Today I got the idea for the project. I was listening Vivaldi's Four Seasons by wooden instruments and suddenly the image of my friend Javier playing this piece with his violin came to my mind and also his Facebook picture of him dressed as a modern violinist.
How can express Javier's love for the music? Javier started a romance with music in his childhood. There were difficult moments in "the relationship" as violin is one of the most difficult instruments to play and it involves hard-work, but now, in his adulthood he is a successful violinist and Suzuki violin teacher. I'd like to celebrate in this project his love for music, and the instrument that let him reach the love: the violin. A wedding is the culmination/ celebration of love for human coupes and I was thinking about marring Javier to the music. I was thinking about creating a groom garment for Javier.
What material can help me express Javier's love for the music? In the painting La Marieé (The Bride) by Marc Chagall that I found on Javier's Facebook post, the bride wears a colourful dress but a white traditional veil. Most bridal veils are made out of tulle. I am going to use tulle for Javier to represent that he is married to music and an item associated with the feminine bride because I'd like to cross stereotypical gender roles.
From where can I take the colour palette? I want to reflect Javier's personality and I see him as a very colourful person. ColourStrings is an aspect of The Suzuki Method, which uses 4 meaningful colours: yellow represents the Sun, red is for the rooftop, green is for the meadow and blue is for the sea. The colours go from the highest yellow Sun, to the flat blue sea. The colours in this way represent the bow and its different positions. Relating the meaning of colour also to The Centre Pompidou, where the same four main colours represent an architectural code (blue for circulating air (air conditioning), yellow for circulating electricity, green for circulating water and red for circulating people (escalators and lifts).) I'd like to use these colours as a statement and to represent different aspects of Javier personality:
- GREEN: for its associations with nature, I'd like to represent regrowth. Javier went from being a violinist student to a violinist teacher.
- RED: for being empowered through the passions. Javier is a successful violinist because he made his passion his way of living.
- BLUE: through associations with the sky, the ocean, and water, I want to represent freedom and openness. Javier has been always a free soul and his mind always goes beyond his body.
- YELLOW: associating with Javier's blond hair as his identity physic feature, representing the link of childhood and adulthood.
As I consider black and white as no colours:
- BLACK: I will use black to underline the bold colours, that means that I will underline the meaning of each colour in my project.
- WHITE: I will leave white spaces in my painting, representing that I am leaving blank spaces for imagination, as this is an important aspect to develop creativity.
I collaged Javier with a picture of Wagner and his muse and I also added music, because both Javier and Music are my muses for this project:
Should I just focus on Javier of make the project more personal? I do believe in collaborative work. Although I am developing this project on my own, Javier is helping me with information and pictures about himself. He is also making public all his Instagram pictures (the hidden ones) for me to select the ones I find interesting. I find him a source of inspiration and I think himself as a person is powerful enough to focus the project around his persona.
I don't get the point when creative designers talk in singular and gain a celebrity fame and get a god consideration. I get the point that they are the creative force but they have a huge team behind them that make their ideas a tangible reality. They also take inspiration from previous designers or previous fashion eras as well as from art, architecture or social issues that the have not created. I strongly believe in synergies when there is a collaborative work.
I saw few days ago several Iris Van Herper's documentaries. I was already in love with her work but I absolutely felt for her personality. Van Herper was talking about how collaborations has made and are making her work stronger. When she had the ideas but not the technology or resources, collaborations made her ideas tangible. Van Herper was also talking about how she likes to create with her hands and how sometimes that is the point of start and not a sketch. I was really pleased to hear this as I like to develop textile swatches that might inspire further garment development. Not working in the order that most people spect you to do, doesn't mean that you are doing wrong, it's just different.
Today I got first feedback for this project. My partner from the Neighbourhood project was Jessie and I had to share the brief for unit 7 with her. We ended up doing a group feedback with Kate and Francesca, which is nothing but better as it creates synergies. They told me to open my mind beyond a white final outcome (which I already did and reflected). Jessie told me to pay attention to the body parts that are needed to play violin, which is the most interesting aspect that I am taking from the feedback session. Jessie also told me to draw Javier live and take inspiration from his physical appearance.
I was thinking that for Javier and myself, our hands are extremely important for us: Javier won't be able to play violin without his hands and I won't be able to experiment with fabric without my hands. I think I should extol in the project the body parts that we use to reach our love for our passions. I'd say that Javi's neck, arms and hands are key but watching videos of Javier teaching, I realised how the feet are important to balance the body, which makes the difference in the sound of the violin.
Today I have created a mood board to keep it in my desk with pictures of things that Javier like.
I draw Javier by looking at a picture of him. I used continuous line because allows me to be free and create a more interesting outcome. Then I coloured his clothes with bold colours. I ended up cutting most of the colour from his clothes and just leaving some bits of colour. I painted in different colour the "f holes" of the violin and collaged them with the drawing of Javier. I also painted a violin by mixing different colours with a squeegee but I didn't like it and use the painting to create a colourful pentagram:
Today I was thinking how childhood experiences unconsciously mark our adulthood and I'd lie to express this in the project. Javier is a successful violinist in his adulthood because he started music training in his childhood. How can I make Javier's both childhood and adulthood visual? I think I am going to illustrate Javier as a child with his bowl haircut, and also illustrate Javier as an adult with his glasses.
