A full length sheath of crystal organza wraps the body, bound around the torso to emphasize the female shape. An over-skirt is suspended from the shoulders and sits low on the hips. The flower-shaped half cape falls jauntily from one shoulder, while across the other is a decorative piece combining shoulder frill and flower ornament.
Disparate elements in non-traditional materials are united by the limited colour palette of orange, black, silver and white. Texture and a variety of reflective properties provide interest and light. No one element is patterned, but recurring curves and flower-like shapes produce an overall pattern.
Each piece of the ensemble asserts its own personality and presence, while combining together to form a coherent whole.
When I try to write a little more formally it sounds like a parody.
The requirement for this section of work was for a small series of join samples, developing previous work in some way. My initial notes: “Want to develop possibilities. A series of joins and joined which can be mixed around – components. A kind of continuing the play and exploration of the exercises. Work at just a little larger scale, and provide a link using colour – black, white and orange.
“There can be a constellation of fragments that can be moved in relation to each other, joined, form patterns, a composition, a series of compositions. A potential composition.”
This shifted a little when writing about Erin Manning (29-June-2015). I could make the components a bit bigger, and join them in a clothing-like composition.
The initial sketch focused heavily on an underskirt of black insect mesh and side paniers of joined curved pieces of plastic. I had some exciting ideas for sleeve treatments. There was a large central gap on the page in the bodice area, which would be a more improvised combination and joining of multiple smaller elements.
The foil was joined around the hips of the mannequin by lacing.
The suspenders tended to fall off the shoulders, so an additional chain of paperclips was added across the back to join the two sides.
After this photograph was taken the suspenders were lengthened and the foil cut down to make the top line sit better against the line of the hips without a gap.
A skirt of insect screening was joined to the foil using the circles cut around the base. To make each join a piece of tightly crumpled orange tissue paper was held within a fold near the top of the screening. The tissue paper was pushed with the screening through the foil’s hole, then the tissue was flattened into a disk so it could not be pulled back through the hole.
This was the same join plan as in the earlier sample, but this time it worked – although reinforcement/repair with tape was needed on some holes. The match of materials is particularly pleasing. Both foil and screening have a grid structure in a smooth, untextured material. The disks of the join repeat the circular shapes of the foil edging. The orange of the tissue links the overskirt to the rest of the ensemble. The overall shapes formed bear a resemblance to simplified geometric flower shapes, and similar referencing appeared in other areas as the work overall developed.
The joined shape suggested a cape, and I pursued that possibility.
The shoulder acts like the hoop of the pannier, allowing the viewer to appreciate the volume and petal-like finish of the cape.
This sample would more properly fit within the wrapping category of the next project. It consists of a large square of white crystal organza, wrapped around the mannequin and held in place with a wrapping of orange stranded cotton.
It was included in the Extended Sample set for functional and aesthetic reasons. It acts as an underskirt for the foil and screening skirt. I had earlier planned multiple layers of screening, as I like the variation in depth created by layers of that material, but there was less left on the roll than expected. The crystal organza filled the bodice area in a time-efficient manner and is visually in keeping with the rest of the ensemble. It also allows for some of the shaping of the female form to be visible, in an outfit which was becoming rather blocky and concealing – although if ever actually worn a lot of leg would be shown!
The shaped curve of the ruffle sits beautifully around the shoulder cap, and the “tulip” of screening and cable ties links with the ensemble in materials, colour and flower theme. I see it as analogous to a brooch.
Overall I am very happy with the set of samples combined in this Extended Sample. Additional elements were planned, but not possible in the time available.More importantly, I think that additions would threaten the overall unity that has been achieved. For example the puff sleeve of orange organza and white crepe paper would have been an interesting extension of sample p2-23 (22-June-2015), with careful application of heat possibly producing flaring of organza in the lower sleeve – but I think at the cost of cohesion. The planned tiled patterning of either sleeve or bodice using piano hinge joins would have been overload.
As is, the sample actually looks like something that could be further refined and actually worn.
I am particularly pleased with the items where earlier samples were revisited and improved. The orange-black puffs at the join of foil liner and insect screening enhance the overall appearance of the work. The ring binder wire, so heavy and out of place in the earlier sample, falls smoothly into the shoulder and neck line, and its curves echo the curves seen elsewhere in the ensemble. The “brooch” adds texture and interest, completing the garment in the same way as a piece of jewellery would.
At this point the course notes ask for Stage 3 – Recording Outcomes for the project. I have been recording work incrementally in this blog, so will move on to the next project.
T1-MMT-P2-p1 Extended sample
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Project 1: Joining
Exercise: Extended sample