Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More Indigo Samples

My second sample and interpretation using embroidery and beading embellishment for Indigo project inspired by illustrations taken from a Botanical book of dead rose centres.

Using Trapunto Techniques/applique, beading and a bit of embroidery for this 3rd sample. I am not really sure quite what to do with this sample, I don't really feel happy with the results and feel that it's still missing something......?

''My Dress Design/Toile''

This is my dress toile, a mock-up made in calico before the actual dress is cut and made in a more luxurious fabric. As part of my brief for Indigo I had to design a capsule collection consisting of 12 outfits and out of the 12 designs I had to choose one garment in which I felt would challenge me to make up and this is the dress I picked. The toile so far is still not completed yet, there is a lot of hand-stitching in areas in which I will have have to alter to make it sit in position better. The dress has a centre button stand placket to get in and out of dress and it has sheer fabric around waist area at front and back and around the neckline. The dress is suppose to have short sleeves which i haven't had the chance to make up yet, either this will get completed or not I am not sure. In the next few days I will have to start stitching the lining to the dress to make it look professionally made. The only element of this dress I have found diffcult is in smoothing out the curves/shape of the skirt to make it work well with the bodice. Perhaps for the skirt I could think about flared panels, or inverted pleats to make it fit well with the shaped waistline because I am not very happy with how wonky the button-hole placket sits over the skirt.

                                                   Close up Back view of Dress

Monday, 5 December 2011

My ''Pink'' dress!

This is my pink dress in which I designed and made in the last 3 evenings during the week. Recently I have not been very focused on my work within my studio/sketchbook, and wanted to break away from it and set my mind on other things. I had also planed a much needed ''girl's'' night out and while looking around in the high street shops I couldn't find anything remotely attractive in which I wanted to pay £40-£50 for. Most of the dresses looked cheap, and the colours were so dull and boring so I set myself a chllenge in making myself a simple dress but in a luxurious fabric and vibrant colour to wear. I am quite pleased with how the dress has turned out, and it's made me excited to want to make more dresses in goregous fabrics. However, this will have to be post-poned for a while now and I will have to get back into making more samples for Indigo.    

Monday, 14 November 2011

Embroidery of Botanical Roses

This is an embroidery sample in which I started on Monday the 7th of November and have only just finished it on the Saturday the 12th of November. I have been slaving away embroidering this piece to make it look like 3-D embroidered lace on sheer silk fabric. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of completing this sample, it has taken time and a lot of persaverence, but the result has turned out better than what I had expected. By completing this sample it has enabled me to be more proactive about my work and it has encouraged me to continue creating and experimenting with emboridery.   

Saturday, 5 November 2011


I am in the process of nearly completing another book...woohoo! The book I am engrossed in at the moment is called ''In Her Own Image'' which is about women working within the art, be it poets, writers, painters, pottery or stitching. The book has given me a real insight to the prejudice and the criticism of women from the Victorian era to what can still be seen within present age. Women juggled work, household keeping, being a wife, a mother and were never given acclaim for what they did making, ''being an artist'' almost unattainable. Women have always been steroetyped as being the unintelligent, uneducated of that of man. There has always been conflicts and preassure in what women should and shouldn't be. 

Women should be proud of her self worth and equally respected by men and of society within all aspects of art. In saying this, I feel that as a single mother and full-time student finding one's self worth is a journey that takes you through all the hurdles of life and what you experience and take out is what you express through one's work. Women of the past have fought, endured and laboured much in defining themselves as not only being a woman but also in being a ''women artist'' and in todays age these preassures still exist or are not understood.

I have learnt through the years and more so recently the reason for why I am returning to the real art of making things by hand. The reason being, is that beautiful techniques in embroidery, lace-making, tailoring and Haute Couture has always excited me, these skills have always held me in complete awe and wonder of it's infinate details and textures. For me in wanting to learn the techniques has always been a desire to accomplish and achieve and in capturing and learning the history of the lives of those who worked to their deaths for it and were never recognised or given acclaim for is something I suppose reflects my personal feelings and ideas. For me the works that have been laboured over and whereby blood has been spilt has much more meaning to me then that of making things or designing things for mass production. Designing and making things for mass production has never appealed to me and a lot of is to do with the fact that I once lived in poverty and tasted what life could have been if I was not blessed with amazing adoptive parents. Even now I am still living a life that is not dependant of my own income and it's not easy. Over the years while studying this degree I have learnt that poverty is everywhere, you only have to go out your front door or down the next street and you will see it and this is what politics, status and the greed of men have bought into the world and as a young artist I do not wish to abide into the network that to be a designer within fashion and textiles/artist I have to conform to being a perfectionist at all levels of skills just to get a job by the time I graduate. I feel these ethics are wrong because it's not educating people to understand their own history, their own meanings and self worth behind the history and the need for making and why art of all types should be given more credit rather than what is percieved through greed.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

