History of Fashion Final Paper Topic Proposal


Image One

This image is my grandparents wedding photo. They got married in 1946 in South Africa where both of were born and raised. In South Africa, weddings are not a huge production and my grandparents did not have a lot of funds so my grandmother wore this lovely suit to her wedding. The designer is unknown but I felt it was very indicative of the time period. This is right around the time that Chanel would re-open her fashion house. The style and length of skirt also show the timing and overall styling of the look show the European influence into South Africa. My grandmother is decent from England and France so when England came into Africa they brought the western styles with them. 

I chose this image because I was very intrigued with the ideas it brings up. It shows the spread of western dress into places like South Africa. It also conveys the new type of woman who would wear a suit to her wedding. The menswear inspired suit is what she decided was her wedding attire. I love the entire styling of the look with the shoes and the hat. I have an emotional connection to this image because my grandmother is the woman who taught me how to be extremely kind but also to not take any nonsense from anyone. She was such an empowering person in my life and this image shows just that. She took the mens style and wore it as her own. This image was something that spoke to me because I enjoy the styling of the look itself, the representation of empowering women, and the idea of the spread of fashion. 

I want to research the time period of late 40s or early 50s because it enjoy the aesthetic. This image shows that even if the woman is a homemaker it does not mean she cannot look or be empowered. In my own design work, I intend to make women feel empowered. I also enjoy menswear influence show in her suit. I have a strong personal connection to this look because it is both stylish and a reminder that clothing can reach all ends of the earth. This is the image I very much would like to work with for my final paper. 

Image Two

This image is my other set of grandparents on their wedding day. They got married in 1955 in New Hampshire, USA. They met at work where my grandmother was a lab technician. This look here is a more decorated bridal ensemble. The silhouette is very indicative of the time period and the lace and the buttons add a richness to the design. She wore a traditional veil because they were both devote catholics married in the catholic church. The designer is unknown but the design of the dress illustrates the time period very well. 

I enjoy this photo because it again is an image of love and my grandmother looks so incredibly beautiful. Aesthitically, I find her dress and this photo to be very pleasing. The softness of the lace, the decoration of the buttons, and the fullness of the skirt are all gorgeous. I have a strong emotional connection to this image because my mother’s mom seen here was one of my favorite people to ever live. She was just happy that I existed in this world, and she would love when I would give her fashion advice. This image is beautiful and showed the time period that I find very intriguing from a female perspective. 

My design aesthetic is meant to empower woman. This image was taken during the 1950s when there was a lot of changes in the role of the female. My grandmother put herself through university and worked as a scientist and when she got married she still worked and took care of four children. As delicate as this dress is it shows her power underneath. She is wearing the voluminous dress; the dress is not wearing her. 

No Waste Garment Final and Process

This project was one that truly kept my interest from start to finish. I am very interested in sustainable fashion design so learning this method of designing is very important to me. When I first thought of how to make a garment “no waste” meaning you use every piece of fabric you buy, my mind jumped to lingerie. I was thinking about the pattern pieces and the shapes the patterns of lingerie would be and most of the pieces are either rectangles or triangles. I figured that would be a good jumping off point. I started with a collection of sketches and chose one of my favorite designs. I decided to commit to making a lingerie set using one yard of fabric. This amount of fabric ended up being one of my main hurdles because there was so much of it to use. If I were to do this assignment over again I would find somewhere that would sell me half of the amount of fabric I purchased. With the extra fabric I went on a problem solving journey. My final look ended up being a two piece lingerie set, bra and panties, a shall or skirt and a textured headband, shown in my hair in the final photos. Overall, I highly enjoyed this process of working and it really pushed me to think outside of the box with my design work. At one point I even used scraps of fabric inside another strap so every single last bit of fabric was used in creation of this look. I am very happy with the outcome, and I will keep this process in mind when designing in the future.


