Draping Neoprene & Skirt Construction

A main part of my work is the idea of working with materials used commonly in wetsuits and swimwear, and so when I found Neoprene in this white shade, I knew I wanted to use this as the fabric for the large, elongated skirt. From the outset of the project, I discovered the potential that neoprene and scuba has in creating volume and structure, and admired the work in the Valentino and Ralph & Russo collections, (shown in my sketchbook). As I’m creating a number of garments including a swimsuit, I wanted to make sure that the skirt I create ties in very much with the look of a wedding gown, e.g the long train and flowing style.

Before constructing, I experimented with creating shape, pinning the fabric on the mannequin and photographing it. I liked the detailing at the front of the gown that was created by gathering and pinning fabric, however there was a lack of volume at the back of the dress so I decided on creating a gathered waistband all the way round the dress. I chose to create a paper bag waistband as this allowed me to create volume at the waist and caused the fabric to fall nicely around the mannequin.

My next steps for this piece are to neaten the raw edges and create a closure at the front, and perhaps add some illustrated details to the skirt- maybe at the hem or the back.

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