RESEARCH WEEK 1 AND 2
What Im gonna do for unit 7? was the first thinking that came to my mind, of course, but it is really really important to me to do something that it feels like me, that I feel so connected that I will be obssesed with it working all the time, even when Im sleeping in it.
I started to going to some galleries, I ve been in all the important exhibition taking place at the moment so far, but maybe Im thinking in going back to some, as the Robert Rauschenberg, which was impressive and big.
The one that caught my attention the most was ROOM at Sadie Coles, reflecting on what rooms mean to the different artist, and also what a room is?, some of them refered at something literal a room as Nan Goldin approach, and what was happening inside there.
Others as Louise Bourgeois relates the word room to a place inside ours which relates to a common place or a kind of jail in our minds.
Both approaches really attracted me and I started to think about doing something related to time, and what it relates to the processes of time and how we are able to see it in an environment as can be a room. For example what first came to my mind was the child room that have grown up but the parents decide to keep it as it was. Its like an obsession with things remaining the same, although we all know that is impossible, and even they decide to dont move a single thing into the room, things decay.
So then I started looking at kids pretending to be adults, and adults pretending to be kids, which was a fun approach but I didnt find it so "mine" . So I was not please at that and was really really stressed. I am not finding anything that I love but at the same time the concept of time feels really right.
Yesterday my mom called me, she told me my grand grand mother is dying, my grandmother is really depressed and she is sad about it.
My grand grand mother, is a person I really really love, but she is 97 now and its normal that she is passing away, but althogh in this process she is suffering, the doctors keep pushing her into the OR. My grandmother is dessesperated about it because she cant stand seeing her mother suffer anymore, but at the same time she will not ask the doctors to do it.
I dont know if I should be putting things that personal here but this episode made me reflect on the thing I was talking about related to time. It is like we cant accept that time passes. There is an obsession in the human being with time (including me of course) that we dont want it to let it go, although its IMPOSSIBLE to change it!.
Yesterday night I watch the documentary "Grey Gardens". Now im obsessed with it, the aesthethic, the mother and daughter relationship, and also their attachment with time.
The documentary goes about a mother and a daughter living together in a mansion which is falling appart, it is in completely decadence, full of cats and flies.
They used to be socialites of new york, aspiring artists, and also relatives with Jackie Kennedy. That mean they are part of a wealthy family, which gives them money, but they decide to keep living in this place, although it is literally a swamp. At the same time they still believe they are goddess (they are) and dresses in eccentric ways, dance, sing. So interesting.
In some moments they show the filmmakers album pictures of their youth, showing the public how they used to be the typical rich beautiful perfect girls, and you can see how they speak with nostalgia but at the same time avoiding that time has passed away.
They have become jaded with the present and long for their lost youth. they are in decadence.
When I finished the movie I was like MY PROJECT WILL BE ABOUT THIS, so so obsessed with everything of this two amazing characters.
Also it fits with the concept of attachment with time that I was bringing, but it has a turn, its like an "Eccentric Decadence", I love that, that will be the name of the project, eccentric decadence. SO poetic, love it.
I went to the library and found a book called " Perennial Decay : on the aesthetics and politics of decadence"
Reading about it I was able to clarify what does the word "Decadence" really means. It has two sides, the one that relates with decline, decay, and loss of traditional values. That last sentence I love it,
And then the one related to "hedonistic, self indulgence, sexual trangessive, FAILED TO RESPECT NORMS".
I feel the part of "loss of traditional values, decay, and failed to respect norms" are the ones that are really close to my idea, altough I will have in mind everything.
I have been reading this book the whole weekend its really interesting. I like how they talk abou
t the different conceptions of the word "decadence" but how at the same time they both relates to each other. The book is also talking about artists depicting the "decadent lifestyle" and how this has been present from 1880 to the present.
I have been doing research in all the artists named on the book and the one that I think represent my idea the most are Brassai, Nan Goldin, Claude Cahun and Pierre Molinier.
Reflecting on what this lifestyle means, and the relationship it has to gender conceptions is something that I really really care about, since my beliefs are that gender is a social construction and we don't have to be determined neither define who we are.
They decadent lifestyle is always present on the demimonde of society, this is where I feel the most comfortable today in my life. When I used to live in Argentina I used to feel restrained by the social rules of my environment which I didn't respect. In London the "demimonde" is much more present and I feel this is a part of the society which involves self-acceptance and non judgment which I think is essential in today's world with all the social and politics issues we are going through.
