Posts in New designs
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.

Autumnal Concepts - Finalising the Designs

Time does fly when you are having designing fun.

It feels like only yesterday when I was conceptualising the designs ideas for the spring / summer collections and here we are with the nights drawing in and the need for an additional comforting layer.

The designs for this autumn collection will be a variety of texts that are central to my brand and its core values, which are:

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Visibility

Representation

Inclusivity

Identity

Narrative

We Are Here

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Usually, I like to combine image with text to really play about with visual language and the notion of narrative. However this time I really like the idea of it just being text because I did not want to just adorn the surface of the garment with text in a simple way, I wanted to create a visual piece that not only drew the viewer in but questioned the idea of the concept behind the design.

I have my own rationale as to why I have created the pieces this way but I will let you decide for yourself why this is the case.

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The designs are in their infancy at the moment but I am happy with the direction they are going in. I just need to consider the text placement and colour so they are visually striking and aesthetically pleasing especially as they are going to be be on black sweatshirts and hoodies this time, a colour I have yet to explore as a base layer.

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I will be keeping to my newly discovered brand Continental, who have a range called Earth Positive where they are ethically produced with a fair wage promise and utilise green energy, which is perfect for trying to not further negatively impact on the environment with over producing stock aimlessly. And with its print on demand facility, this reinforces the overall message of buying in a meaningful way that is built to last as opposed to cheap fast fashion.

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When Creativity Comes from Within
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Maintaining focus on the new collection whilst writing and reflecting here is more important than documenting my own development regarding understanding digital marketing here I think? You may disagree?

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Creating the ‘We Are Here’ collection was exciting because I was experimenting with my creative expression whilst keeping to the core concept of the brand about the visibility of women of colour.

Coupling the artistic element with my own experiences was cathartic because it is an ongoing internal dialogue for me especially regarding my own identity and perceptions of self.

This design, ‘Where Are you From? You Look Like You’re From…’ Is a direct response to my own experiences growing up and still to this day.

When you have mixed heritage, sometimes it may be obvious what you ethnic background is sometimes not, as is the case for my mum and I.

Most people are intrigued and can sense that we are not ‘fully English’, so it becomes a guessing game of sorts and more fun, particularly for me when the answers vary significantly.

Speaking with other mixed heritage, mostly women, about this they tell very similar stories. Especially if their heritage is of Indian descent, like my mums. They find that the most common guess is Spanish or South American too, which of course is not a problem. But again interesting as we also hear that we do not look typically Indian, whatever that is.

Either way, we are white passing which enables us to live a much more privileged life than many other people of colour. So it is important to maintain perspective on this aspect.

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This design, ‘Where Are you From? You Look Like You’re From…’ Is a direct response to my own experiences growing up and still to this day.

When you have mixed heritage, sometimes it may be obvious what you ethnic background is sometimes not, as is the case for my mum and I.

Most people are intrigued and can sense that we are not ‘fully English’, so it becomes a guessing game of sorts and more fun, particularly for me when the answers vary significantly.

Speaking with other mixed heritage, mostly women, about this they tell very similar stories. Especially if their heritage is of Indian descent, like my mums. They find that the most common guess is Spanish or South American too, which of course is not a problem. But again interesting as we also hear that we do not look typically Indian, whatever that is.

Either way, we are white passing which enables us to live a much more privileged life than many other people of colour. So it is important to maintain perspective on this aspect.

This design ‘What’s Up’ came from a linear drawing of two Indian Model from Vogue India. They were styled in traditional sari’s but had so much sass, they really captured my imagination and I knew I wanted to include them as a design.

I felt they embodied the way in which women are feeling much more empowered with not only their bodies but also their voice. Being unapologetic for their opinions and being authentically them and this is what I want to remember when I wear and look at this t-shirt. I hope others do too.

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