''The Needle''

''a wonderful brightener and consoler; our weapon of defence against slothfulness, weariness, and sad thoughts.'' Dinah M. Craik

''Time was when the women of England were accustomed, almost from childhood, to the constant employment of their hands. It might be sometimes in elaborate works of fancy, now ridiculed for want of taste.....I cannot speak with unqualified praise of all objects on which they bestowed their attention, but if it were possible, I would write in characters of gold the indisputable fact that habits of industry and personal exertion thus acquired, gave them a strength and dignity of character, a power of usefulness and a capability of doing good which the higher theories of modern education fail to impart.'' Sarah Ellis

These quotes I have taken from the book, ''The Subversive Stitch Embroidery'' by Rozsika Parker. I have been reading this book for my dissertation and as I am reading it I am gaining a lot of insight into young girls and woman of the Victorian era and how stitching was an important part of their lifestyle. When I mean important lifestyle I don't just mean they stiched out of luxury, but they stitched with feeling either of remorse or for love of this particular art. Stitching, embroidering, lace-making were skills not appreciated as an art form and seems to be overlooked and critisized a lot of woman who were either forced into doing so as a respectful duty or for earning a living. How sad to think that stitching and embroidering can be so overlooked, undermined and ridiculed, for to me it holds such strong history and character of a person's life as well as in capturing the history of the people of the era.

Stitching is something I am extremely passionate about and I feel it should be more respected and held in high standards and should not be compared to other types of art forms eg....artist/painter.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Experimenting with embroidery and in creating a lace pattern of a rose. The embroidery sample is stitched onto fine 100% silk and tulle. Experimenting with ascent colours of various colored creams threads and beading. I am pleased with how the sample has turned out as well as the color combintation in which I wasn't quite sure of at the start of the experimentation.

I have realised that stitching is something that comes naturally to me and I tend to use stitching as a mean to create an idea or sample. Embroidering/stitching is highly important to me because I use it as a tool to create and design textures and details in replacement of a pencil or paint brush to help me break away from that fear of filling a blank page.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I am so happy that I have accomplished part of the challenge of having to design 50 fashion illustrations for Indigo project which is due this Thursday. It's been cold and gloomy so I spent the whole of my day in the comfort of my home with no other mechanical noise to distract me or people blabbing, the only noise was the plumber in the background trying to fix the toilet.

Designing 50 garments is not an easy task, there's a lot of thinking involved and you have to be incredibuly relaxed and full of inspiration to achieve this in 2 weeks. However, I am pleased to say that I have laboured for 4 hours today sketching out 26 fashoin illustrations......this is very rare of me to do....all these years of being on the course and this is the only time I have managed to achieve so many designs in one day is brilliant! LOL! It must be because I am full of adrenaline from thinking and getting excited that this is the final year of university and studying!!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Sample #3

Crochet/couching method.....in the process of design a pattern for this sample.

Sample #2

Secound sample started: working in white and creams.

My colour palette started with white, and is now going to remain white and different shades of white ranging to different shades of creams. I love working in white because it expresses the purity and beauty of the fabric, application process and intricate details.

Completed sample of floral shape.

Crochet outline of floral shape appliqued onto silk chiffon, with silk dupion appliqued in between petals with hand emboridery and beading embellishments.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

First Fabric Sample!

New projects, new page in a sketchbook always brings an element of overwhelment and for some it brings frustration as to what to put on the first page of a brand new sketchbook. I have to admit starting a new page is a bit scary! For me I either don't have enough inspiration to make my first mark or I am overwhelmed with inspiration and excitement but go completely blank because I am over thinking things and am to scared to make a mistake.
This year's project we are to take inspiration from our summer holidays and in portraying it through our sketchbook and for final fabric sample pieces for Indigo, Paris.
My inspiration so far derives from the beauty of nature such as flowers and anything with interesting, intricate details. With nature as my main inspiration I will also be exploring the use of textile embellishments and embroidery and in combining the two elements together to see how far I can push myself to create beautiful textile sufaces/pieces.
The image here is my first piece worked in white. It is a floral shape using a crochet/crouching technique appliqued to silk chiffon with hand embroidery techniques. I did not know how to start my sketchbook so I decided to work in white and explore crochet and lace-making in 3-D inspired by Victorian lace, embellishment and embroidery.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Clergy Bib

This is an image of a black Clergy bib designed for women Vicars worn for under their blouses and shirts as optional to the whole Vicar/Clergy uniform. 

