After making this at the beginning of the semester, where I interpreted an artist’s work into a mannequin, the final Art for Fashion project was design and produce a fully coordinated outfit inspired by a single piece of art. We could choose either a 3D representation on a mannequin like the ones we used for our first project, or 2D by collaging fabric onto a flat croquis on a stand. Each student was required to chose a painting as an inspiration, design the outfit and then select appropriate fabrics to make the design come to life.
The inspiration painting I chose is this painting by Elizabeth Moore-Golding. I found it using Google image search having entered ‘blue’ and ‘circle’ as my search terms.
The design for the dress was in my head immediately which I roughly sketched into my sketchbook and I then set out to make a dress for my half-scale mannequin.
The bodice is designed to be stiff and straight, with no contouring around the female upper body. In the sketch you will see the word ‘Elizabeth’ against the bodice. I had a Tudor style straight bodice in mind similar to those I had seen in paintings of Anne Boleyn. To achieve this, the bodice is fully faced from the waist up, the facing strongly reinforced with fusible interfacing. In a full sized dress, boning is likely to be needed along the piping and the wearer will need to get used to a bodice not completely hugging her body.
To reflect the spokes of the parasol, I used piping either side of the stiff bodice and along the panels of the skirt. My initial intention had been to use black piping, however my professor suggested that may be a little too harsh against the blue taffeta and not reflect the gentle brush strokes of the painting. While rummaging through my remnants, I found one of crushed brown/turquoise shot taffeta which worked perfectly. The crushed nature of the fabric gave the piping slightly uneven edges mimicking the brush strokes and the grey- rather than blackness of the painted spokes. To give the skirt the necessary stiffness, I made a petticoat to sit underneath it giving it the volume suggested by a parasol. The petticoat lies straight over the hips and then has two layers of tulle starting mid-thigh.
The final product together with jewellery and blue shoes is below: