Saturday, 29 January 2011

Another productive day

Yesterday was another successful day as far as my Toile is concerned.
The dress is really coming together now and I'm really excited so see it finished on Tuesday and even more looking forward to making the real thing ready for the Fashion show. !!

I've finished the dress by hemming the bottom just to give a smooth neat edge, for this final this will be done with binding and not hand stitch to give a much neater finish.

The basic dress is now finished, I am really happy with the shape, as it is very similar to one I would pick out myself in a shop such as French Connection.

I then started adding my rose detail.

To make these I took long strips of iridescent Dupion fabric and over-locked one edge using a industrial sewing machine. By over-locking one edge the fabric will fray a little less keeping everything tidy.

I then ran a gathering stitch just above the over-lock stitch and rouched the fabric along. By coiling this round and round and stitching closed the bottom you have your rose shape, you can then handle the layers (petals) into place.

I then tack stitched the roses into place on the dress, I think I will sample with different ways to attach the roses before making the real dress to come up with a more professional finish.

I have begun spiralling the flowers around the dress and adding the leaves I had sampled. With this only being a Toile I will not be adding detail to the entire dress but just enough to see how the design works, and so far so good, I'm really excited to see it finished and really glad I chose this design as part of my collection.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Toile numbre une ! .... i got a A in francais ;)

Yesterday I started to manufacture my toile for my first outfit. I have decided to make the toile out of the same fabric as the final will be done in, as it is a stretchy fabric and I need to make sure it will fit to the body and hold the flowers structures properly.

After cutting out of fabric, sewing up seams and neatening the armholes and the neckline, I am left with just adding the samples of my floral details, I also tried the dress on for fit and size, and am really happy with the size and stretch of the fabric, although a size 12 is ever so slightly large for me !!

Here are some photos so you had follow my collection from paper to catwalk.

paper patterncut into powernettingadding the darts

fastening the shoulders and side seams
herringbone stitching on the armholes and neck
basic dress complete.
For the fastening on my dress i have used hook-n-eyes as after some research they are commonly used on designer/bridal couture as they are a hand finished and can easily be altered to give a better fit.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Spiral of Petals

My first design

This is the first design I have chosen from initial my 100. It was taken from my couture section and therefore will have to fit well, have high standard finishing, hand embellishments and fabulous fabrics.

I want this garment to almost look as if the model is wearing nothing, yet has (strategically placed) flowers wrapped around her.

To do this I will be using a basic dress shape in power-netting, which is a flesh colour stretchy fabric, and then adding dupion silk flowers, which I will gather and wined by hand and attach in a spiral up the dress. I will also add quilted and hand embroider leafs to add for texture and a splash of contrasting colour.

Here are some images of my samples to give a clearer idea of the detailing on the dress.
All the images in this post have been edited using photo-shop, not only to make them more interesting and clear to look at ... but because blackberry cameras are Rubbish !

Tuesday, 25 January 2011



A FAD is something that is quickly picked up and widely used and then goes out of
fashion very quickly.
Fad is very cheapily produced on a mass scale, it has to be made cheaply because the
trends are forever changing, and people won't be wiliing to pay for something that may
only be in fashion for 1-2 months.
The fabrics are also usually very cheap and therefore the garments never last very long.
The main example of FAD fashion is Primark. Possibely the cheapest clothing store in
world yet loved by young people as it is affordable. Thats the thing about Fad fashion
it is very much marketed to a youth market.
When designing for a fad market a designer must be thinking about current trends and
designing them with a easy and quick way of manyfacture.
Personally i can not stand FAD/Primark as i think it is so cheap and dispossible, i'd much
prefer to save for a few weeks and buy one or two dresses from a high street shop like
french connection that i know qill last and that i will get more wear ot of.

High Street

High Street

High street fashion originated in London with Marks and Spencers .
High street clothing is designed to be available and affordable for the general public.
A high street designer will usually study R-T-W fashion closely to see which trends
are developing and then water these designs down to sell in stores such as TopShop
for everyday wear.
High street clothing is mass produced as the shops that stock it are usually big
chain stores and therefore require alot of stock. They are sized very standard
to fit a wider range of people. Some shops even stock a tall/petite range to
cover even more customers.
Depending on the shop, clothes will be made to diffrent quality, for example
a beaded dress from TopShop may cost around £60, however the quality will
be quite poor and beads would easily come loose. Whereas a beaded dress
from French Connection will cost around £140 but will give a lot more wear.

