Posts in Mixed media
New Autumnal Design Ideas ~ Take Two

Last week I wrote about new design ideas for an autumn range of sweatshirts and possibly hoodies. These designs were just typography based focusing on the keywords I associate with my brand.

Utilising a visual representation of how the word ‘Inclusivity’ would look on a sweatshirt I ran a poll on a social media platform.

There were mixed reviews to the designs with some people saying they would wear it whereas others would not. So I had to think, should I persevere with the designs and tweak the aesthetics of the keywords themselves or change my plan.

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So that is exactly what I did, I changed my plan. I am now bringing forward my ideas for what would have been the new spring summer collection.

The idea is set but I am still working on the designs themselves. I have decided to base the new pieces on appropriation, where I work on top of the page I have ripped out of American Vogue magazine. I intend to paint over the background making them very expressive and changing the brand name to something else, something more positive and inclusive regarding women of colour and their visibility in the fashion and art world.

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For me, the boundary is constantly blurred and more interesting as a result. The models faces will be drawn so I am combining this notion of art and fashion even more so. And the clothes will have an illustrative quality with them bring drawn over to exaggerate the folds, textures and patterns of the fabric.

I am enjoying the process of making and creating again, being expressive but I will need to start thinking about the final designs ready for the fashion shoot and concepts behind the collection overall. It is all process with this being the most fun at the moment.

New Designs, New Women of Colour, New Creative Expressions

Waiting for the inspiration to kick in can be a real test of patience. 

Simple t-shirt visualisation of my initial sketches. On the fence about this. 

Simple t-shirt visualisation of my initial sketches. On the fence about this. 

But when it does there is so much productivity. It feels energising and motivational. I have a new sense of focus for the brand. 

Visually this is very impactful but is it too decisive? 

Visually this is very impactful but is it too decisive? 

 

 

Conducting some market research in a few of my favourite shops definitely helped. Coupled with the customers in there really cemented who I want to wear my garments - the young and fashionably edgy. So I best make edgy designs that are commercially viable. 

Another quick visualisation of one of my sketches - too plain? Too much white space? 

Another quick visualisation of one of my sketches - too plain? Too much white space? 

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So to improve on the designs, to experiment, to remember who has inspired me from the art world and who continues to do so. I will take inspiration from them, my favourites ~ Warhol & Basquiat. 

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So, embracing the vitamin D today I just sat in my garden and added to the drawings I had already sketched of women of colour.

I knew I wanted to be more expressive but in my own style. To just add paint, ink and pen in anyway that felt right. I wanted the images of the women to be strong, to be visually impactful. 

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It was very liberating and enjoyable process because I just went with the flow. I just wanted to make marks, add texture and experiment. 

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These are not the finished designs as I want to incorporate more layers, more text and maybe some colour. I am not sure yet but I want to push the visual aesthetic whilst keeping to the ethos of the brand - being inclusive and celebrating women of colour. 

I have also been thinking of a new statement to coincide with the collection, which again is about drawing attention to women, women who identify as being of colour and highlighting the need for more visibility not just tokenistic gestures that are supposed to appease people.

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The statement has been rolling around in my head for a few days. So I quickly inked it on to a page with some eyes, to symbolise the need to be looking, paying attention and questioning. it needs some work but I am happy with the message overall. 

 Let me know what you think - all feedback is good feedback.