In response to the brief, I attempted to find an item that encapsulates the heritage of Leeds to inspire my designs. I visited Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Salts Mill, The Royal Armouries and the Henry Moore Institute; all buildings in Leeds containing important and interesting artwork and historical artefacts.
I was particularly inspired by two separate aspects, which I came across during my research trips. These were the vivid colours of David Hockney’s modern paintings in Salts Mill, and the old armour held in the Royal Armouries. David Hockney is a Leeds based artist, and the Royal Armouries is home to the armour and military equipment that Leeds has inherited. I decided that juxtaposing these interpretations of Leeds heritage would give me an innovative and interesting approach to the project.
Armour had a functional purpose to protect the body. As my collection is focused around blending the old and the new, I chose to incorporate the idea of armour as a form of functional fashion into my designs by creating functional clothes but with the needs of the 21st Century woman in mind.
Most women today are very busy and independent, so my collection improves comfort for the wearer so that their clothing doesn’t restrict them in any way. The garments are temperature appropriate to improve comfort, durable and do not obstruct movement. I felt Sofia Coppola represents the customer I am describing therefore I chose to use her as my muse.
David Hockney’s ‘Pool with two figures’ 1971 is the painting which provided the basis for my colour palette. This painting is made up of bright, vivid colours. Whilst selecting colours from the painting I had to be mindful that I was designing for Autumn/Winter.
There was a trend named juxtapose in WGSN’s textile forecast for the season. Seeing as my inspiration is a juxtaposition of two contrasting themes, I felt it would be a good idea to keep my fabric choice in keeping with this theme. I therefor sourced unexpected colour combinations along with marquetry grids that mix modern with classic. To maintain the functional aspect of my collection I selected mainly wool and cotton blend fabrics. I chose wool as wool is a great insulator and is highly absorbent, wicking moisture away from the body, preventing the wearer from feeling clammy and providing adding comfort. I chose cotton as cotton also absorbs body moisture adding comfort. The natural fibre is also strong and durable making the garments more functional. The elastane content of many of my blends adds stretch to the fibre adding even more comfort and movement to the garments. I also found when selecting my fabrics I had to slightly mute my colour palette to make it more appropriate for Autumn/Winter 12/13
The components and fastenings with in my garments have been directly inspired from the armour, along with fabric manipulation such as scalloped edges.
I have also taken inspiration for my silhouettes from the armour ensuring that there is ease for movement within each garment.
Using all my research I developed a trend and customer profile board.
After lots of research and development I have now chosen my final garments. I feel that my collection clearly shows my juxtapositional, innovative perspective on Leeds heritage, and that the influence of the armour from the Royal Armouries and the colour palette taken from Hockney’s artwork is evident in my final designs. What do you think?