Saturday, 20 July 2013

textiles a-level coursework dress

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
please ignore all the strange faces; when you're whole a-level class are laughing at you as you attempt to 'pose' whilst various teachers pretend to be photographers, it gets kind of awkward. also it was very windy and i was trying to stop the dress falling down, haha. 

this is what i made for my final textiles a-level coursework. it's a strapless ball down with a cape accessory (the cape is made perfectly, fyi, but i hate it, so let's not talk about it any more).
my project was based on the musical wicked, which you probably wouldn't get by just looking at the outfit, but there's lots of reasoning behind it. the fabric was supposed to be purple, as purple would compliment elphaba's green skin, but apparently NOWHERE stocks purple taffeta so i went with teal. taffeta changes colour under different lights making it representative of elphaba's mysterious, secretive personality. the bodice section is embellished with various wool fibres to make the fabric more unique, and the ruffled underskirt is an homage to elphaba's ruffled act II dress, which you can see here. the ruffles were supposed to only be seen when you kick out or walk in the dress to create a surprise element for the audience, but because of the zip placement it was difficult to conceal them completely. the skirt has 1 layer of gathered taffeta, 1 layer of gathered polyester lining (which the ruffles were sewn on to), and 3 layers of ruffled black netting. the bodice section is fully lined and, although you can't see it, has small cogs and watch parts sewn onto it to mimic the steam punk theme throughout wicked.
the cape was added for 4 reasons: if the dress turned out shit, or i had gone with a simpler design, it would bump up my grade; it would add another reveal element to the outfit; it would give the production team at wicked more options as to how to style my designs (as if it were to actually be used in the show); it would continue the 'witch' theme as research showed that witches often have capes. although i spent many laborious hours on this cape and it came out perfect, it looks awful with this outfit haha.
overall, i'm very proud of this. it's the most intricate thing i've ever made and everyone who saw it said it was incredible (thanks, haha). it was very ambitious, especially with the cape, but somehow i pulled it off in time for the deadline. it's the only thing i've ever made that 'fits' (it does fit, but the bodice could have done with being a little less shapely as i don't have the curves to fill it haha), and it does look amazing, just not on me.
i ended up getting 80/80, full marks, for this coursework, as i did for my as-level project and my gcse project, which apparently is a record that no one else has achieved haha! (according to my textiles teacher, who has taught at many schools since the 1980's, anyway) i absolutely adored doing all the research and all the designing for this project; before this last year, i was really starting to fall out of love with textiles, but finding such a great theme for my final project showed me just how much i could love it.
so, uh, yeah. i just finished my last ever year of textiles. best 4 school years of my life, haha! but now onto bigger and better things: studying a foundation diploma at art college, and then hopefully getting into a university to study costume design. :) i'm going to stop rambling now. BYE! x

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