I am currently studying Bachelor of Fashion Design (Honours) at RMIT University, in the city campus. I have just completed my 3rd year and will be working on my final graduate collection next year in 2015.
What was your theme for your collection? How did you come up with the idea to use the materials you used and why?
My theme was all about the fascinating changes in nature- emphasizing the journey from caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) and finally to butterfly. Therefore; I wanted to use materials, textures and colours which embodied this poetic story of a shift in structure, form, colour and persona. To show the varying tones within nature’s creations- I hand-dyed the green fabric used in the first caterpillar dress which exposed pattern and added depth and dimension; bringing the ‘creature’ to life!
To mimic the texture of the caterpillar. I used a heat gun to create bubbled shibori on the green gown. The chrysalis garments signified the ethereal, delicate stage of the butterfly encased in the cocoon, vulnerability represented in the sheaths of tulle, delicate and transparent, sheer fabrics which encased the female form. Lastly, the butterfly garments were uplifting and vivaciously coloured - using patterns, structural forms and feathers to symbolize this new-found form that has just hatched and has been freed!
Another contributing factor to the materials used in my designs; was the ease of movement that I had to ensure I provided for the models and dancers, especially.
What was the process for creating your garments?
In my fashion practice, process to me is just as vital; if not more important than the final product. The process of design is magical when I let my imagination go wild and pages come alive.. When fabric is manipulated and a transformation of shape and form takes place...and when a thought finally comes into fruition! It is why I am a designer.
For this collection, I was under time pressure- having only about a week and a half to produce five out of the six garments I showcased. I began by trawling through my visual inspiration books filled with my research on metamorphosis. Sourcing the fabrics and trims sparks more inspiration as to what to create; and I begin to drape on the stand. I use quite an organic, spontaneous approach to design- surrendering to where the process takes me- often simultaneously working between draping on the stand to flat pattern-making and sketching. I used a mixture of hand-stitched finishes and details; as well as machine-made.
My design process/philosophy
‘A single thought: a seed of inspiration sown, lovingly nurtured from paper to fabric until it blossoms into a beautiful, honest reflection on life itself'
Explain your idea and inspiration to have your collection presented so theatrical?
I wanted to design a collection that will take the audience on a transformative journey of profound change; representing the transient beauty of nature through wearable art. A dreamlike concoction of vivid colours and inspired textures to let one’s imagination take flight…. representing the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly in an out-of-the-ordinary way. It had an important narrative to tell and I wanted the audience to really connect and feel. Fashion has the capability to move people...if you let it!
I find awe and wonder in the simplest things in life; and wanted to produce a show that emphasises the often dismissed changes in the world that surrounds us- resulting in a more theatrical, exaggerated show. I have a background in the performing arts- and I thought that an event like ‘First Kiss’ would be the perfect opportunity to combine my two passions! I teamed my wearable art, conceptual garments with an evocative mix of contemporary and lyrical dance to portray mood. I believe that music and dance is incredibly expressive- the idea of movement can speak louder than words and can entrance one into a fantastical world! I wanted the garments themselves to have a personality- each portraying the three stages of metamorphosis: the quirky, elegant caterpillar, to the whimsical, delicate nature of the chrysalis….to the beautiful vibrancy of the newly freed butterfly. When the model or dancer put on the garment; my aim was for them to embody the character through how the garment made them feel.
And lastly what do you eventually want, to create your own label or work for a label
In the future, I endeavour to create my own fashion label. It's something that I have dreamed of since I was young. I am a very individual person and would love the freedom to establish my own unique mark in the local and international fashion industry. However, when I graduate I hope to travel overseas and work within the industry for other labels first to gain experience and skills that I hope to apply to my own label someday.
Follow my design journey on Facebook:
or www.jacintaraquel.com (website currently being updated- under construction)