Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dragon dress: sketches

For the draft of sketches I just come up with all sorts of ideas without editing anything. I ended up with about twenty sketches and tried to categorize them by what I was inspired by. Some of them have taken inspiration from the dragon itself: wings, fire and tail, and the glittering armour covering Smaug's belly.

I asked myself what I wanted, and with this dress I want a floor length dress with focus on the shoulders, and something that moves when the wearer moves. While the dress itself is pretty simple, it will be richly embellished.

We were tasked with sewing one dress, but we were to design as if this was a collection and come up with three designs, one basic, trend and showpiece dress. (Basic is something you could use at work, trend is something trendy and showpiece is either a galla dress or a garment where the designer has gone crazy.)

Of course I decided to make a showpiece. (As this was the first project where we were allowed to go a little overboard, I wasn't the only one who decided to make one.)

Final design.
I decided on a sleeveless dress with appliqued embellishment and some sort of thin, floating fabric that falls lightly over the hips and produces a sort of flame effect when the wearer moves. The front is sewn in dupin (hard) in contrast to the sides (soft). It's going to be embellished with pearls, embroidery, organza and everything interesting I can find.

Early on I knew I was going to make a showpiece, so I planned to finalize that design and then base the designs for trend and basic on it. Easier said than done. The designs need to have something in common, but they have to be different and I find it really hard to find a balance. (Twenty sketches later I was considering setting fire to something.)

Basic & trend, with an axe that goes with the trend dress.
But, somehow it worked out. Basic is in a soft leather with decorative stitching along the panels. Trend is in two different, stiffer leathers, one of them texturized, the other smooth. They can both be sewn as is without altering the design.

It bothers me a bit that this looks so easy. There's a week's work in those two sketches, frustration mixed with crippling doubt, second-guessing myself and being sorely tempted to crawl into a corner with chocolate. At the end I started doodling matching weapons to each dress, but looking back I am so grateful my teacher didn't accept the first sketches I came up with. 

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