This week I closed the metaphorical door on education. Therefore, while I am still introducing myself through these blog posts, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back at some of my favourite designs and creations since I started fashion college in 2011. This will be a very visual way of seeing my design style and maybe a hint of what is to come from Violet and Emily in the upcoming years – and probably quite a lot of what’s not to come too.
A/W 2011 – The first year of college saw the development of quite a few basic skills, including drawing, using a sewing machine and pattern cutting. However, it is clear that my working style has always had a contour element and intimate apparel is something I have consistently involved in my work.
S/S 2012 – My first full outfit, designed and made by me was a carnival inspired feather skirt and printed body with sequins and embroidery. Looking back, I have a love hate relationship with this piece. It’s nothing like what I would design or make now, but being one of the first outfits I ever made, I think I will always have a certain fondness for it. However, almost 6 years later and I am still finding bright pink feathers in my bedroom.
A/W 2012 – One of my favourite college pieces was a bed jacket I made from white chiffon and black lace. This was one of my first pieces of intimate apparel that I designed and made. The fabric was tricky to work with, and the lace waist contained boning to give added structure. Although I would change a million things about the piece now, I still really like the concept of it, and would love to work with developing this design.
S/S 2013 – My final collection in college was inspired by the army, comprising of three outfits all of which had underwear elements, whether that was a bralet, body or briefs. The jacket photographed below contained a print of soldiers silhouettes, gold leaf buttons, embroidered shoulders and a fully lined interior. Underneath I had created a strapless bralet and briefs set, which were also printed with the silhouette of medals.
A/W 2013 – At the beginning of university our lessons were comprised of basic pattern cutting, construction and technical elements of the intimate apparel industry. Teaching us skills that we could carry forward into future careers. One of the proudest moments of my university education came from being challenged to pattern cut and develop a bodice block. Which I made into a tailored, lined, tartan jacket. It was a competition to be voted on by our peer group, which I won. I came first place, my jacket was voted the best and I took home a bottle of prosecco and a very big smile!!
S/S 2014 – One of my favourite ever makes was in the summer of 2014 for one of my favourite little girls – my god daughter. Despite not being part of my education, I was asked to design and make her Christening knickers, which of course I took great pride in doing. They were the first pair of knickers I had ever made for anyone else, and definitely the smallest too!
A/W 2014 – My second year at university was probably my most freely creative. We were tasked with creating multiple pieces which we had free reign on. Still one of my favourite pieces was this gun metal inspired corset. Which contains about 50,000 hand sewn beads. The piece was metal spiral boned with a front opening busk and traditional lace up back. I still have this piece, which I am hoping to get framed and put on the Violet and Emily office wall.
A/W 2015 – The below pieces were created for an external client project with Gossard and the professional image was featured in Underlines magazine. The pieces were inspired by man made architecture in nature, for example pylons or ships. I created a simple tie up bra and brief set which can be seen underneath a cowl back, mesh body with heavy embroidery. The trousers that are seen are one of my favourite pieces, they are wrap around, so when the model walks there are waist high side splits. I was lucky enough to be selected to present to Gossard and featured in Underlines magazine and at Moda in Birmingham.
S/S 2016 – My final collection feels a lot like a blur now, it went so fast. The biggest project I ever had to work on probably felt the most fleeting. My original inspiration was taken from the Victoria Cross, which I saw at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum with my Grandad. The rich oxblood colour comes from the ribbon, and the embroidery and pleating was from the textures of the medal itself. My final collection consisted of four full outfits, including; two balcony bras, one triangle bra, two high-waisted thongs, one pair of wrap around shorts, one tie back body, one low rise thong, one pair of wrap around trousers, a marabou jacket as well as garters, suspenders, cuffs and a choker. Once again, if I knew then what I know now, I would make multiple changes to my final collection. However, this is one of my greatest achievements to date and there are multiple pieces like the wrap trousers and marabou jacket that I still adore to this day.
I’m hoping a timeline of some of my favourite pieces has allowed you to get to know me and my design style a little bit more. It is important to note that Violet and Emily will be a commercial, high street level company, therefore some of the details including the beading and hand embroidery will be altered to suit the consumers wants and needs. However, university has allowed me the creative freedom to explore different aspects of intimate apparel. Therefore, be prepared to see a lot of nightwear, gowns, and pyjamas over the coming months.
Writing this blog post has made me feel very nostalgic, looking back at some of the highs in my education and career so far. I cannot wait to get out my sketchbook and pencil and start designing some on trend intimate apparel pieces that I know you’re all going to love.