Sunday, February 20, 2011

30 Years of Fashion

This May will be the 30th Golden Scissors Fashion Awards show, conveniently themed, "30 Years of Fashion." The professional-quality show, presented by Mesa College's Fashion Department, recognizes our fashion students for their individual garments and full lines.

This is the second year I worked with the Publishing class on their photo shoot for the Save-the-Date postcard and other promo materials for the show. Last year I had a ball organizing the shoot for the "Graffiti and Lace" themed show - and introduced students to the exciting world of fashion photo styling. Read about last year's shoot.
This time we had three male models (all recruited from fashion classes and showing some amazing talent in front of the camera), wearing the fashion line created by Keith Bonar.

The enthusiasm of these students creating their own fashion shoot - watching them plan, style, accessorize, and shoot their own images - is one of the highlights of teaching!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Map Dress Update

I got to sew the "Fabric-Free" map dress yesterday! It was so much fun to start constructing it. (And on a weekday, how scandalous - I usually only let myself do art on weekends, a priority problem I have. But that's another article.) Overall the dress looks very wide now because it is paper and therefore kind of flat.
I cut out the shaped facings for the neckline. They will be sewn and turned to the inside for a nicely finished edge. I used Italy. The bodice is Southern France, front and back. The skirt front is Italy, too, and the skirt back is Mexico. I found quality maps in my from Michelin and American Map with white on the reverse side.

Here is the skirt back before construction, just after I cut it out.

The most fun was installing the zipper. It's a lapped zipper, more interesting and zipper-like than a centered zipper. I took it to my Apparel Construction class today so I could put it on a mannequin. There it looked quite good - except I will be narrowing down the skirt tapering to 2" less width on the bottoms of each seam.

So sewing on paper is interesting. The stitches work just fine and are strong enough. The difference is the flexibility compared to fabric. I really appreciate the flexibility of fabric now, even when it's on grain. Paper just stays where it is. Nonetheless it is amazing how you can manipulate it into curves.

More to come as the process progresses!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fabric-Free Fashion

Why am I ironing maps? Why am I cutting out a dress using my paper scissors? I was invited by guest curator Susan Lazear to participate in an exhibition at Visions Art Museum in San Diego.

The show is for wearable artists and fashion designers to transform their concepts into media other than fabric. They'll be displayed on mannequins in the gallery this spring.

Consulting with my muse (my husband, Gary) I decided on printed maps. Maps have always been my favorite component in collaged art pieces, usually just a section, though. This time I dug out full-sized Michelin maps of Southern France, Italy, and Mexico. And loving to use layers in my work, I'll also bring in some parchment with hand-drawn maps.

Yesterday was my chance to start working. I took a dress I'd recently designed (the Hospital Gown, but that's another story) and converted it into a muslin pattern for the map dress. The main pieces have been cut and will be sewn together with a zipper up the back and facings in the curved areas. I experimented and found that the paper responds well to stitching and that narrow facings produce a nicely shaped curve.

I'll keep posting on the progress - I am so excited about this project!