Also very related to this, I went to the Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition, I literally cried of how much I liked it. I feel his approach to society its similar with the one I am taking to this project, depicting the "under" society, and also talking about political issues.
Other thing that I really like and inspired me about the exhibition was the way it was displayed, before coming there I was thinking about doing my sketchbook in separated A4 pages and then present them in a little box all together, but after the exhibition and seeing how he played with juxtaposition of images, blank spaces, and materiality I was drawn into using an A3 portrait sketchbook once again but this tame faced it in a new way, similar as how Wolfgang decide to present his exhibition. Besides this I will have the box I wanted to do but with a selection of images and materials, being more "picky" for this, and allowing me to express everything I want to try in the sketchbook.
I am wondering if I should start with sketchbook or keep putting all my energy in reading and researching so when I start with the sketchbook I will be more confident. I think wait maybe will be the best for now... I don't want to be behind everyone but I should focus in what is best for me.
I have started my sketchbook. Since my concept is so broad and difficult to explain Im trying my best to clarify it by setting a Mood in my collages and drawings. I have been doing most of all collage and fabric manipulations so I need to start drawing more.
But because my main focus on the beginning of this week was to set the mood I have been working with the artists I choose most of all.
I have been experimenting a lot with the decay of materials into fabrics. Today I have a talk with my tutor and suggested me ideas for the part of "conservation" in my textiles development. I will try this and also I will start trying to come with shapes
I have been working with shapes taken most of all from Nan Goldin, Brassai, and Juergen Teller and Cindy Sherman photographs so today my tutor suggested me to look at dolls (I got some images of them from Cindy Sherman) But in general as secondary research and also because the self-indulgent style of dolls relates with my project.
Besides this I am really interested in using this contrast I have been seeing in the photographers that I named before where "classy" and sophisticated things are mixed and used with "Trashy" and dodgy garments or in environments that seem to not relate to this ones.
I found a book about dolls in a creepy state and have garment ideas really really interesting, I will mixed this with the ones I got and start translating them into 3D in some way.. Also I have created a story for my project this will help me to create more fluidity within my sketchbook.
We did some exercises in class taking shapes from our sketchbook and sculptures we made with our research, Im trying to relate this to the ideas I had with my research and I came with cool drawings but Im not satisfied I think it looks too nothing and I want to send a strong message. I think the best thing to do is start experimenting in fabric with some techniques and then go into the body again to see how it looks
Also I feel that the idea of taking shapes from research does not work with me since for me the conceptual approach is more important that the structure one so I rather look at details and garments ideas or even in interior design that this really relates with the grey gardens ideas rather than just take a shape because of the sake of taking a shape.
I have been looking at images of drag queens using conservative dresses that are broken and show skin and I find in this images a lot of beautiful meaning.
Today we have a workshop that helped me a lot. We learned about gathering and volume and this techniques relates with my research about the creepy dolls and also with the dresses of 20s in Brassai images, I am imagining using gathering in see-through fabrics or in fabrics like net as in Nan Goldin and Corinne Day pictures.
I have bough and found some old curtains and pillow case and blankets. I will deconstruct them and also hot filmed them after doing some gathering into them, after this I will do more drawings and come with more ideas for my design development
Also I Want to drape with these since I feel that the idea of Grey Gardens where the characters of the documentary are literally their interiors and merge with them in amazing way can be translated as the individual becoming their own house.
Im happy with how my fabrics are looking but I think I need something more neutral to combine them because its all so textural that I feel that in some point the eye will need to rest.
I have been using different materials and experimenting with them, since one of the things that interestes me are the ripped surfaces Ive been trying different techniques to imitate this kind of "Crystallisation" that happens, the best try was the one where I mixed glue with salt and ink.
In terms of draping I will finish my samples and put in into the body recreating some things of my research to keep developing ideas since my work till now still a lot of textiles and mood stuff.
Today I have started doing some shapes and from that start doing design development also including all my research ideas on it. I think its going well but then I decided that it would be better to drape, so I started using my samples and fabrics and it was so much better than only doing it from shapes.
I developed a lot my designs from the drappings and Im trying to keep including research references to make it look more interesting, but what I am realising is that it would be better if I keep developing my research to another side, the thing its that this its being complicated. Also to be honest I have been pretty sad these days, I hope this doesn't make my work worst but I will keep working as much as im doing it.