How can I combine the colours? I've analysed Javier Pinterest and he organise the folders by colour blocking. The isolation of colours is also present in the Memphis Milano design, to which Javier is obsessed with.
How many colours should I use? I already chose 4 colour (red, yellow, green and blue). I am going to add another colour for two reasons:
- 5 is a powerful number in music; Five are the lines of a pentagram and whichever instrument, regardless the clef (sol, la, fa or do) has to be read in a pentagram. A pentagram is the vehicle for the notes in order to make sense, and the pentagram makes music an international language.
- A gave to blue the meaning of freedom but I'd like to highlight how the childhood freedom of expression is also important. So I am going to use baby blue for childhood and Klein blue for adulthood.
Today I want to draw Javier's instrument, the violin. I find the violin's aesthetic incredible beautiful and elegant. How can I draw the violin in a non-obvious way? I think that instead of drawing the violin as a whole, I am going to isolate parts of the violin.
I also tried to paint the violins with a different colour palette with blacks, browns, greys and some colour but I hated the look as I found it boring and not representing Javier. It was giving me a dark and moaning feeling that I don't want to translate in this project.
I asked Javier what are the parts of the violin that he finds more beautiful and he said: the "f",the scroll and pegs. I used the same techniques that I used to draw Javier’s faces. I really like how the illustration of the scroll looks because it has more blocked parts and consequently more colours on it.
MATERIALS SHOPPING: I went to Goldhawk road and get different types of fabrics in the colour palette I am using. I'm linking different aspects in this project and I got different fabrics to express through the materials the different approaches. I got silk, neoprene, tulle, plastic and crepe as I want to manipulate them and see how the fabric reacts. I also bought colourful chunky zips as I'd like to sew them exposed anyhow and beads for embellishment. I went also to Ultimate Crafts in Candem to get fabric paint and different stationary as I'd like to hand paint with colour the collages I just did. I got also a blonde wig as I want to experiment with hair because Javier's blonde hair has been always his identity feature.
How can I make the symbiosis of Javier and his violin visual? I collaged Javier as a child and as an adult with the different violin's parts. I connected the different pieces by the black underline and coloured the new area created with the colour palette. I really like the result and I am going to translate it into fabric and add 3D elements.
FEEDBACK: Today has been a really helpful session as I was given amazing feedback from Sofia. She found the concept interesting as it's a tribute to my friend. She recommended to focus more on the childhood vs adulthood part. Sofia likes the ceiling decorations of Changall's Opera Garnier Ceiling in Paris as its a visual representation of music. She also told me that Memphis Milano has a lot of potential, specially with the shapes. Sofia's recommendations were to record an interview with Javier and ask him about his feelings when playing violin and teaching. She told me to draw the sound waves of the violin by listening violin and also the position of the hands.
Tutor Victoria also gave me her feedback; to be more specific from where the colours come from and to play around with the browns, blacks and greys. When doing the prints, Victoria suggested to think about multidirectional when applying into the body, flipping the faces and think about drawing the hands also and not just the faces. To draw the strings moving was a very interesting concept.
HASHTAGS: We were asked to write 4 hashtags/search terms to define the project and mine are as follows: #SYMBIOSIS #PASSIONS #VIOLIN #PAINTING
ELEVATOR PITCH: We had to brief persuasive speech to spark interest in our project: My project is inspired by my friend who is a violinist. It's a symbiosis through his passions (the music and violin) and my passions (painting and fabric manipulation). I explore how the childhood's experiences mark the adulthood and how surrounding by inspiring people can make the most of one's creativity.
MIND MAP: Drawing a mind map wasn't as simple as I thought because the different approaches are connected in my project but I had to separate them in different bubbles for the mind map. It is useful to keep it as a reference and be able to come back.
Today we were ask to explore and apply a range of practical methods and skills when making textile swatches. I didn't bring any materials and I experimented with tape, thinking about the strings of the violin and I created something that resembles an abstract Sol Clef.
Aimee, the new tutor, gave me the most amazing feedback as she told me that the symbiosis is the most important part of the project and from where I can take the deep part and she found 4 types of symbiosis: a) Javier and I, b) myself and my passions, c) Javier and his passions and d) My passions and Javier's passions (something visual with a sound).
The symbiosis can be from two completely different things or look at them as a parallel thing. Javier and I use or mind and hands in coordination. I need to ask Javier how he feels when playing piano, what happens in his mind. I need to explore how I feel when painting. I create something visual and Javier creates a sound, which are different things.
Aimee's recommendations are to not be so literal when illustrating and if I use his hair as inspiration, this is just using Javier as a muse and not as a symbiosis.
