During this term, I was fortunate enough to form a solid and substantial grasp of the aesthetic of my assigned NEWGEN designer Molly Goddard. I came to discover that her work centers largely around the themes of childhood and nostalgia, and both are very apparent in her work. They can be seen sprinkled throughout each one of her collections, but I believe that the collection that differentiated itself the most from the rest was her most recent SS17 collection. Instead of opting for her typically unconventional presentation style of show, she decided to have the models walk in a pseudo rave.
I took her grand leap in presentation style as a jumping off point as inspiration for my project. I had watched a SHOWstudio panel headed by Lou Stoppard early on in the term that discussed Molly’s aesthetic choices as well as her AW16 collection. One of the panelists, Sonnet Stanfill, fashion curator at the V&A, brought up that Molly frequently uses techniques that were implemented for royalty and utilized in English couture in the 19th and 20th centuries centuries such as smocking, surface embellishment and fine finishing techniques. I am personally intrigued by the Edwardian era, so I thought it seemed to be a natural progression to base my final images off of that time.
My initial concept was to create an Edwardian inspired photo album out of photos that I would have taken on large format camera. I rented a large format camera from the media store at LCF a week before I had planned my initial studio day in order to properly familiarize myself with the equipment before the day came to take the images themselves. I taught myself everything there is to know about shooting on 5x4 film, and was extremely confident that I wouldn’t encounter any issue along the way.
I recruited my contacts and friends to come in and sit for me, a choice that I think ended up being beneficial to me especially because Molly frequently casts her own friends in her shows and campaigns.
Unfortunately, when I received the images back from the developer and I was informed that something had gone wrong in the development process I knew the images were unfit for use. I had to begin from scratch and completely re-conceptualize. Fortunately, I had digital backup and I ended up using those images as a baseline to create my illustrations using the same concept.
I chose to do each of the illustrations on the same shade of saccharine pink cardstock with both the purpose of creating a unified visual aesthetic for each image and to evoke Molly's classic design signature. I created each illustration in graphite specifically to emulate her intricate making processes. Keeping to my direction of a photo album, I chose to mount each illustration onto a different sheet of fabric that reflects Molly's aesthetic. I remained true to my original idea by customizing an archival box with tulle and embroidery, both reflective of Molly and her embroidery exhibition that is currently showing at NOW Gallery. I used a childlike font for the cover in order to harken back to the aspects of childhood Molly frequents in her work. I believe the package I am presenting could be a strong base for invitations for future collections.
I am proud to say that I do not think I have ever challenged myself so much in one assignment. Even though the strategy is not what I originally intended it to be, I overcame so many of the obstacles and produced imagery that I am happy to put my name on.