NYFW…. Role Models!

Reading the news about New York Fashion Week, and the last week of fashion shows, one story stuck out for me.
‘Role models not runway models’
This was a clever idea started last year by one designer under the name of Carrie Hammer. Her innovative idea was to use, instead of the typical thin model seen every year, her own clients therefore really presenting her brand and what she stands for.
Last year was the year of the wheelchair user where Carrie got one of her close friends, Danielle Sheypuk, to model her clothing. This was a turning point in fashion and Danielle was the first wheelchair user to go down a catwalk at fashion week.

This time round was for Down syndrome diagnosed Jamie Brewer who stunned down the catwalk in her custom black 50’s style dress. This has been the story of many a newspaper and blogger, each and everyone of them praising her for her bold statements.¬†Although I agree with her idea of using real women she doesn’t really use ‘real everyday’ women. All of her clients are people high up in the business chain, even Jamie Brewer is already a celebrity with her starring in the popular show ‘American Horror Story’.

Im all for diversity and branching from the stick thin models that are so over used and last year. I have been an avid believer that when I finally get my line that my models will be real women like my friends and family. I agree completely with her using disabled people to show off her creations but why not take it one stage further. If you’re not using stick thin models and create the clothing to fit whoever you choose models it why not use everyday off the street pedestrians. Go ahead and use your mother or the old lady down the street.

Lets face it age is now becoming a big factor is fashion with a lot of older ladies becoming fashion icons. Im all for it. You go girl. This statement is quite elegantly put in this link here where they question if 2015 will be the year for the mature models.

So in conclusion, yes I completely agree she should be praised for her diverse look at how she modelled her collection. But I just feel she slightly missed the mark with using celebrity figures and not the random lady on the street. The real people she wants to wear her clothing. Concentrate on the diversity not the celebrity.

Until next time….

Sasha x

Inside Out

Well here it is my first university project in its entirety!

As you may have guessed the project was called ‘Inside Out’ and the outcome was to design a Jacket using Nature, specifically exoskeletons, as out inspiration.

I looked into designers who used nature in their work such as Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Wesfeld and Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse.

I decided I wanted to use Coral as my start point but hadn’t realised the variety there are to choose from. I started with looking at lettuce coral as that looked a little like an Alexander McQueen dress I liked. It had a black to cream ombre and almost looked like ironed in pleats. Using this as inspiration I tried to recreate the texture from the dress by making a rosette type circular base where i pleated the fabric as i sewed. This created almost a too structured look as the fabric weight and type was too strong with no stretch. After trying this sample on the mannequins I decided this wasn’t the look I wanted to develop.

I further researched into types of coral and found my favourite was a circular type of coral that can be seen in my pictures below. It looked a little like wire circles all stringed together and wrapped in wool or thread. I thought this looked a little like some of the deconstructed Alexander McQueen dresses alto pictured and decided from this that I wanted to create a lace look.

Experimenting with stretch lace and embroidered mesh, I used a heat gun to see if I could create a more interesting texture. This had to include circular aspects that matched my coral inspiration. None of my attempts worked as the lace pretty much broke down instantly and became plastic to the touch. From this I remembered I had made a lace like structure in previous years with the use of dissolvable fabrics.

Digging out my old work I discovered I had some of my rice wafer paper left (which amazingly you cannot find in shops anymore) and set to work. I sewed onto the rice paper using my sewing machine and two different feet; an embroidery foot for movability and freehand sewing and a straight foot for fashion stitches and straight lines.

I tried both on this method and only the straight foot worked. This created grid like structures that I deemed too harsh for the soft feel I was going for. Speaking to my tutor I found out about a variety of dissolvable fabrics and decided on the cheaper and all around easier to work with AquaSol. In the end I bought 5 Meters of this stuff and boy did I need it!

Sewing with the fabric in an embroidery circle and the embroidery food I settled on a circular motion creating the circular sample you can see in the pictures. I chose this to be my final fabric design, oh boy did I not know what I was in for!

I looked into shapes and styles of jackets that I liked in particular Chanel jackets, they were simple and beautifully tailored. Somehow Chanel jackets are timeless and this fascinates me, how a jacket can be so well designed to be loved still decades later. I chose a simple short cropped style that cut at the waist. Although I loved the longer versions and where I played with the sizes of the collars and sleeves, I felt if I was going to make my own lace it had to be the main attraction. And boy was it!

The lace outer, made in my final pattern pieces, took around 200 hours to create. I even had my own mother sewing it while I completed the paper work side of things (mood boards, final designs and illustrations, not forgetting my evaluation that ended up being 3 pages long). Man I can talk. God bless her, she truly was my saviour! I created my inner jacket out of plain white cotton, which I dyed with diluted ink to a coral colour, and a bright white polyester silk suitable for wedding dresses if you ask me. Sewing this was a challenge as I had no previous experience with jacket making or making facing. I had never even lined anything I have previously made so when it was completed, albeit with the help of my amazing mother, I was ecstatic with the result.

Placing the lace patter pieces over the jacket we got a feel for the size and what else we needed to add to make it fit perfectly. The best way to sew these pieces together was with a hand stitch around the sleeve connection and bonding the shoulder and sides together by merging them on the sewing machine. This created a clean line and stopped the jacket from looking too pieced together.

After many hand washes and an iron the jacket was done and it was finally over. Hand in day was here!

You can see the final product, paper work and all below.

The stress was over and believe me it was worth it!

Final grades Distinction Distinction!

Personal Triumph if you ask me! After 2 years of thinking I was terrible… this was a little bit of closure!

Til next time

Sasha x

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Hello world!

So this is my first attempt at a blog and I know I’m just going to be terrible. Lets just hope you learn something about me, my style and thoughts and maybe I can learn something about you. So here it goes.

My name is Sasha Wakelin although I love to call myself Lacey Julianne ( my middle names) . Im a 21 year old girl (I still wouldn’t class myself as a woman yet). I am an adult in some senses, I drive and have had a couple of jobs since I was 16. I am irrevocably a major fuck up and am just trying to learn from the massive amount of mistakes I make.
I am slowly getting better at life and like to think I’m a pretty strong person. (I hope)

I am currently in my first year (again) at university studying Fashion with Textiles. I finally feel like I’m in a place I can complete my studies and finally get some closure I have so desperately craved. I am good at what I do and I must realise that.

Well lets hope that this can prove it all.

Speak to you soon

Sasha x