Sunday, 5 February 2012

Preparation For Tutorial

I am very busy trying to prepare for my tutorial.  I really need to focus.  I want to show them two 1/2 size garments.  One is constructed and the other is still in pattern pieces.  I did the stupidest thing the other day.  I was cutting out my pattern and in true Matty style, I decided to make the dress from silk chiffon.  Why silk chiffon? Well, of course, it's because I love it and I couldn't resist it but really it's not helpful. Anyway, I carefully laid out the chiffon, easing and blowing out any creases, lying it between brown paper and tissue paper.  I cut the back out on the fold and then in a moment of complete madness, lost my concentration and decided to neaten up the brown paper to which the piece was lying and I sliced the CB right down the middle. Man oh man!!  One CB ruined in a second.  Thank God it wasn't a full size garment.  I write this just to remind myself of the pitfalls of losing one's concentration.  Anyway garments progress.....

This morning, I had a brain wave.  I was hanging out some linen that had been washed in my home (my husband was washing the lengths to get rid it of the dressings etc) when my light bulb went on.  Aha!!  Forget the silk chiffon, linen is the way to go.  Of course it is.  I've been staring at an unpicked 18th century linen bodice so of course I must use linen.  These linen lengths came from Spence Bryson in Ireland.  Funny as I just looked them up and their site says they are a hankerchief manufacturer.  This linen is fine and gorgeous and I think will gather beautifully.

Additionally, I am trying to formulate a mind map showing my literature/contextual review.  Although, it's totally not the way I think, it's very useful and guess what I am going to create it in AI (Adobe Illustrator  ha ha).  I've no idea what I am doing but now with my new Adobe Creative Suite installed, I've got to use it.  By the way, on the subject of mind maps, we had a really informative session with Dr Caroline Gardiner and in her handout she suggested using a free software package called Compendium.  Well, I am sure it's brilliant but I wasted an hour and a half trying to figure out how to put my work on it and still couldn't do it.   My mind map is formulating my way forward and clearly outlining that I have wasted some valuable time reading irrelevant literature, irrelevant to my research.  Good literatutre but not needed for me.  Annoying.

I've only got one more drawing lesson with Celia at CSM.  I've loved it so much.  Life drawing all day Saturday is so relaxing.  I've learnt so much.  She's a brilliant teacher and I love all the people in my class.  I wish it wouldn't end but...........  Being a PhD student is so fabulous 'cos it's an excuse to do all these extra things in the name of research.   One girl flies in from Bucharest each weekend for this class. Blimey.

Taste
Clothing for Sale in Organic market in Olargues, South West France

Taste, the idea of taste.  What's good taste?   Good and bad taste in clothing is  linked in with identity (and in my opinion branding).  When I was in the South of France, this summer, I went to an organic market.  Apart from being incredibly expensive, without thinking I bought the most expensive melon in the whole of Europe (8 euros!), there were clothes stalls and yes, they were selling your typical organic clothing.  Revolting.  The cotton was undyed and constructed in France but no normal person would truly want to wear it.  Here's the thing, it's only the truly committed who will wear this type of clothing and as a designer I want to create clothing that the committed/half committed and not really committed want to buy because they are lovely, stylish and wearable.   Clothing that doesn't say "I'm committed [to the cause] and only wear this type of clothing because I am committed!!!"  I am thinking on the page but I think it's very important.  I have started reading 'Distinction' by Bourdieu to get a clearer understanding to arguments and theories around 'taste'.

 In the opening paragraph of the introduction is a quote by Paul Claude, from Le soulier de satin

"Take one of our good pupils, for example:  modest and diligent, from his earliest grammar classes he's kept a little notebook for  phrases.
After hanging on the lips of his teachers for twenty years, he's managed to build up an intellectural stock in trade; doesn't it belong to him as if it were a house, or money"

That quote really resignated with me.  Maybe it obvious but it leads on to the whole concept of that question.  How do we acquire taste and style?

Books I am Reading?
Digital SLR for Dummies.  I will master my camera.
Distinction:  A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste by Pierre Bourdieu
Silk Designs of the 18th Century by Natalie Rothstein
and whilst pattern cutting I always consult Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich.
And for pleasure, I have just finished The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (what a book that is).  There is a paragraph where a young Russian greets our narrator.  His clothing is described as being made of brown Holland and has been patched beautifully.  The patches are exquisite colours and patterns (African obviously) but what the narrator notices is how beautifully they are been sewn.  To me that is interesting - a man commenting, in a book about the neatness of the stitches in the patching of a garment.  I know Richardson writes about sewing all the time in 'Pamela' but here we are about 150 years later ....
Not sure where I am going with this.

1 comment:

  1. Matty,
    This is fascinating stuff. A good 'taking stock' and 'notes to self' sort of thing. The discourse around how one acquires taste is also interesting and your stumbling upon those organic clothes in the south of France raises the question I often wonder about... 'are people actually enjoying such clothing or are they just simply making a statement, jumping on that 'cool' bandwagon.
    Keep going with your camera. Really, it's not hard. Forget the manual! Just play around with it, but make a few notes to remember what buttons you pressed etc. That's what I do, anyway.
    Mmmm...Adobe Illustrator. Sorry, but I just don't get it either. I dabbled with it in my recent project and it was a headache. I'm with you on this score - reading books/manuals about these applications can be such a waste of time when it still just doesn't work for you.
    I love Heart of Darkness by Conrad. I dipped into this book when writing an essay on 'Chromophobia'. From a fine artist's point of view this book is a chiaroscuro, a literary work of contrasts exploring light and shade; black and white.
    Life drawing! :) Enjoy! A very relaxing past-time. Tx

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