My ideas for this project started once I got the theme M.A.R.S and Order and Chaos. I immediately thought of the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses and the mythology that surrounds them. During lessons, we explored pop up constellations which made me look at the stars as something to include in my final design. I also looked at artists and designers who had used ancient Greece in their work and was particularly inspired by some of Dolce and Gabbana’s work as it explored all aspects of ancient Greece. All of the pieces were so beautiful and intricate and I wanted to create something like that for the chaos side of my dress.
I explored M.A.R.S through the gods and stars that I chose:
- Maths and Art – The bodice and overall silhouette of the chaos side of my dress are inspired by the armour that the goddess Athena wears, and Athena is the goddess of mathematics and the arts.
- Religion- The stars have religious links throughout history and many people are still influenced by them today. Ancient Greek gods and goddesses were worshipped and given offerings in exchange for a good harvest, luck, prosperity and much more
- Science- The stars have always interested scientists, and the life cycle of stars is very interesting to me. Athena is also known to have links to science and inventing.
I enjoyed the fashion drawing aspect of this project and creating a series of fashion designs inspired by rough outfits I had come up with. I also really liked making the pop-up constellations, as I love the illustration that goes along with the Zodiac and the maps of the stars and their place in the sky. However, I found it hard to use items of clothing as something different in the chaotic styling workshop, and I struggled with making some of the other chaotic workshops look aesthetically pleasing to me – I prefer a more ordered style of work. I used time-lapse to film the process of making my final piece as it was able to show all of the work that goes into creating one element of the dress, whereas as a short video of clips would not show the full extent of the work and construction put into the piece.
My final idea for my outcome was a dress that shows the chaos and turmoil of the Greek gods, the fighting, the wars, and the worshipping. As the god of war, Athena was a very powerful and popular god and I used her to represent the wars that occurred between mortals, between the gods, and between mortals and gods, all the while the mortals still worshipped the gods and gave them offerings. I depicted Mt Olympus scattered with cracks, to show that the gods where put on a pedestal, but that pedestal was constantly being challenged by the mortals and by the in-fighting amongst the gods. I also added in constellations that appeared in Greek mythology and that we still reference today. These constellations were placed in the sky by gods who decided to show sorrow and kindness after slaying more deserving mortals, placing their images forever in the stars.
Doing my final piece in lockdown presented many challenges, mostly making me think hard about how I could accomplish what I had designed with limited resources. I had to think about what resources I had or could get, and everything I wanted to do on my dress had to be thought through carefully to check if I could accomplish it at home. I also found it hard to find the motivation at times, to get up and do the dress when I was the only one able to tell myself to keep going. Problems I encountered in the making of the dress were mainly when I was sewing the two halves together when I realised the waistlines of both dresses were at different heights, which was very jarring, so I unpicked the chaos bodice from the skirt and re-sewed the waistline higher so the sides matched. I also realised when I was doing the final fitting of the dress that if I wanted to model it I wouldn’t be able to get in and out of it if I sewed the back up as planned. To solve this I decided to use Velcro strips which made sure that the dress remained nicely fitted, and because I placed them underneath the panels of vinyl and hot glued them they remained hidden.
I’m really happy with my outcome because it was not only the vision that I had for the dress but so much more! When I drew my design I thought I would have to change a lot of the dress, but I am so pleased that I was able to achieve the final fit and look that I wanted, it looks professional, high fashion, and I could see it being worn on the runway. The only thing I would change is the order side of the dress. If we were not in lockdown I would have like to have created the order side from a pattern cut, and I think that would have looked a lot better than the draping and sewing I did at home. I think that my time management was good in this project. I made a detailed plan of what had to be done and when and mainly kept to it unless something came up that I hadn’t thought about, such as forgetting that an arrow sheath needs a strap! So I had to think about strap ideas and then source, buy and collect what I needed locally to be able to finish the project on time. I found it hard to be motivated on days where a lot of writing was involved, or I had encountered a lot of problems, and I think in the next project, I need to go through every element I plan to do in my final piece and make sure I have what I need to accomplish it. But what I was able to do better with this project than with the last one was to problem solve throughout so that I could get the look that I wanted with limited resources.