30 July 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier - Barbican

Hi all,

I had the opportunity to go and see the amazing Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Barbican in London. To my surprise photography was permitted, which was great, as there was so much to photograph.
The exhibition was huge, spread over two floors, with various room like areas brimming with his creations. It was an incredible privilege being able to look so closely at so many of his designs. I was overwhelmed by the mass of detail that many of his pieces had.
JPG is known well for his corsetry details, (seen in his fragrance bottles) and there were many examples of how he has brought the corset forward from previous centuries. The denim corset was particularly interesting, with a rib like look in distressed bleached denim, which is actually silk. Another one that caught my eye was one constructed from many ribbons, the ribbons then making up the entire dress.

There are so many that I would mention, but instead have a look at a few of the highlights...
The denim silk corset with printed top and leggings. 
Gaultier transforms the wearer into a bird of paradise. Feathers of great vibrancy flow over the shoulder and down the arms. I would feel like I could fly if I wore this!
I can't even process how long it must take to get into this laced up creation. A while, is my guess. 
Got a few old ties hanging around? Sew them together and make a dress or skirt! JPG did!!!
This incredible leapord dress does not have a real skin draped over it, but instead the entirety of the animal is created by hundreds and thousands of bead!!! Amazing!!!
The mask like face emerging from the dress bodice like a three dimensional sculpture has so much character.

xox Niamh xox

4 July 2014

Creative White Shirt

Hi all,

As one of the first projects on my course, we had to take the basic pattern cutting skills that we developed, and exploit them in a creative white shirt.
I chose to base mine on containment, and the ideas of Victorian life. I created a shirt that buttons up the back with a row of pearl buttons, it has a wide high neck and exaggerated sleeves. There are external panels that wrap over the sleeves, limiting the arm movements of the wearer.
The lower part of the shirt I developed a pleated feature, which I lined in a satin lining to emphasize. 

I definitely wasn't thinking 'wearable' when I designed this, but I wanted to explore elements that could then be extracted and adapted into something slightly less dramatic.

It's a little crazy, and I probably won't be wandering down the high street wearing it any time soon, but I had so much fun making it, and I am really pleased with the outcome.

xox Niamh xox

1 July 2014

Cobweb Textiles

Hi all,

Let me introduce you to a mini project I did, involving the colour pewter. I chose to explore cobwebs, as they become visible when they are covered in frost in the early winter mornings. 
I translated these images onto fabric, first dying the fabrics then working onto with angelina fibres and free machine embroidery. The angelina fibres helped to give a reflective nature to the pieces, and look different colours as they move. 

xox Niamh xox

27 June 2014

Vintage Photos

Hi all,

Whilst in Paris I picked up some old vintage photographs. These are a combination of postcards, and promotional images that photographers of the time would have used to demonstrate what they could do and bring in new clients.
I was particularly intrigued with the photographs that introduced colour. These hand painted photographs are amazing examples of the development that photography was taking, and early steps towards colour photographs. The heightened vibrancy of the colours used is such a contrast to the black and white or sepia colours of most photographs from before this, that they can appear quite garish, but I think that they are amazingly beautiful.

Have a look for yourself...

xox Niamh xox

23 June 2014

Paris Flea Market

Hi all,

A little while ago I took a little trip to Paris with uni. It was an intense few days packed full of research, sights and lots of shopping. The main purpose of the trip was to go to Premiere Vision, the fabric expo, which was huge and overwhelming. There were so many beautiful fabrics, trims and laces in such a huge exhibition space.
On the final day of our trip we headed to one of the Flea Markets, nearing the edge of the city. It was a pretty amazing place, a feast for the senses, with stall selling incredibly well preserved vintage pieces from the 18th century onwards, and a host of other interesting stalls with weird and wonderful bits and pieces. Oh, and there was lots of lace! 

Take a look...

xox Niamh xox

20 June 2014

Hello Again!

Well hello good people of the internet!

Its wonderful to see all of your lovely faces again (in a manner of speaking)
I must apologise for my long absence, I can't believe its been so long since I last posted, and frankly I'm a little ashamed.
So much has happened since I last graced your inboxes, and well...one of the most unbelievable ones is that I have now completed my first year at University studying Fashion Design!!!
It's been a whirlwind of a year, and so much has been packed into it, that just thinking about it all is kind of making my head hurt a little. I have made so many amazing new friends, and formed so many memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life (both good, bad, and ugly!)

I really wanted to share everything as it was happening, but time kept slipping away. But now I have decided that I am going to step back through my first year, and show you all the highlights of what has happened. The work I have made, the places I have been, and some of the different opportunities that presented themselves to me.

I'm writing (well..typing) this on the last day of my first year. And I think I might add a little note to my future self. Right now I'm kind of terrified of going into second year. Okay, its going to be so much fun, and there will be lots of new exciting challenges, but at the same time it's another change. More responsibilities (although I feel I have been given ample of them this year!) and higher expectations.
As a self proclaimed work-a-holic and perfectionist I have to admit my balance of work life and social life was a little (well ok...a lot) out of whack for the majority of this year. But with a little help from a few people I'm beginning to find the balance. I'm hoping that next year I can keep that balance and keep everything in perspective.
I'm looking forward to living with a new group of people next year. Six fashion students all under one roof! People are saying we are crazy, but I'm hoping it all works out, and that we don't end up wanting to kill one another! (watch this space!)

But until then I have the whole summer to enjoy (with a summer project from uni, they never give us a break!)

So, stay tuned for more in the not so distant future!

xox Niamh xox

8 November 2013

Milly Skirt

Hi all,

The past three weeks have flown by in a blur. I completed the first half of my first module at University, in flat pattern cutting. Our main project was to re-create a skirt from Milly by Michelle Smith A/W 2012-13. We didn't have any instructions on how to do it, just the basic pattern manipulation skills that we learnt.  We had to try to create an accurate representation of the run way image, in calico and black contrast fabric.
I won't bore you with details of how I did it, but it involved a good few pattern drafts, half toiles, full toiles and lots of yoke samples. I am quite pleased with how the skirt turned out, but I am most pleased with the progress I have made with my pattern cutting.

This is the runway image of the skirt.

Here is my interpretation of the skirt, including side seam pockets (which were really satisfying to have made!)

Hope you are all well,

xox Niamh xox