Fashion today is influenced by the past, and draws from both traditional and contemporary designs. During Elizabethan times fabric was not readily available and reused to make new clothes and invariably new designs, where designers reinvent the ‘wheel’.
Historic fabric design is used extensively for upholstery in interior design e.g.
Modern interpretations of Elizabethan fabric
Goldwork swirl embroidery print
organic cotton sateen $27
Combed cotton $17.50
Elizabeth I phoenix portrait fabric- black/gold – with pearls
Printed fabric that mimics goldwork.
Traditional stitches haven’t changed much over the years. Contemporary artists adapt the techniques to develop innovative designs. (Used historically for different reasons, goldwork symbolised wealth and power, whitework used for weddings etc.)
Designer, Lynn Skordal uses loose threads in her textiles.
Sarah Walton another artist uses minimalistic machine stitch.
Vogue fashion trends now are inspired by the feminine power dressing of the 50s.
This season the emphasis is on grey or ivory fashion, replacing traditional black. Split skirts that finish just under the knee. Sharp Tailoring makes a comeback, with mannish boxy cuts using finer fabrics, Denim or teamed with hippie influences.
Military uniforms and the outer white coats remain fashionable.
London fashion week showcased new zingy pastels in soft blue and greys. Many are impractical, and are redesigned for the high street.
Here in Worcester gloves were produced, but the factories have all gone now with the increases in modern technology.
I collect lace items, with varying techniques, designs and ages E.g. lace making or tatting, similar to crochet, but with tiny knots and loops showing diversity by the people who created them.
Overall I was happy with the shapes and movement in my work with both manipulating fabric and appliqué, with surprising results
eg cutting back, created depth. However, colour choice would be a consideration for future designs, as some pieces did not work’.
Manipulating the fabric gave a 3D impression not achieved with stitch alone and quicker to achieve. It was interesting experimenting with the folds of the fabric, not quite knowing whether it would work or not.
This altered the ‘feel’ and look of the original drawings and changed conceptual ideas. Having a reference was useful gave a basis to work from. Ideas were changed a few times, before deciding which technique ‘fitted’ the work. It was liberating to enjoy the freedom to experiment rather than the rigidity of formal art, for example portrait painting.
I enjoy working with stitch and how it can change by altering the direction, colour, hand or machine work (which is my favourite way to ‘paint’). Trapping fabrics produced amazing effects and would definitely use again.
Tyvek was not inspirational, but would not discount its usefulness. Soluble fabric was unpredictable producing an idea for a future project, a corset. Changing the direction of the pleating gave a different quality to the piece and changed previously held opinions of the construction of it and therefore appreciating the work involved.
Tearing, fraying and slashing felt wrong to do, however the results were interesting. Having never attempted quilting before, found this was by far one of the best techniques achieved, one definitely to explore.