Final Reflection Paper
My topic of research in both studio and seminar focused on World War II Navy uniforms and how they influenced women’s fashion in the post-war era. I looked closely at the Navy WAVES uniforms, which were for the women who assisted the Navy during World War II. I discovered that the style of this uniform was mimicked in women’s office work wear in the post-war era, specifically because of its underlying meaning, which made women appear professional and strong.
The research that I did in seminar had a strong impact on the way I thought about and approached my designs in studio. Normally when designing, I look at photos for inspiration, and then I begin to sketch. Although visuals are helpful, my extensive research in seminar made me realize that reading scholarly sources and taking notes is not exclusively important to writing papers. Doing both of those things can make an individual a better designer as well. For example, I read an article that described not only the elements of the Navy uniform, but also the purpose and meaning of each element. My research in seminar helped me develop deeper meanings for my designs in studio. Historical information can give art purpose, and create layers of meaning, which ultimately makes designs more impressive.
In the future, I plan to use many of the seminar research skills I gained this semester in my studio process. First, when I decide on a topic, I will begin my process by reading one or two articles, which will help me validate if my topic is good or not. Next, when I gather visuals, instead of simply viewing the photo for inspiration, I will find the source of that visual. This will ensure that I understand the context of it, which could lead to crucial information to reflect on before I begin sketching.
With hindsight, there is one thing I would change about my project. And that is, I would’ve discussed specific designers that were influenced by the World War II Navy uniforms in the post-war era. Although I elaborated on how many women wore this style during that era, I would’ve liked to discuss who was producing this style, and why they did. I wonder if designers felt, like many women who wore the style, that this image did hold certain meanings, which were strength, order, and professionalism. This discussion could’ve been yet another interesting link between the two time periods I researched.