On Wednesday I visited London to go to Savage Beauty, the retrospective of the work of designer Alexander McQueen at the V&A. I can honestly say it was the best museum exhibition I have ever been to. From the moment you walk through the door to enter the exhibition there is an incredible atmosphere created through the lighting, music and styling. Savage Beauty seemed to be truly reflective of McQueen's work and personality, you do really get a sense of how McQueen's collections reflected his interests and feelings. Seeing the garments in real life and close up really meant you could really appreciate the skill put into every piece and the complex techniques used; the incredible details cannot be fully appreciated through images. Of course the many examples of stunning embroidery particularly appealed to and inspired me. There was no question of coming home without buying the book that the V&A has published to accompany the exhibition; I also purchased the two postcards seen below. Plus a poster came inside the booklet that everyone is handed as they show their ticket, it is an image of a model wearing a crystal encrusted garment with feather wings which I plan to frame. If you haven't seen Savage Beauty already, it runs until early August, don't miss it!
Last week was also the beginning of a new project at uni, which is entitled styling and display. The final outcome is to create a look book of our work. I've been photographing some of my previous work and styling several pieces on my mannequin, luckily enough I made several samples quite large so I was able to manipulate them to look like garments. Below is a small taster of the results, the sample is dyed, smocked and crinkled georgette styled as a neckpiece. I won't give too much away yet but I plan to add different backgrounds for the photos to fit the theme of each collection, so these photos should look a bit different in the finished look book.
You might remember the card project I was working on at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. As I have mentioned before we were set the brief by Ling Design, a card company based in Bath, but a mug design and printing company called Printster were also involved in the project. At the end of the project they came in to the studio to see our completed work and chose a couple of people from the year to create some mug designs for them. They chose my birthday collection which featured lino cut prints of dogs and cats. I created a few mug designs using these motifs and I am pleased to say they are now available to buy from Printster's website. Printster make all their mugs so they can be personalised with names and messages so mine too can be personalised. My mug designs can be found in the guest designers section here - http://www.printster.co.uk/mugs-by-guest-designers-224/
As I mentioned in my previous post, last week I was busy making two skirts and here they are. The first is a pencil skirt made from a thick houndstooth patterned woven fabric. Since I started making my own clothes a couple of years ago, I've made quite a few pencil skirts. I like them because they are so easy to make and I seem to get good results every time. I've found they work best in heavy fabrics such as this, so I generally make them in autumn or winter when the wool fabrics are out in the shops. I bought the fabric for this one just after Christmas and haven't had an opportunity until now to make it. I used to interline all my skirts with mull muslin, but they seem to have stopped selling it in the John Lewis near me so I used some thin cotton poplin instead.
The second skirt is a circle skirt, well more like a semi circle skirt, its not quite a full circle. It is made from Liberty Tana Lawn cotton and also interlined with poplin. This is another case of I bought the fabric ages ago and have only just got round to making it. I did in fact cut out all the pieces and overlock the raw edges last summer, so I was able to get on with stitching it up straight away. The pattern is adapted from Hawthorn by Colette, which is a pattern for a shirt dress. I just cut out the skirt pieces and added a long rectangle to create a thin waistband. As you can see the skirt is fastened down the front with buttons.
Next up on my garment making agenda is making the full shirt dress pattern from more Liberty fabric and another from a small scale floral print fabric. I also want to make a dress using the Colette Moneta pattern which I bought last year, I have some blue jersey fabric waiting around for that. But it will have to wait until the summer holidays now, it will be a summer of sewing!
Happy Easter! I hope you have all been enjoying the long weekend. I've been busy over the last week sewing two skirts, which will be revealed later this week. These flower pincushions are a little project I've been making this weekend, my copy of Mollie Makes arrived last week and it came with a small extra booklet with a few projects in. One of the projects was these flower pincushions, once I had made one I couldn't stop at that so I ended up making three out of Cath Kidston and vintage fabrics. The buttons in the centre of the pincushions were a free gift with the magazine.
I've just started a new crochet project and next Saturday I'm off to France for a week. But before that I have to start planning my dissertation to hand in my proposal after the holiday. Next term will be a busy one, soon after I get back we're going to see Savage Beauty and I have two week long placements in May. The next project is creating a look book of our work, it should be a pretty exciting term.
The Perpetual Maker - Hannah Mansfield
Welcome to The Perpetual Maker blog, I am an embroidery designer specialising in hand embroidery for fashion. I hope you enjoy reading the blog and I'd love to hear from you in the comments.