It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Deathwish

I took some time today to put together my artist statement, and to really think about what I wanted to write in it. I wanted it to be succinct and to the point, while at the same time displaying the same passion that I have for my collection. Here’s what I came up with.


I have a heart for the homeless, one that makes me strive to fight for them, and to be heard for them. I created this collection as a way to break through the cloud of negativity and misconception that surrounds homelessness, so that no one gets treated as less than human because of a difference in living situation. I wanted my designs to reflect what homeless people see on a daily bases so I chose to focus patterns and markings found on the ground. This collection has a fashion outcome, for which I chose to create men’s outerwear. I chose outwear because of its protective nature, which I thought reflected really well with the idea that I’m trying to get across, that those who are vulnerable, such as the homeless, should be protected.


A Design For Life

Both Monday and yesterday were dedicated to garment production; cutting pattern species, attempting to sew seams, more pattern cutting. I made the body and sleeves of my first jacket, but since I don’t have the level of skill to put in sleeves, that’s something that will have to wait for another day.

Yesterday evening however, was dedicated to making a few new designs that I could then take into print and experiment with for the rest of the week. i decided to be a bit experimental with my designs, using a piece of charcoal, I took some of the shapes from my original photographs and turned them into quick marks, along with translating a bit of knit which was on my board, into a a few curved marks, which turned out to be quite interesting. I then spent the night scanning these in and turning them in designs/patterns. I’m looking forward to experimenting with these designs in print, especially using Devore.

The Room Where it Happens

Today was a great day for me. While most of the textiles students had gone on the Chelsea Harbour trip to London, I however took this opportunity to monopolise the print and dye studio. As it turns out, the calculation for the fabric for my second jacket was wrong, and I ended up with double the amount I needed, which actually worked out well since I was able to use the second half of the fabric as the lining for my first jacket. One half I dyed purple, and the other I dyed a bright yellow.

I was also able to get Steve to put this weird mixture onto one of the print tables which let me stick my fabric to the surface of the table so it wouldn’t move while I printed. With my fabric in place, I was able to screen print my design onto my fabric in the exact place where the body panel for my first jacket will be cut! Huzzah!

My super productive day has managed to put me a few steps closer to the production of my jackets. I have ordered the zips for my first and have bought black silicone, which which I will try to make the grid that will over lay jacket 1. I have ordered the lining for the second jacket, I need now to find a transparent, or semi transparent which I can use to make a overlaying yoke, on which I will pleat and print!

I’m just aware that I don have a lot of time left to actually create these jackets, it may have to run over into easter so I can get them finished before the photoshoot, and so I will have more time to spend on sampling – which I can actually start next week because the extra fabric I ordered has arrived!

Melanie Miller

My presentation with Melanie was quite different from what I expected. I assumed id be standing my by board and would talk her through the different ideas and experiments, when in actually fact we just sat down and had a conversation about what I’m doing and then different ideas and process I’ve been exploring. It was really great to hear her say that the samples I have been producing show evidence of my source images – the three that I haven chosen to focus my designs on. It means that I’m not as far off as I thought and that all my processes and ideas are coming together and not spiralling apart.

The Melting Point of Wax

The next step after dying my fabric was to look at coating it. I’ve chosen to experiment with waxing my fabric –  I really love the feel of it, how it changes to colours of the fabrics – as a method of waterproofing my material. I’d previously experimented with using scotch guard but there was no noticeable different to the fabric which was quite disappointing.

After speaking with Irene I started to experiment wth different ways in which I can wax my fabrics. Firstly I tried an all over wax which I achieved by rubbing the wax onto the fabric, similar to using a crayon, and then ironing so that the wax sank into the fabric. I then moved on to melting the wax before applying to the fabric to see if this would be a quicker way of waxing my fabric as I have 3 metres that needs to be waxed. However, the wax solidified too much on the brush before, causing dried wax strip over the fabric. As this didn’t melt into the fabric, I then had to iron the wax so that it would absorb into the fabric.


The final wax experiment I tried was to draw a grid over the fabric with the wax, which was actually really easy. I used the wax, again like a crayon, to draw the lines of the grid shape. The wax expands into the fabric when it gets melted, making to the lines thicker. I didn’t expect to like this experiment, I was prepared to try it and dismiss it but I actually really like it. I’m not keen on the fact that if I wax in a grid pattern not all of the fabric will be waterproof, however the visual effect was really cool.

Trying to keep this idea of having a grid on my fabric also, I took one of my fully waxed sample into the print room, and using a deep orange colour, I printed a grid over the fabric. Where the fabric was lighter in colour the grid was more prominent, then subtle becoming less noticeable the darker the fabric good which was a really cool effect. At the moment I’m really interested in using this technique for my jacket fabric as this would insure that my whole jacket is waterproof.


Manic Mood-Boards

Taking advice from Sarah and Irene, I decided to change my mood boards. They were right; they didn’t fit my collection, the didn’t look professional and they certainly didn’t contain anything of myself in them. They were essentially, just boards with a few photos stuck on them.

Now I know that mood boards shouldn’t take a long time, half a day at the most, but I think I went a little over the time limit. Not by much mind you, but it still took me longer to put together a cohesive set of boards than I would have wanted.

I researched mood boards beforehand, going on art thread and looking at some really cool ones on there, before striking out to create my own.

I used images which I had already gathered, along with a few of my own designs to create some really cool mood boards that matched with the designs that I have been creating, and the overall fell I want my collection to have.

Instead of an inspiration board I decide to to have a font & prints board where I displayed some of my designs along with ones, created but other people, that I find inspirational. This was a really good move, because already, from just looking at this board it focuses my mind.

Another piece of advice I had was to use foam to lift some of the images off the page, giving different levels, which I did and I have to say, I do really like the effect it has; it’s really professional and brings another dimension to the board.

I wasn’t really loving the idea of colour chips on my board. Just blocks of flat colour, or flat foil in my case, so instead, I got out some of my samples that had the foil colours that I’ve decided I’m going to use throughout my collection, and cut a small piece from these samples, so as to see the foils in use. I think it looks much better and fits better with my boards. I also used foam to lift some of the colour and materials into the foreground.

I’m really pleased with my new mood boards, they are definitely better suited to my collection now, and they will help me to really focus and refine my designs.

Digital mood boards above.


Colour and materials board with samples attached. 



Designer Research – Shamima Musarrat

I love Shamima’s style. Her designs are urban and edgy; and I especially like that she’s taken inspiration for her patterns from her urban surroundings. Using building structures in a grid pattern. I also like her mix of opaque and translucent lines/colours.

I think it could be an interesting idea to experiment with the opaqueness of different inks, maybe seeing if I could dilute a printing ink enough or even make it so pigmented nothing would be seen through the layer. This ties in really well with the substrates I’ve been using.

I also really like Shamima’s muted colour pallet, it shows a example of how using a contrasting colour can bring a design to life. This appeal to me as I’m using a monotone colour base with bright pops of colour added in for a really exciting effect.

Her mood boards reflect her designs. I feel that I should be adding more of my own work onto my mood boards, making sure they evoke them same spirit and feeling as the designs I’ve been experimenting with.

I definitely agree with Sarah and Irene that my mood boards need to be more professional, and that they need to be edgier and match the atmosphere of my collection.