Ready To Wear


Ready to wear is taken from the french "pret-a-porter". It is clothing that is sold in finished condition in standard sizing. Each Fashion designer usually shows both a fall and summer collection in a year, at one of the fashion weeks around the world. It is sold at either the designers flagship stores or at high end departments stores such as Harvey Nichols.
Different design houses produce R-T-W in different ways depending on demand, for example some fashion houses such as Gucci mass produce individual garments based on previous demand and some fashion houses will still only produce a limited amount such as Roberto Cavalli, and once they have sold out of one design there are no more.
In contrast to couture, these lines are never one of a kind. High-end ready-to-wear lines are sometimes based upon a famous gown or pattern that is then duplicated to raise the designer's visibility level and make them able to increase prices.
Ready to wear garments are usually made by machine apart from maybe the odd hand finishing, they are still of very high quality and use high standard fabrics.
A ready to wear designer must remember that the designs of their collections must stay current for 6 months and therefore trends are often taken from R-T-W clothing.

To show the contrast between Couture and R-T-W I have posted pictures of Dior spring summer 2011 ready to wear collection. You will notice they are alot more wearable ... Yet I still wouldn't pop to tesco in one of these fab dresses.


Whilst designing a huge aspect is which market level I'am appealing too, therefore our design process consists of 25 designs for :Couture, Ready-To-Wear (RTW), High Street and FAD.


Couture is high-fashion, the designs are usually very unique and the garments are custom made to fit the customer. On many occasions the designs also use very expensive unusual fabrics, which makes the prices of Couture very expensive and means that they aren't sold of the rail in shops.

The designs of couture dress makers/designer are also that elaborate that it is very hard for cheaper markets such as High Street to copy and therefore makes the pieces one offs.

The job of a couture dress maker is to produce these one off pieces to the highest quality standard possible, this usually means that the customer will have several fitting to make sure the garments fits to the body perfectly . They are also mostly produced by hand and may included large areas of hand embellishment which may take a whole team of seamstresses.

Couture originates in Paris with Dior starting the Golden Age in the 1940's-50's, in those days the couture elements really was more about the beautiful manufacture of the garments, yet more recently it has become more about the uniqueness of the clothing.

These are some images of the Dior s/s 2011 couture collection.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

5 Month countdown

It is 5 months until The Mid-Cheshire College fashion show, after months of going over the possible themes for collections from summer homework's and research briefs, I have decided to continue with my idea of using elements of floristry in my designs. For this particular brief we are only making one of our outfits, however i have chosen all 4 of my designs and think they work really well together as a collection, especially as they have a clear colour palette running throughout all garments. I will be using my blog to show my collection come together, and how they come from a drawing on paper until they show on the catwalk in june.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Kylie Minogue - Better Than Today (Live) @ Jools' Annual Hootenanny HD

After my leopard print purchase, I was definitely reassured I'd made the right choice than none other than Miss Minogue.
I've seen Kylie wear Leopard print on a number of occasions but when watching Jools Holland's annual Hootenanny, I thought her floorlength leopard print dress looking amazing.

I've always loved Kylie, ever since I was about 6, and I've never known her put a fashion foot wrong, not only was the dress gorgeous, she even teamed it with matching leopard print Louboutins.

Her performance was also amazing as she sang two of my favourites, her new single, "Better Than Today" and an old favourite "Love at First Sight"

Monday, 3 January 2011


It was only natural I had to purchase one last pair of shoes for 2010 ... at least trying to end the year on a high. Therefore Friday's lunch break at work consisted of a run to Kurt Geiger !
For the past 4 months I've been eyeing up leopard prints. It's a look that I think is very hard to pull off, as it can either look very tacky, or quite glam. Kurt Geiger had a few leopard prints in this season, from printed leather to pony skin. Obviously the better the fabric, the price goes up !I saw both above pairs in the shop, each of which I found fault with. The first pair were a synthetic hair, however the colour and print they had been dyed with looked very fake and therefore cheap, not to mention the pathetic excuse for a heel !
The second pair looked like they should of been from New Look, they were a woven fabric. The print was also very poor and didn't look realistic at all ! Also yet again the heel is just a few inches too small.

I found a pair in with the tallest skinniest heel, patent front platform, full pony hair and most realistic print and colour ... and here they are .

After posting them straight on to my facebook page, a fellow shoe-a-holic friend spotted them immediately, and as of now there is a size 5 pair travelling to her via Harrods !
These shoes have been THAT popular that there were only 2 pairs of sizes 5's left in the entire company. But who can blame her for wanting a pair .... they are Fabulous !