipulating the fabric itself. Therefore, i chose to go off on this path and keep the redesign of the shirt quite simple but the textile on the shirt complex.
I used the smocking technique called lattice which created delicate floral bunching in the fabric that showed a lot of movement. The great thing about this technique is the fact that it can be pulled tight or made loose to create different patterns in the fabric, this is something that i have done in certain sections to break it up a bit so it doesn't look like such a had block of the same technique.