Two-piece with plugged bustle


The two-piece garment that I designed was made from a recycled size 22 dress, a small man’s shirt and a size 12 wrap-over dress, for the skirt lining (as seen in the photos above).


The skirt design was in part inspired by Julian Robert’s Plug Technique, as the outer edge of the shirt was inserted (or plugged) in to a spiral cut in to the back of the skirt. I then removed the shirt arms (and sewed the armholes together, and removed and asymmetric shape out of the back of the shirt and inserted in to a diagonal line in the front of the skirt. The plugged shapes have concealed cotton tape inside, to give the design fluidity but with some control. The bustle at the back can be rearranged at will (with more of the shirt on the inside or outside of the garment). The fastening for the skirt is at the centre front, and consists of two folded pleats going towards the centre and fastens with a buttonhole and buttons from the shirt.

The bodice design uses the shirt sleeves to shape the bust, and this wrap-over feature creates the front opening. When I tried this on my model the bodice was smaller than I imagined, so to rectify this I removed 15cm from the whole hem of the skirt, folded this in half and bagged it out, then attached it to the bottom of the bodice, creating small box pleats.

By plugging shapes in to this dress, the brings in the hidden features (and something going on inside/underneath) of the metamorphosis theme. Also, because the back plugged bustle is rearrangeable, this also incorporates organic growth, evolving and changing aspects of the theme. I was very pleased with the finished design and shape of this two-piece.

House Style Exhibition – Chatsworth House, Bakewell (25 March to 22 October 2017)


I visited the House Style exhibition at Chatsworth House in May. The exhibition showcases five centuries of fashion. Designers featured includes: Jean Phillipe Worth, Christian Dior, Gucci, Helmut Lang, Margiela, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

This was a very inspiring exhibition to see (with my love of costume and attention to detail). It also gave me the opportunity to see some of my favourite designer’s work (Dior, Westwood and McQueen).

The only downside to the exhibition, for me, was how some of the pieces were displayed. Some of the lighting made it difficult to see some of the detail. Certain sections were too cluttered (so it was easy to miss something). The dining room was cordoned off and some garments were around the other side of the table that you couldn’t get to, so you couldn’t see the whole of the garments on display. And one room featured the mannequins positioned in a circle, facing inwards, so you had to view the front of the garments from the other side of the circle, which meant you missed out on seeing the detail at the front. Having said this, it was still a very beautiful exhibition to go and see!