So today is the design reveal! I’m excited! This must be how James Franco feels when he writes a poem he knows is going to get published because he’s James Franco. Or when he gets into an Ivy League because he’s James Franco. Or when he gets to play a version of himself in every single movie he’s in because he’s James Franco. Maybe I should start a “Thoughts on James Franco” blog…
Anyway, where was I? Yes. The design! It’s at the bottom of this post! I should warn you that my sketching ability is nothing close to anything on Project Runway, so if some of it looks like a Picasso, it’s unintentional and definitely not genius. And since my drawings rarely do justice to my thoughts and the visualization in my mind, I’ll explain the design a little. (Seriously, please don’t be scared off by the drawings, bear with me, I’m learning. Haha.)
The conception of this design really started with me researching techniques for making clothing using a dress form, which led me to a video on youtube about how to drape (fancy speak for shape) a top on a model. Since this appeared to be the simplest technique in the video series by a lovely Scandinavian fellow, Sten Martin Jonsson, I decided to go with it as my base. Essentially, it is a very fitted, sleeveless top, as you can see in my sketch. Not only will this satisfy my need for something appropriate for a beginner but it will satisfy my dress form’s desire to be taken out of the closet (poor thing has been cooped up in there since I got it for my 16th birthday…I really didn’t know how to use it).
But honestly, a fitted top has got to be the most boring thing on the planet, besides the movie “Quantum of Solace” (I’d say poor Daniel Craig but you can’t really pity that guy, can you?). So I had to shake it up and yet still keep it simple.
Since I love opposites and contrast (hello, bioengineer making clothes here), I thought why not take a fitted, streamlined silhouette and layer it with something more boxy? That’s how I came up with the outer, slightly-cinched-at-the-waist T-shirt dress (yes, on the sketch it does look like an outline floating over an actual outfit, I didn’t know how to draw it very well, but you get the idea). It’s not fitted. It’s loose but yet it’s structural. And to keep the streamlined underneath, I’ll do a fitted skirt (I was originally going to go with some slim cigarette pants, with a full skirt layered on top instead of the dress, but it felt like too much fabric, this isn’t a wedding dress after all). I’m going to crop the top a bit, exposing a strip of midriff, to give a visual break at the waist which will highlight the fact that the box dress goes in a little at that point (this will also add to the color story, which is coming right up).
Since my brain seems to only work in the color white, this design naturally came to me in red. No it didn’t. It came to me in white (Apologies for the lame, somewhat confusing joke). So the fitted top and skirt will be white, probably made of a simple, light cotton fabric, or, if I’m, feeling adventurous, white pleather, though that might get bulky unless I can fit it really well.
Now the box dress. I knew I wanted it to be made out of a stiff and yet fine-grain mesh so you can see the top and skirt underneath. With that vision, my mind jumped to “X-Ray,” which is all about contrast (and, funnily enough, part of my favorite class in college about medical imaging technology). So the color for the box dress will be a dusty, dark navy color (I thought black might be a little harsh and the grey hues from the dustiness of the navy would introduce something that looked a little like bluriness). The visual break between the underlying top and bottom will therefore break the solid white but the mesh on top will maintain the continuity of the outfit again by introducing a sort of blur.
So that’s my spiel. I’m sure the design will evolve as I go along, and that’s what will be fun about documenting the process in this blog. You will get to see the changes I make and be able to experience with me the thought process that comes with taking something from design to finished product.
Next blog, I think I’ll do a little draping and pattern making for the top (which I guess you could say is the technical design of the outfit and making all the parts that you need to construct it).
Also, please feel free to leave comments below! I’d love some feedback (since I don’t have Tim Gunn in tow).
-Yours Truly, the girl who hopes they have the exact fabrics she wants at the fabric store, pretty please?
Music Credit: John Mayer (Aka: What I was listening to while I wrote this blog/made my design)