Marks to Prove It

Today’s formative feedback was really good. I’m surprised and super thrilled wth the mark I received. I wasn’t expecting that but I’m totally ok with having it! My plan of action over easter is really good as well. I don’t have that much that I need to do, just some more experimenting with samples, sorting out my sketchbooks, finishing my garments and just tying up any loose ends really. Its not going to be a mad rush to the finish line, but I do however need to work on my presspack.


Dancing Days

I’m excited. I don’t feel daunted in the least and I’m actually really happy and excited with where my collection is so far. I never thought of myself as a fashion person. Considering I don’t usually like wearing what’s on trend and I’d much rather be wearing a baggy jumper that I bought like 5 years ago, but then again, I was only thinking about women’s fashion. Now I’m thinking about men’s and its just so much more exciting.

More than that though, I like to think of surface pattern, and then applying that to a product. Once you start thinking like that then you’re not suck in little boxes labelled ‘interiors’ or ‘fashion’ but you can think about textiles and products. Now that’s what I want to be thinking about.

Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins, 1989

She calls out to the man on the street

‘Sir, can you help me?

It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,

Is there somewhere you can tell me?’


I love this song, so much. It makes me happy because it’s such a good song, but then it can also make me so incredibly sad when I stop and listen to what’s being sung. It’s one of those songs that can hit you on a soul deep level and keep you in a melancholy state for hours on end.

When I first heard this song, I didn’t realise there was an ulterior meaning, or that it was anything other than a rock song; and then one day I was on the bus and this song came on, and I’m bobbing my head along with the beat just thinking that it’s a cool song, I didn’t need to skip it, and then I listened.

I listened as Phil Collins sang about this poor woman who’s trying to find just one small piece of compassion, someone who will help her. From each verse, it seems that a few months or years has passed in this woman’s life; from the first verse where she’s probably looking a little less composed as she would have been, but still relatively healthy, then to the next and the next, where her health and appearance are deteriorating. Through all this time not one person helps her, they ignore her, purposely avoid her because she doesn’t fit in, because she doesn’t look like everyone else. It breaks my heart to think that because no one will help her, she’ll carry on deteriorating, which will just cause her to be ostracised even more, cause more pain in her life.

The woman in this song is homeless.

She has no home, other than where she can find room on the street. She obviously has no way to change that situation because she’s desperately asking anyone and everyone for help. She’s lost, in pain, and no one cares.

That is why this song break my heart. Because no one cares. No one cares that her life has turned upside down; no one cares that she doesn’t have a home, probably doesn’t have a job or anyway to look after herself. No one cares.

When this song was released it won many awards, loads of people loved it, and it was the first number one song of the 1990s. Then it started to get criticised. It created a lot of controversy, which, of course, the critics didn’t like. Probably thinking that music is an escape for most people, why should there be such hard hitting messages within, but that is something I love about this song. That music is an escape. People who have the privilege to music probably have a home, I know I do, and a good one too. I like to listen to music to stop thinking about what work I have left to do, or to block out the children screaming on the bus. I want to get away from it all and listen to something that makes me happy. And that’s where Phil Collins slammed his message. He took the escape of music and turned it into a way to bring awareness of the homeless. He wasn’t asking anyone to do anything, give money or anything like that. He was simply telling us about this woman; a short snippet of what she’s endured, and I think that’s why I find this song so hard hitting.

How could I possibly do nothing after hearing that? I admit, I have a heart for homeless people. I can’t stand to think that in a country or society that has as much money as we do, there are people who don’t even have a home. Where there are, empty buildings boarded up, empty homes, and yet there are still people sleeping outside. I can’t stand it. But I love how this song takes that reality, and pushes it into people’s minds.

This song is one of the main inspirations for my project. I want to create a collection that’s like this song, It doesn’t ask for anything, but it tells you the cold hard truth of the lives of the homeless. How so many people turn away, pretend they can’t hear them. The idea I have for my collection is to take this, this awareness of homeless people, and show it. Phil Collins got people to listen, and I want people to see that same message within my collection. I plan to use imagery and wording within my designs, showing what homeless people see around them. I plan to take photos of the streets and surround buildings, maybe collect some lost stuff, or draw. I want to take this imagery into my designs and mix it with some hard-hitting messages to create a collection that draws attention in such away, that while not asking for anyone to do anything, they’re moved to.

Things Can Only Get Better

My presentation with Marie and Keireine went really well. From what I can remember (post-presentation mind fog had descended). I spoke clearly about my collection and used up the whole five minutes (though I was glad when it ended). I would have said more, but when that timer goes off, all thoughts of what I was about to say next vanished, its the strangest thing.

My display was set out really well, even if I do say so myself, I made sure that entering I used that was part of my collection, matched well, like the mesh memo board I used to click all my products too.

Keriene has mentioned before that I didn’t experiment enough to begin with, mainly because I kept having a lot of happy accidents, but I’ve tried to think about, and show, different ways I add colour into my wrapping paper, or on my sheet wrap how I could add another layer of designs; all of which are laid out in my sketchbook. I just have to make sure during the next project, I experiment as much as I can (which doesn’t seem like a difficult thought at the moment because I have barley an idea).