What I am starting to realise is that sometimes I am to conceptual, which I don't think its bad but in order to develop my project in more successful pathways it would be better to at the same time research in things more deeply I mean, if I found a still of the move daises which I'm doing research on that has something that in terms of "shapes" or something in particular relates keep going into that direction so in that way I will have more references for my design developments, I always focus a lot in the mood of the project and relied a lot on this and drawings. From now on, (I will have my tutorial tomorrow so after this) I will try to dig in more in this way to see if I can make it work better.
Also another issue I am noticing is that I need to be clearer with my collar palette. Although I am not changing it all the time neither doing crazy things, it goes sometimes in one direction and sometimes in other which I think its okey but now I need to clarify it in order to be more refined when Im doing my fabric selections and my combinations. The thing its that sometimes its hard to find the materials that have the colours I need and also its quiet expensive, but I will find the way to resolve this problem
Weeks 5,6 , 7
After my tutorial where I was told that my project was going in the right direction but I needed to push forward my design development and draping experimentations I went into the charity shop to buy some "interior" stuff that relates to my project.
Before starting with this I tried to clear up my sketchbook as a whole and start introducing into it some parts of the story I wrote for the project about this nightclub called "Eccentric Decadence" where all the different ages, times, genders, origins, merge into one place where nobody cares about it, all the people here are at the fringe of social norms, and don't give a fuck.
I think this made my idea so much clearer and makes the sketchbook more fluid, from this I decided that for my final outcome besides the garment I would like to do a little book with parts of the story and pictures taken by me with the garment on it telling the story.
I am also developing my textiles samples and I putting a lot of input in the dolls ruffles and structures but keeping the idea of interiors and curtains for the shapes too
I been trying to merge this in some drapings
I got some curtains, and old dolls to start experimenting on the body with it. I started to be interested in the different ways curtains can be hold and how can I include this in my process of design development.
The ideas that came from the dolls usage into the body were not successful in my opinion since I found it to be very literal.
Although I agree with one of the tutors that told me to be more experimental and out of the body this is becoming really difficult for me since I love working with the human silhouette and can't deal with enormous shapes.
I used the drapes of the curtains and got some interesting stuff that I want to keep working with.
Today we had the crit and it went well, my project its looking cohesive but what Im a little bit worried about is the idea that I need to find more interesting details to push forward in my design and also I'm feeling the need of some new references.
It might be good for me to look to some fashion designers at this points since my research has been focused a lot into interior design and it might help me with my development.
I feel like the drapings that i have been doing makes the elements in use look like stacked in the body and not merging into the envoriement, I think if i try that like in the artwork of Francesca Woodman, will make everything flow in a better way but also I want them to make it look like the objects stops being the object in itself.
It is important to me that all the research I have made from the beginning to the lately part of the project are shown in the design development. I feel that for that it is important to have in count which materials I am using and for what, since some of my themes are completely opposite and at the same time similar as the nightlife in London 70s vibe from Nan Goldin to the decayed dolls of Jan Svankmajer have a concept in common but the shapes are from one side more rebellious and the others more conservative
One of the ideas I though is using the net for the ruffles but then I tried out and the result was something really weird
I did some drapings trying to merge the curtain more into the body and I got something that I like because it also resembles to the dolls ruffles. I want to keep working with this but it will have to be in drawings in order to experiment more and then go back into real life
I´m feeling stressed and stuck. I can't move one from the last dropping I did. I think what is holding me back is the idea that I found something that I like and that can be included in my final garment, and from that I can't move one, but in order to keep developing the idea and make the final garment stunning I need to keep researching and draping and I don't know why Its getting difficult for me. I want to include more research so I can't be inspired but at the same time I don't know what to include since I got a lot of stuff.
I get really inspired by performance arts so I watched a couple of movies. "The bitter tears of Petra Von Kant" by Fassbinder since one of my tutor recommended it as film that depicts "Decadence" also, Alice from "Jan Svankmajer" and the way he works with the use of dolls, the inside and the outside and the creepy side inspired me a lot.
Also I got from a secondhand book store a book from Aubrey Beardsley, I bought just for me and then reading about him I find out he is part of the art "Decadent" movement, so I started to read about it and the whole concept of it relates a lot with what Ive been working as the concept of decadent, of course it has the same word but its a tricky one since many concepts live on the same word but its beautiful to see how it all relates
I got another book call "Decadents and Symbolism" and I got many artists from this, what is cool is that their pieces have a lot of garment details that I started to include in my development and get ideas from it, these things are giving dramatist to my design development making it more ornamental and decorative, that it is what the decadent style in decoration means too, I am not sure is what I want in the end but we will see, from now Im creating new ideas to develop
I have been developing a lot in my drawings but its getting harder to picture it in the draping. So I think the best to do here is not do a complete draping but focus on details and then develop the rest into my illustrations.
