screen printing in my studio

It’s been a while since my last post here, but I’ve been hard at work and things are really developing now. I’m getting ready to launch my retail website for the clothing pieces I’ve been working on, and I’ll be posting about some things I’ve been putting together in preparation.

Some of my pieces will be decorated with screen printed graphics. I put together a screen printing rig so that I can create these myself in my studio. Building in constraints at the beginning, like limiting my color palette and graphics sizes, allowed me to build a setup that fills my needs but is manageable in my small space. I can always evolve this if I need to, but for now I am excited at the possibilities of what I can make.

photoshoot teaser

Back after another little hiatus. Got a lot of things done in the meanwhile, including 3 new hoodies, the flapper dress, another hooded project, and 3 photoshoots in one week. Two of the photoshoots were for my dedicated fashion brand website, which I will be launching soon. I’m just going to post a few teaser shots here, so as not to spoil the surprise. Huge thanks of course to Kim for the magical photography.

flapper dress: complete

I’m happy to report that I was able to complete my flapper dress in time for Halloween festivities this year. Everything went well with the design and sewing of this piece, with only a few minor hitches here and there (as expected). It’s great to compare the final dress with my initial sketch and see how close they are, that hardly ever happens!

Kim and I decided to do an evening light photoshoot at the Legion of Honor here in SF. I love how the pictures turned out, for the full set of images click here.

side project: flapper dress

I’ve decided to be a flapper for Halloween this year, since I’ve always loved Roaring Twenties/Art Deco style and my hair is already in a short bob. I couldn’t find an appropriate 20′s style dress pattern so I drafted my own version from scratch. This is what I came up with for the dress pattern, but this is not the final fabric – since my first muslin only required a few changes, I figured I would make a full mock up for the dress out of this pretty striped fabric and end up with another wearable dress. It’s still in the unfinished state, but I will come back to the finishing details on this one when the real dress is complete.

update: new hoodies

Quick update since it’s been a while since I posted anything. I’ve been focusing on the hoodies for my line, I believe they are a good place to start establishing the identity of my brand, I have tons of ideas for them, and they can be direct descendents of my earlier projects.

First up, an asymmetrical color-block hoody:

I am also working on a hoody with leather “feathers” appliquéd asymmetrically on one shoulder. These pictures show some paper feathers blocking out the initial design (unfinished, front only), the final feathers will be black leather for a more subtle black-on-black finish.

new prototype: the ‘Jessica’

This is a piece I am working on for my Future Architecture concept. It’s called “Jessica” and is inspired by Jessica’s hooded cloak in David Lynch’s Dune (1984). It’s still a work in progress (missing buttons/closures), and I will be making several changes and cleaning things up for the final piece, but Kim and I decided to do a preliminary photo shoot anyway. Kim got some amazing shots, which motivates me even more to complete the final version.

See the full set of images here.

sleeve cap experiment

This is a sample of a sleeve cap I’m working on for one of my Future Architecture hoodies. I made this up in 1/2 scale out of scrap fabric so I could experiment with the shape of the flange between the gathered sleeve and the armhole. I like this proportion so I thought I’d capture it for the record.

here’s my card

I made up some business cards to make it easier for me to share my blog with people I meet in the real world. The magenta is pretty intense but I’m happy with how they turned out.

new tool: half size dress form

I ordered a half scale dress form to work on while I design my pieces, because I figured it would be faster and save me material to iterate on a smaller scale. It came in the mail yesterday and I’m so excited to work with it! In addition to saving me time and money, I think it will also be mentally easier for me to be less precious about details while experimenting, knowing that I’m working on a small scale prototype and not a final piece.

I’m not finding much information out there about considerations or process when using a half size dress form, other than work by the legendary Madeleine Vionnet. I’m just going to dive right into it and record what I learn here.

ideation

After finishing the concept book, I plunged myself into 2 days straight of sketching design ideas. In that time I generated probably around 70-80 distinct sketches. I usually have music going while I work, but I decided to add more inspiration the process, and played several classic sci-fi movies back to back while I sketched (thanks to Mike for the idea!). The movies I chose were THX 1138 (1971), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Tron (1982) and Dune (1984). I had planned to include Logan’s Run (1976) and The Fifth Element (1997) as well, but honestly I was pretty movied-out by the end of the second day. Also, my sketching hand was about to give out, and I had already generated a ton of material.

Next, I went through all the sketches and organized them: I made piles of sketches that could work for each look, and one rather large backburner/reject pile. I’m keeping everything though, there is some good stuff that ended up in the reject pile just because it isn’t really on target for my concept, so I’m saving that stuff for possible use in the future.

Each group of sketches will be developed into a single design (one per look) that I will draw as front and back views in color. I am expecting to do multiple versions of each before coming to final designs, and I’ll likely make some changes to the individual looks once I can view all three side by side.

And of course, in addition to design considerations, there are construction challenges I’ll have to tackle as well. That’s why I chose the word “Architecture” to describe these pieces, it’s a term that marries design and construction, which, to me, is what makes a man-made object beautiful.