Exhibition Set-up and Positioning of Mannequins

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Exhibition Set Up

After preparing the studio space I started setting up my area for the exhibition. I initially planned on showing just one garment however as my project developed and I created more pieces to show in the Festival Of Making fashion show, I decided to present the three different looks.

I tested different arrangements of the mannequins, photographing them from different angles to see how the garments would look in the exhibition. I also used sheets of paper to visualise where I will later mount the A2 prints from my studio shoot. I am yet to decide if I will have 2 or 3 images on the boards behind or next to my garments, and if possible I will have my look book on display for the exhibition to show a number of images from my shoot.

I had to do some touching up of the paint and added another layer of gum strip to the edges of the boards to give a more professional finish.

 

Look Book Designing & Costs

To create my look book I used the software, BookWright which allowed me to preview the layout of the cover and individual pages. I decided on using a majority of photos of my garments from the collaboration with a photography student as well as some close ups of my weave and digital print designs. I need to think about how I will present the booklet if I am to include it in the exhibition, possibly on a small stand or on a shelf on the wall.

Ideas for presenting/mounting work

I am planning to create a look book showing the photos of my garments as well as some close up photos of the details I have worked on; knitting, print, and weaving which I would like to have at the exhibition for those who are interested to look through. I also want to have 3/4 large prints of my photos perhaps A2 or A3 size, which will be put up alongside a mannequin with my large neoprene outfit on.

I need to find a website/ company to design my look book on at an affordable price, as well as print my chosen images out to a larger scale. I haven’t decided if I will present all of my fabric samples in the exhibition but I’m planning to have my loose knit samples arranged onto boards to give a more professional finish rather than having lots of loose pieces to hand in.

Studio Photoshoot

At the college studios I collaborated with photography student, Zahraa to take some photos of my three outfits that I have created as my final pieces for my FMP. I booked the studio a couple of weeks in advance to ensure that I would have the space ready for when I needed it. I’m glad I set a date for my shoot in advance because it gave me a personal deadline for completing the garments, and taught me to work on managing my time.

For the shoot, I decided on a light grey backdrop because I wanted to be sure that the garments stood out against the background, but also wanted to keep the images quite neutral and not too dark. In previous work out of college I used a white background with light coloured garments but this was not that successful as the details were washed out against the backdrop. Using sheets of black paper, I and Zahraa decided to block out the natural lighting as this was creating shadows and interfering with the images.

During the shoot, I asked my models to pose individually as well as together. My aims were to get some full length (front, back, and side) images as well as photos of the details in the garments such as the print, knit, and plastic details, and I discussed this with the photographer before we started so she had a clear idea of what I wanted.

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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Felting Workshop

As part of my fabric sampling I decided to try felting, and tried to work predominantly with colours that link to the bridal theme. The process involved rubbing the layers of felt with hot soapy water to create friction to fuse the fibres together. As I used natural cotton, this didn’t shrink in the same way as the other felt pieces and so I had to make sure I had enough non-cotton material in the piece to allow me to create a solid sample.

If I am to include felt in my further work I will need to perhaps find some more felt in white/ cream colours as I was limited to the colours shown in the photos above. At the moment I’m not planning on working with felt as my project is more focussed on combining bridal and functional fabrics and I’d like to develop my knit and weave work further, as these are elements I know I want to explore in my work.