I’m thrilled to be taking part in The Spirit of the Black Dress during the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2011, 14-20 March 2011. The Spirit of the Black Dress supports emerging fashion designers showing a comittment to sustainability. The brief calls for a dress in black that satisfies prescribed criteria relating to sustainability. The scope of the criteria is quite broad, so I will be intrigued to see the approaches the other designers have taken. What about my dress? I have recently sourced silk remnants from a number of designers across Melbourne – literally their offcuts that would otherwise be thrown out and I am exploring decorative and innovative ways in which these odd shaped and otherwise impractical pieces can be used. However, most of these remnants are in white or ivory, so how to make a dress in black??!
I decided to source what I could from around Melbourne and so set about assembling as many silk pieces as I estimated would be required for a dress.
Above is my self devised technique of “design by pinboard!” You can be begin to see that the dress takes the form of a drapey silk quilt. The principles of “Unstitched” are maintained with light hand-stitched joins and no cutting into the final quilt length. I’m pleased with the final outcome, although I’m not going to spoil the exhibition by showing it just yet! As anyone who has tried to dress head to toe in black can attest to, no two garments are ever the same, some are more blue, some purple, some green. In addition I had different fabric weaves such as crepes and satin which reflect light in different ways. I combined these fabrics though to make the differences in texture and colour a feature.
Above, the left over fabric at the end. The strip at the top is approx 1.5m. I used almost all the fabric I had collected for the gown, but I’m undecided as to whether it should all have been used, or whether it’s ok to have a little wastage at the end. I’m going to keep thinking about this.