The image of the baby blue crop top is what I have just finished commissioning and making. I was asked to design this for a friend who has just been ordained to be a Vicar and she will be going to Africa as part of her training in about 2 weeks time. She asked me to design her a clergy bib stock which I thought would be so uncomfortable to wear under blouses and shirts because the original design as you can see of the black bib stock hasn't got anything to make it stay still against the body. So I thought designing a crop top made of cotton jersery would work better because it then gives her a better option to wear any form of t-shirts and blouses over it without having to buy boring clerical blouses all the time. As well the crop top is designed and made to fit the body and won't bunch up under a t-shirt or blouse.

This has been a good challenge for me in trying to work out the fit and measure of the top for my friend. Fitting and measuring is something I feel I still lack confidence in and it's something I need hands on practical help with which I hope to gain and learn from someone who specialises in tailoring throughout this year.

Friday, 30 September 2011

More Commission Work!

I have been given another opportunity to commission a garment piece for the same lady in whom I designed the ''Poppie'' stole for.
I just spent the evening sewing together a crop top/Clergy bib front to be worn under blouses and t-shirts. The majority of the crop top is finished but I will have to have another fitting tomorrow to make sure that the fitting is just right. The crop top is designed and made out of 100% cotton jersery, I have never really sewed with jesery before and luckily I did not have any problems working with the fabric.
Even though putting together this Clergy crop top bib front is not all that complicated it still worried me that I would get the sizing wrong because I have had to make this piece of garment in a size bigger than the average size 12 in which we as students have to work from. However, things are turning out well so far, and it is helping me to gain confidence in myself and in designing and communicating with the person in whom I am commissioning the work for.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

First Day Back!

Oh my word!! Back into the grind of torture, sleepless nights and loads of stress! Final Year.....I can do this!
Strange kind of day being back, the vibe is weird and yet there is a lot of overwhelmed excitement within the final year fashion students. So much work to take on board, oodles of research that needs to be made and in thinking about things to be inspired by and what to design next for Indigo and final year capsule collection.
So far this evening I have spent several hours researching into fashion designers in the UK but soon got really bored of it all. Nothing that I saw was really that beautiful or stunning. I feel at the moment there doesn't seem to be beauty in fashion or design of clothing.....and I am not quite sure why. One of the biggest offsets I feel about fashion at the moment is that it's too fast pace and everything these days is about making money and not enough attention is given to appreciating the quality of couture and tailoring and making of clothing for women who want to find clothing that fits them well, versatile, comfortable and feels luxurious in which they can wear and feel like a goddess in it.
To make me feel a bit more upbeat I have been busy this summer and this evening researching into fashion designers in Montreal and Toronto Canada. I have noticed that within these two cities there are a lot of designers that have launched their own fashion labels who are passionate about the quality of making their own collection and I think this is fantastic because it gives them a chance to breathe and not be under preassure from the media all the time. And because I have been bought up in Quebec, Canada 2 hours from the heart of the city of Montreal and 4 hours from Toronto, of late I have felt a really strong urge to be back in my home country and in re-thinking the market and the values of being an idependant designer. Having my own boutique has also been an ambition and dream and the thought of doing so in Canada sounds so amazing to me right now because I have noticed that fashion isn't so fast pace, and more value for independant designer labels are given more credit and attention. So who knows......anything can happen.....but for sure if this is my pathway then I am going to have to get working extra hard and in thinking and planning loads!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Alexander McQueen

I have just posted two images of my favourite garments belonging to the designer Alexander McQueen. Alexander McQueen has always been a breath of inspiration to me. His work holds a lot of dark and beauty in his many collections. However, his attitude and respect for his love of tailoring and couture is what makes me admire him more. He exequits every detail with refinement and does not believe in the impossible when it comes to designing, making, cutting or sewing something together.
Like the designer, I love to make and create things that are beautiful because that is my passion.
I like to design things that people can not only admire for the beauty but hopefully respect the craft and the skills behind the making of a garment, accessorize or other forms of design and object.

Alexander McQueen

''During the nineties, care and attention to detail got lost somehow. This collection is about going back to (a) level of refinement. Every piece is unique and has emotional content. I want to create pieces that can ve handed down, like an heirloom.''  

''I think that couture has complete relevance today. Designer fashion shouldn't be throwaway.''

''I've never aspired to mass production. Because of my training as a tailor, my work involves lots of love and care, which is why so many of my clothes are made by hand here in London. Not to wow the crowd during a show, but because I love it.''