I think that what its being successful is how I am mixing all the research I made, of course if you see only the result you will not guess this is this but reading it and then looking at the draping in itself it merges everything.
I am going to Argentina and I will try to work the most from there but this next days I will be traveling, 14 hours of plane GOD.
I been working a lot on my textiles samples because although I have been working with the idea of decay and conservation into my samples I think it will make sense with my concepts that this holes and the marks look like something old but at the same time fancy and indulgent, so using gold pearls could be a good idea, so they will represent the marks around walls scraps that are like crystals but in a fake glam way.
I think the most successful ones are the ones where i mixed this jewellery with ashes ink stains and salt, since the merge of this materials into different fabrics achieve the look I'm looking for for them.
I started embroidering the curtains since that is something I know I'm gonna use for my final piece, and I kept doing drawings on me and my friends bodies, this past to weeks I have been on holidays my work has not been successful, I regret coming here but it was an urgency, not having my materials, a sewings machine and stand really affected my performance. I kept reading some books about decadence and symbolism, and watch some films that inspired me.
Also I did a lot of drawings incorporating old ideas from the begging of the projects with some new ones and merging the new inspirations, I did it in loose sheets to be more free to express what i want and the refine it for the sketchbook when I arrived to London and have all my materials.
I did some more drapings but i think they are not being successful since I am not being bold enough and I got really into something and can't get out of that.
The thing I did which I think it was successful was transforming the curtain into a decayed pleated typically 20s skirt.
Since Brassai women has been a focus point of my research and even though they are outrageous and sometimes the dresses and skirts they were are see trough, or next to the picture they are wearing this kind of garments they are naked, the pleated skirt is really present, but because I am talking about decayed, old stuff and also breaking with the stereotypes of the ages im picturing it I think in a conceptual point of view would be amazing to pleated the curtain and then deconstructing it and make it look as old but in a fancy and beautiful way.
I did this and I think its the only thing i like i ve been doing the past few days.
This detail is the one I like the most, The curtain border surrounding every line of the body looks really good, Also I been researching into studio 54, disco, and overall Grace Jones, and seeing pictures of her using outrageous bodysuits made me think that something like that may look good in the garment as the thing that supports the "curtains".
I did some experimentations of what can go down the fabrics to explore more ideas, as I did not have anyone to help me i did it on myself, so I am sorry for the following pictures..
This last draping made met think that a shiny fabric could make the curtain detailed more emphasised and at the same time make it look different.
From now I need to do a lot of developing in terms of illustration, drawings, and coming with new ideas, that its what I need now
I feel that my sketchbook is lacking of materiality now, at the beginning of the project I was all in multi/media and it was looking amazing now because i got a lot to do in 3D work I am doing everything 2D in the sketchbook and looks more flat and less interesting so I think I will try to work more in detailed there
WEEK 8 AND 9
I go back from holidays to London and meet up with one of my tutors, the only tangible thing i had to bring was the embroidery and some loose ideas in loose sheets, what my tutor told me was to start working really hard on my development of the actual garment, that there is no much time and also that I need to make the curtains look interesting, that the things I did with the embroidery of the rusty metal, and the beads is good but there need to be more of that.
I Know what to do now,, I will draw some different ideas for the body suit, go to the fabric shop and start constructing it, also I will be more outrageous with the embroidery.
I feel because I need to handle the garment in a few days I will keep using my sketchbook as tool for developing new ideas and leave the rest for when I finish my garment.
I went to Dalston Mills to buy fabric and it was a LIFE CHANGING thing, first of all I went back to the idea of including net into the garment as in the beginning, (idea I got from a Man Ray surreal doll picture and also from Nan Goldin images of drag friends using it)
Since I think that with the flowers will look good as a combination. Besides that I got amazing fabrics for the bodysuit, I went for a kind of see-trough shiny gold fabric that combines with my research, i got a lavender satin that relates with the doll part and then a mixed purple gold pink shiny and funny fabrics that it reminded me a lot of grace jones, the mix of these together is beautiful and it fits with my colour scheme of course
I don't know ANYTHING of patter cutting so from the design I got from my bodysuit i grabbed one of my bodysuits took the measures and transformed it into something that fits what Im aiming for, Eva let me use her sewing machine. The construction of the body suit was successful in terms of learning to pattern make but I don't know I feel it does not merge that well with the part of the curtain, anyway I will keep doing it and when the foundation is finished I will correct it
Clearly there is 2 things to be resolved as soon as posible
- The back part
-including the net in a subtile way and not make it look like it just stuck there randomly
I will be dealing with this issues in the next days
I have been working a lot in how will be the final look of the back side. I was really into making it into a half skirt, but making into like a pant but that stills look as a skirt seems as a good idea and it reallyreminds me to the studio 54 and disco vibes.