Negative Body Space Sculpture



My exploration of negative body space started with the idea of not quite being enough. The negative body space I chose to explore was the space around someone not being able to touch their toes. Most of my friends can’t touch their toes and this seemingly meaningless funny topic of conversation turned into an artistic process for me. I started with the shape of the paper maquette which was a very literal interpretation of the space around someone not being able to touch their toes. After I chose the material, felt, and was inspired by Robert Morris’s use of gravity and chance I explored the form further. I kept my pattern of the person not being able to touch their toes, but turned it into an organic shape showing growth. Gravity will allow a human to touch their toes and gravity will allow felt to make organic shapes. Both just need a little bit of support. Through this process I realized that the felt wasn’t strong enough to be self sustaining, so I added wire to act as the bones of the sculpture. As humans we rely on our bones to keep us up, and that is just what this piece needed, some bones. With the wire the sculpture is now a self sustaining exploration of negative body space and organic shape.

Tote Bag Process and Final Bag


I started my process of designing my tote bag by remembering the times when bags have been uncomfortable or unpleasant to look at. When designing my tote bag I kept in mind that I love a good pop of color in a bag, and I need it to be able to hold anything. My mood board is a colorful mash up of inspiration from Erin Robertson and Commes Des Garcon. I was truly inspired by the interesting ruffled shapes and the beautiful bright colors. I started to sketch bag designs with the shapes seen in the mood board. I started with six sketches to fully explore some of the possible bag shapes. I re-drew and further thought out three designs, and decided on my favorite one. This tote bag will be a tote bag, backpack hybrid. It will have a draw string at the top to be able to create the lovely ruffled shapes seen in my mood board, and the straps could either be a shoulder length tote bag or be tightened and worn as a backpack. The hardware I chose for the bad is also inspired by the glamour of Erin and Garcon’s design work.

Following the design stage I started by making my pattern and a paper prototype to reveal any issues with the pattern. My pattern revealed the piece I created to be the draw string was half as long as I needed it to be when cutting I adjusted by folding the fabric over twice.

Proceeding I cut out my fabric and assembled it following the steps written out in the pictures above. The final bag is a convertible shoulder tote bag and backpack. It has a double inside pocket perfectly fitted for a laptop or sketchbook, and can be used for any occasion. The purple color and glitter hardware is inspired by my mood board. Additionally, the shape of the tote especially the top ruffle created when the draw string is pulled is inspired by the ruffles and shapes seen in my mood board. This project taught me a variety of new skills and the importance of pressing your seams. As for the cosmetic bag, I used tabs of fake leather to close up the zipper ends and boxed the bottom of the bag two inches in order to create more volume.

Meghan Shawn Alter Ego

For my Alter ego project, I created a super hero that could read minds. Meghan Shawn’s back story is both her a her mother are mind readers. A secret government agency took Meghan’s mother to run tests on her. Meghan’s mom anticipated the agency coming and left her a map in which to find her. The illustrations on the outfit are key points on the map creating a deep connection between Meghan and her mother. Only Meghan will know how to decipher the map and will learn about herself along the journey to find her mother.

Each symbol is symbolic of my own mother. The illustrators and hair color represent both her favorite things aspects about her personality and charms from an old charm bracelet of hers. The jacket itself was originally her jacket she had custom made while studying abroad in Italy. This project was to honor my mother while creating a superhero in the process. I think my mom is a superhero so I wanted to create one based on her. For the “social media” component I created instead an adventure journal. The journal chronicles the journey she takes to find her mother and explains how she encounters all of the symbols on the clothing map.

Alter Ego Mood Board and Logo

My alter ego is a mind reading superhuman. This entire creation of an alter ego is represented in symbolism that has to do with my own mother. The roses are her favorite flower, the eagle is representative of where she went to college, and the scale is a symbol of her being a lawyer. I wanted to create a person that has the power of mind reading because I’ve always wanted to be able to read my own mom’s mind. For the continuation of this project I am creating a representative outfit where the illustrations are both a map for the character of where to go and symbolic references to my mom’s own life. Accompanying the costume, there is a hand written “diary” of the character with sketches related to her adventures to find her mother.