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Crochet gloves (to be part of the 1950's Kimono style dress) which have been dyed to look ''vintage,'' with gold beading and french knots embellished into them.
This is my most recent garment in which I have designed and made. The dress was inspired by both the Kimono style and the 1950's era. The fabric of the dress is of 100% cotton linen which has been bleached to get the colour result as shown here in the dress. The dress has a lot of intricate clustered minature water lilies hand embroidered into the fabric in shades of yellows, rich French navy blue, gold, coral/pink, pale golden cream, rich green, khaki green and the use of antique gold beads. Additional embroidery techniques and design ideas were also inspired by ''Indian motifs.'' The crochet gloves have been dyed in tea to give it that vintage look and has also got hand and bead embellishments applied to them.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


This is a commission piece in which I recently completed in April 2011. The design are of red poppies embroidered onto a Church Curate's Stole. The opportunity was given to me so unexpectedly and yet I felt truly blessed and honored to have been approached to comission a free-hand embroidery piece that expressed my love and passion for embroidery. The poppies have been embroidered using various techniques such as; satin stitch, bullion stitch, french knots stitch, back stitch, and button hole stitching. Incorporated with the mixed embroidery techniques are that of beading embellishments. My inspiration was to make the poppies as vibrant and 3-D as possible so that it would stand out against the black background. Black Stoles are worn by Church Curates when visiting those in ill health and in leading a memorial service.    

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Haute Couture Designer On Aura Tout Vu

More images from the designers On Aura Tout Vu in which I think are absolutely beautiful, stunning and an inspiration.

Haute Couture Designer On Aura Tout Vu

I just found this designer by accident on the internet while researching accessorize for Haute Couture and came across this designer name On Aura Tout Vu. I think this piece of work is so beautiful and very inspiring. The techniques and materials used to make this looks so lush and gorgeous......very inspiring!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Another glimpse of My Own work.

This is another one of my dress fronts made for ''Indigo Paris'' project. It is completely hand made using techniques such as beading embellishment, crochet, cut-away lace making and needle lace making on 100% silk/cotton fabric. Beautiful hand embroidery and hand techniques of the late 1800's-1900's  inspired me to create and design this piece of work.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A glimpse into my own passion and personal work.

 This is a jewellery piece in which I designed/made last year for  ''Indigo Paris.'' I had to take inspiration from a trip to Hampton Court and as part of my brief for Indigo Paris design and produce 6 fianl dress fronts. One particular image which struck out the most for me was a large wall hanging of an adorned elephant wearing a stunning jewelled neck piece. The neck piece worned by the elephant was so unusual as well as the shape and details applied. It eventually inspired me to make and design this necklace using techniques such as crochet and beading embellishing. My aim was to make the necklace 3-D, vintage inspired as well as in making the necklace the main feature for the garment front. 

''Work in progress, the search for solutions, juggling with different hypotheses: a collection is about experiencing desires and insights-and sometimes about the impossibility of achieveing them; there are times when you go down a particular track or try out an idea, which then has to be abandoned.'' Quote by Christian Lacroix
Recently I have been reading and researching Haute Couture designers for my dissertation in which I have to start thinking through for my final year come this September and Christian Lacroix is someone in whom I find fascinating. I like the designer for his creativity and use of textured textiles and embellishments in his collections, there is a lot of attention to the finest of details and the coulours in which he uses for his garments are rich and sometimes clashing but this is what I find exciting about his work. Christian Lacroix has a huge passion for couture and in every detail of his work you can feel and sense the passion and sincerity in which he applies into his garments/collections. He is not a man to take the easy route to get things made, the designer himself loves to spend hours perfecting everything and this is something I can realate to a lot. I love being creative and free in what I make and design and I have a strong desire and passion to always make/craft/sculpt/sew/stitch things as perfectly and as beautifully as I can possible. I find that in today's world clothing and fashion has been quite cheapened and people do not value the quality and beauty of hand crafted clothing like they used to and I find this very saddening. The majority of my work depends on hours spent either beading, embroidering, designing, making/sewing garments or accessorize pieces together by hand because I love this form of craftsmanship/beauty.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Weeks are going by too fast!

All of this week I have been spending time catching up with friends in whom I have not seen for months and some even a year. Its quite ironic how time is flying by so quickly!
Since finishing uni about two weeks ago for the summer holidays I have been enjoying my time resting. And boy has it been wonderful to not think about fashion or textiles for a while!
Instead I have been woken up every morning at around 6 A.M making, cutting and designing little animals or Repunzal for my little girl to stick together.....this has been a new thing in which she loves doing at present moment. It is quite challenging keeping up with such an active 3 year old!
That's all from me for now~

Thursday, 9 June 2011

New Challenge-Creating a Blog!

I am not a computer geek or lover of social networking, but I have finally decided to take on board the challenge of blogging. I am pleased to say that I have spent an hour trying to figure out how to set up my own blog and the fact that I managed to get it set up has been an accomplishment in itself!! The test now is to see how good I get at this...should be interesting so watch this space!