Also I been patch working the curtain flower fabric with other curtains and blankets and pillow caseses founded in the charity shops to make it look more interesting and include different types of interior things.
i Found some cheap gold an green beautiful beads that I will be using into the embroidery, I like the idea
I spent all day from 1030 to 00:00 doing embroidery into the curtain so no much reflection about this besides its looking beautiful, the idea of the patch working has been really good since the red of some of the blankets makes the other things pop out even better.
I put everything together and realised that the things I am not happy with are the pattern cut of the upper part of the bodysuit and I still can't resolve the back part.
I have been working in the accessories. I did an earring using the hand of an old doll from the ones I bough in the charity shop and enhance it with beads and gold wire following the concept of the garment and it looks beautiful, I wear it for school and 3 different people asked me to do one for them and they will buy it.
Also I did some pair of glasses, they were present during the draping bringing the "grey gardens vibe" but of course I would not present it and use it as they come so I put the beads i'm using into the garment and they also look gorgeous.
Looking at my sketchbook looking for ideas for the detailing and for improving the garment I came with one picture of a draping that has in the down side of the "dress" coping the shape of another picture of the research and it was made with a big sample I had I was not using so I grabbed it and sew it into the front of the "skirt" and it made the piece look much more complete.
I am working a lot on the details, what it seem to be in my sketches a big ruffle on the side ended up being a small thing attached to the upper part of the body suit, I think making it more subtle helped to make it more refined and not look as costume.
It is important to me to follow the idea of the story I create and make the dress look decay as in the end of the story, the garment that "Dead Flower" is wearing but not looking as a costume thing, if not as something that it could be wearable.
I put the garment into my model, that is my flatmate, she arrived yesterday from holidays and its really good for me because from now on I can tailor it on her and be more aware of everything and trying different thing 24/7
One of the things that I realised is that making the top as a two sleeves thing and not tying to the neck as it used to be as much more the "romantic" vibe that I wanted to give, since the fabrics and the down part of the bodysuit still communicate the "studio 54" vibe and also the fabrics I am using this change show even more the contrast and changes the piece in not a "cliche" of that time, and it includes some of the garment details I-'ve seen in the movie The Bitter tears of Petra Von Kant.
I did patch working into the new sleeve and put some beads on it, its looking beautiful, but I am not happy with the back yet. The net down the dress still not cool as I would wish to. So i cut it down and make some ruffles with a yellow fabric I have been working in the drappings, I started to do some layers since I saw this idea in a book about 20's garments. and because of the whole idea of the "20s decayed pleated skirt" putting the net as layers with the dolls ruffles would be a good way of merging the inspirations.
I also finished the back as a kind of a trouser but an open trauser. This idea was in the beginning of my sketchbook and although it does not look refined enough when its putted into the body it looks good.
Tomorrow I have the shoot so it needed to be done
The shoot was good, the tutors told me it looked amazing and they also liked a lot the accessories, I am happy with it but I will be doing my own shoot in the afternoon.
I did my own shoot, I did it by myself since I love taking pictures, use an anagogic camera since it makes sense with the whole concept and story of the project. I tried to recreate a scene of the story I wrote. Into a passage where there is a broken white wall that is beyond beautiful. I will be developing the pictures tomorrow and if they look good I will do a look book
Developed the pictures and they look stunning I am so happy with it since it communicates my view very accurately.
I decided to do the look book in a crafty way. Hand made and in each picture I will write a part of the story I wrote at the beginning of the project.
I am really happy with the result and will include it in my FMP.
Tomorrow we have to hand in the garment also to the tutors and the way I resolved the back of the garment make it look loose into the hang so what I did was pinned the front so that part is stretchier and show the embroidery and all the hours I put on it in a better way. I don't know if it can be wearable in that way but anyway its for the presentation.
Reflecting into if my final garment reflects my research and the different directions that it took I think it does,