One thing that was pretty clear from my feedback was that I still need to work on my gift bow. That blasted thing just doesn’t have the same feeling as the rest of my collection, its too pretty, or as Paige would say ‘its too hipster’.

So how do I make a bow that’s not pretty, or hipster, matches with my collection really well and isn’t something I want to throw at the wall?

At the moment, literally as I’m typing, I’m in the process of making metal bows. I’ve made a few bow ties with metal or out of metal, now I’m doing something thats not a bow tie at all, but is metal and well it’ll stop me from going crazy (which is why I’ve taken a break from the bows to blog).

I have a good feeling about the bow I’m making, maybe because its not actually a bow, just something a bit unusual. And maybe its because I get to play with metal and superglue in the hopes of making mesh. Thats always fun. It also involves a weaving, kind of, which is also fun, and relaxing, but more to come on the bows later.

Back to my feedback; I was really pleased with the overall comments; both Marie and Keireine liked my collection, and where really positive about what I’ve made, which was just really amazing to hear. I’ve really enjoyed this project so it hasn’t really felt like work work (except the bow), its been enjoyable work and I’m glad to see that is not all be for nothing. *happy dance*

Master of Mood Boards

Thanks to Irene, who mentioned a website named Art Thread, I’ve been able to find not only artist who’s work I find really impressive and inspiring, but I also found some amazing examples of what professional mood boards should look like.

They are pretty much designs in their own right. They’ve been extremely well thought out and represented, they have all the necessary information without being too cluttered, and you can really get a feel for the collection from looking at them; which is exactly what I needed to see. My mood boards were nothing compared to the ones I’ve seen on Art Thread today. These one are professional and contemporary. They elicit the same mood as the collection, and give the narrative of how the collection has grown.

From looking at these samples I can tell that I have a lot of work cut out for mw to make my mood baords this professional looking. I’m looking forward to it!

Top Drawer ’16

Yesterday I took the long, long … long (!) trip up to London. Why i hear you ask? because Top Drawer is on!

Top Drawer is a trade event where designers and makers come together to showcase their products, and for a student like me, its practically heaven. Especially the stationer section *drool*.

Up and down the isles of stationery I went, tackling it supermarket style, to make sure that no stand was left unvisited. Once I got past the whole ‘I’m surrounded by stationery! my life is complete’ stage of my visit, I then started looking for inspiration. Not only for inspiration but also layout and packaging.

For our International Greetings brief, I’m almost completely sure that I have to also explore ways of packing and display, and if not, this has seriously helped my ideas when it comes to my degree show displaying.

We all know I love typography, and while yes, I did flee straight to designer which used lots of lovey fonts, I also looked at patterns, colour-ways and co-ordinating designs, and how the designers displayed these, and promoted them within their stands.

I think overall, besides getting to send the afternoon surrounded  by paper goods, Top Drawer has really helped my with thinking about professional standards; how to package and present, and also on the merits of displaying and how to properly advertise (with brooches and information cards) interestingly.

While I was there, I came to the stall of Sort Design, where they had a old letterpress machine up and running (to say I wanted to make off with it my bag wouldn’t be a lie)  where people where able to print an already set up design, using this letterpress, which also doubled as their business card. Now if that not a great idea, I don’t know what is. But it’s safe to say, these great ideas will be sticking with me and hopefully influencing some of my ideas.

Field Reflection  2016

My experience within field this year have undoubtedly affected both me and my work. For both modules I decided to undertake work placement, which turned out to be the best part of the academic year for me.

For two months out of this year I was able to work with professionals, designing and collaborating on different projects. I was able to have quite significant input within both of my placements, which was thrilling, with the prospect that my designs could be featured with their own collections.

From these two experiences I have been able to learn new skills from these people that have affected my methods of creating/designing – I am now more proficient with Photoshop, which has played a great part in my workings. I have developed my hand drawings and paintings skills which an invaluable tool, helping me grow in my own abilities as well as helping me to grow in confidence.

Not only have I developed in my creative skills but I have also learnt about myself, my influences and the way in which I prefer to work.

My time with Richard Weston enabled me to learn more digital designs skills, and gain valuable knowledge on what it is like to design to specific client specification. It was very nerve-wracking and rewarding at the same time. I experienced what it was like to work on a real life brief, which included regular critiques — which has helped me to grow more confident in my abilities — along with learning how to conduct myself professionally.

It was also very challenging to work with someone whose taste different drastically from mine. I had to learn how to think more in terms of what they were looking for from my designs, instead of what I wanted to give in my designs.

My time at Sacha Pierre was very freeing. I was under a less strict brief and was left to find my own place within the designing of their collection. I was able to find my own inspiration from a wide range of ideas/themes that they were working with, letting me further develop my designing process. Again I had to learn how to conduct myself professionally, but in a different way from when I was working with Richard – I was part of the team in Sacha Pierre as opposed to working for a client.

With the freedom I was afforded within Sacha Pierre I gained confidence in my painting and designing skills — which I have been able to take forwards into different aspects of my work — and learnt what it is like to be in a real life working environment. I’ve also learnt that this is the kind of area, and atmosphere I want to work in.