When considering all my option for my final major project I felt that it was a great opportunity to continue with, and visually respond to my dissertation, in which I wrote as a business plan. The business plan was for a business called Lily Kim, which would design, manufacture and sell high- end swimwear and target the female market, aging for 18 – 30. All the research and ideas were there; the only thing missing was the product. I therefore chose to embody the business plan within my collection and I have created a swimwear brand using youthful prints and shapes. I have also incorporated my business USP’s into my designs – Mix and Match and reversible swimwear and the innovative manufacturing process called, Tantex.
I haven’t always been inspired to design and create swimwear, I only really came across the idea of it whilst I was on work experience with a design and manufacturing business. This is where I started to grow a passion for swimwear design, and realised it was a perfect market for me and my style of design. After researching into the swimwear market and seeing the current and potential growth that it has, it seemed ideal to start a business within this area of the industry.
My final collection has a strong tropical theme running throughout the designs. I have taken inspiration from a variety of elements, ranging from tropical sea creatures, tropical plantation and natural marks. Tropical fish have heavily influenced my colour pallet. Their brilliant bright colours and abstract marks, are something that I find extremely inspiring.
I have always been drawn to abstract, raw, organic mark designs and mix media prints. This has lead me to design a collection, which combines these two styles together. I have used digital photography and hand drawn techniques within my designs, combining them and developing them further through digital manipulation.I have used mark making textures that I have felt resemble, natural, flowing marks, yet in a stylised way, such as, marbling. I have also experimented with a range of different techniques such as screen-printing, hand drawings and paintings, devoré and fabric dyeing.
At the start of my design process I was finding it hard to personalise my marks and prints. The technique’s that I was using were easily replicated and didn’t have the brand uniqueness that I was looking for. Therefore I began experimenting more with them by layering them over one another within Photoshop and also adding digital imagery that I had taken of sea life and a range of plantation. I took inspiration from other designers that I had previously researched and began scanning in chiffon and organza fabrics that I had painted onto. This gave a very abstract and textured result. I quickly discovered a style that I was happy with and felt like best represented me as a designer. I am a very passionate photographer and designer so this style allowed me to combine the two together and produce professional designs that were suitable for my product and market.
A majority of my designs are digitally printed, however I have experimented with a range of hand techniques. In particularly the fabric technique, devoré. I love this technique, but I have never found an appropriate time to use it until now. I thought it would be a suitable technique to use for my beachwear products. I could see my devoré designs on kimonos and cover-ups. Experimenting with devoré is very long process. I had 4-5 attempts at it and when I finally got it correct I then had to go through the dyeing process. However, I did find the dyeing process interesting and fun, but again it was a long process of trial and elimination.
Throughout this whole project I feel I have really improved my digital skills, and I am confident to say that I have an advance level of understanding of Photoshop and illustrator. I have improved my understanding and skill of design layout. I have struggled in the past, and still struggle with the concept of scale within my designs. I am fully aware of this, so to insure that my collection has a variation of scale, I have incorporated scale changes of the same design and hung them together. This gives the client more of an option when it comes to viewing my designs and makes my collection more versatile. I have also incorporated a lot of alternate colour ways within my collection, all using my original colour pallet, again adding versatility.
When coming to design my exhibition space I wanted to take full advantage of the industry connection I have made, therefore I have had my swimwear samples made from a swimwear factory in Hoaxing, China. The factory have incorporated Tanatex within my swimwear. This gives a good indication of how the process works and the cost of production, making it easier for me to work out my costing’s.I also wanted to showcase my illustration skills through my exhibition, so I designed 6 fashion illustrative CAD visuals, showing selected designs. I have also included another style of CAD visuals, that I call ‘Manufacturing CAD’s’. These CAD’s show my designs in more detail and can be used to show manufactures or clients. For extra detail within my collection of prints I have selected a few design in which I have added a zip and tassel to. This is just to demonstrate the detail that I would add to my swimwear and the tassels link to one of my business USP’s.
Overall I am overwhelmed with my project and the out come of my exhibition. I feel as though I have really stayed true to my brief. I have also been able to gain industry connections that I can use after university to help me with my future goals. I am now looking forward to showcase my work at the industry viewing and hopefully gaining a job with the design industry and/or continuing with my business plan.
Overall I was extremely happy with my IG project and the feedback that I received. I really tried to create a sophisticated, high-end collection using classic christmas colours. I have found it difficult to flip for one project to another, however I have found time to add a little bit extra to my final collection, which I have resubmitted.
My feedback told me that I had to experiment more with my ribbon design and try and find alternative was of using gold within the ribbon. I have taken this on board and experimented through CAD visuals. The CAD’s show a range of different styles and effects of gold on my red ribbon.
My exhibition set up have been stressful, yet satisfying at the same time. Getting everything perfect and to a standard that I am happy with has been a challenge. Yet the feeling of knowing all my hard work is final coming together and the end is near is very overwhelming and a great feeling.
Within my display I have opted to show my prints onto actually products. I have my two swimwear product made by a factory in Hoaxing China. I gained this connection through my time and Tri Distribution, whilst on work experience. The products also contain Tanatex within them. I also have displayed CAD visuals, in a fashion illustration style. I think this is an interesting way to showcase my designs as it shows selected prints in a art work style.
My collection prints have been separated into 3 families. I have added extra detail to my designs by incorporation zip and tassle detail to a selection of prints. This just to show an example of how I would use zip’s and tassel’s within my swimwear products. The tassels also tie in with one of my business USP’s.
My buddy (Georgia Reece) has been extremely helpful. She has helped me with a range of little tasks, such as sewing headers, printing and generally just being around as a second pair of hands. She was very careful and professional when working with my designs, she shown a lot of respect and treated my work as if it was her own, I am very grateful for all her help and think that it is a great process that my uni does. It allows second years to see the exhibition process first hand, and it helps third years with all their work.
I have researched different colour trends that will be up and coming in s/s 17. Using WGSN and company research I have discovered that Monochrome is a very popular colour pallet for a range of different market and products. I feel as though monochrome is a timeless, classic colour style which is seen as being quite mature depending on the design used, however I will combine it with my youthful, innovative designs making them relevant and on trend within the market and target market that I am aiming at.
I have experimented with different finishings for my fabrics. The finishings include, overlocking, roll hem and magic tape. Due to the nature of my fabrics I felt that it was necessary to experiment with different types of finishings to get the one that would suit my fabric the best. The results that I got, indicated to me that magic tape would be the best finishing to use as for my designs as it give my designs a nice straight sharp edge, aswell as stopping any fraying.
Overlocking – causes the fabric to wave and stretch
Roll hem – Cut too much of my sample off and also made the fabric wave and stretch.