How can I make a human symbiosis visual? How can I make music tangible? These questions were in my mind during the weekend and I really struggled to find objects related to my project as music isn't tangible. I found devices that help my senses to create: my glasses accurate my sight to be able to make a visual interpretation of what my ears listen through the headphones.
Today I didn't enjoy the activity in the studio as my objects didn't give me textures or interesting shapes. I got at lunch time a couple of classic music vinyls that I find interesting to play with because vinyls are "tangible music" in a way. The studio was packed today and I didn't take advantage of my time, I even got moody and I've realised once more that I need to be isolated in my bubble to be able to create.
Why I can't create anything around people? Being alone most of the time for me is necessary in order to create my best work and I din't enjoy the first part of today's colour workshop as it was collaborative, but I really liked the individual part. It's ironic how I believe in synergies but how tricky is to find people to feel comfortable with, which results in isolation for me to be able to create.
In my table we started by a yellow colour gradient and the only bit of this activity that I found interesting was when I trying gloves in different yellows and playing with my hands because this body part is key in my project.
When combining just the objects in the colour of my palette, I found an interesting way to make music tangible: the plastic gloves represent the hands needed to play violin and to paint or manipulate textiles, the vinyls got music inside and I use different strips as the strings of the violin.
I found incredibly useful working on colour with squares of paper considering gradient, tonal range, texture and shape, because I've seen how all the colours work together vs. isolating just few of them. I decided to break vinyls to incorporate the bits on the samples and experiment. I didn't find useful when cutting squares of images to fin colour combinations.
We also cut out zoomed colour images to combine them. I can't see the utility of the images combination.
I was really stuck and I went to Spain to do primary research. Today I've spent the day with Javier as I really needed this time with him in order to shape the project. How can I make Javier's music visual? I asked Javier to play his violin while I was illustrating him playing and I also drew his hands and feet isolated.
Why is Javier playing standing and barefoot? .Javier says that he plays barefoot most of the time and even in concerts because the feet are the root for a balanced alignment with the instrument. Violin is an anti natural instrument as it is played facing up, going against gravity. He also teaches children with mats that have footprint on them to raise awareness of the importance of a proper balance. It is not possible to fully focus on the music until the body is comfortable and balanced. This is a symbiosis of his feet and body to create balance.
Can Javier play violin blind? Javier says he can blind-play violin and that is also an activity to mind-hands connection whereas. Can I draw blind? I really enjoy blind contour drawing as I train the communication within my hand and eyes whereas, I cannot sew without my eyesight.
Can Javier play without listening the violin? Javier cannot play without listening the violin; this instrument is hard to play because to tune the ears with the vibration of the strings isn't easy. Can I be creative without listening to music? Listening to music while making is basically a priority for me, that's why I am 24/7 with the headphones on, because music helps me to isolate my mind and focus on what I am doing. This is a symbiosis of body parts (ears-mind-hands).
Can Javier play without his hands? Can I make something without my hands? Hands play an important role in this project; The wrong position of my hands when playing piano let me to stopped playing the instrument. I use now my hands to create and my friend Javier cannon play violin without them. Mind and hands are engaged in practice as we translate our feelings through our hands. Symbiosis of hands. I decided to draw hands 1) playing violin, 2) hands drawing and 3) hands sewing. I isolated the hands removing the violin, the needle & fabric and the brush. I was thinking that the hands just doing the action can be more powerful. When drawing the hands painting, I first drew the dominant hand but I soon realised the importance of the non-dominant as I always use this one to hold the paper when drawing or painting.
How can I make visual the symbiosis of Javier's passion and my passion? I was drawing and painting by transferring the feeling the violin was giving me. Then, I collaged hands by connecting them with stings (tape), as I wanted to express that the sound created by the strings of the violin was connecting our hands and our passions at the same time (Javier playing/Me painting).
Today I was thinking about bridal veils and their different meanings according to the period of time or country. I particularly like the Greek meaning "protecting the bride from bad spirits". From this, What are other possible meanings of the bridal veil? I'd like to symbolise with the veil that Javier's passion for the music might protect him from unhappiness but the veil covering the face is also something that can really let see reality properly, as it is possible to get blind by love.
How can I translate music to the veil? I was thinking that embroidery is one of the most sublime embellishment techniques one can do with the hands and I'd like to experiment different embroidery techniques in this project. I just got a new embroidery tool to do tambour embroidery. I was thinking about embroider musical notation on tulle.
Isn't the bridal veil just a female garment? For me gender fluidity is something mandatory in fashion and I'd like to attribute Javier a female item.
I've embroidered using red thread thinking about the idiom "rose-colored glasses" because to be blinded by the love for the passions might not be a negative thing. I also gave red the meaning of passion, so it's everything connected.
Today I have also collaged some of the illustrations I did live with Javier, where I created visual music.
How can I make tangible music? I'd like to create a textile sample with bits of vinyl inspired by the previous illustration.
I wrapped vinyl bits with a cord, resembling that the strings of the violin creates music.
Today I decided to tittle my sketchbook at this point because not only I want the tittle to summarise the idea of the project, but I also want it to give a gist of the colour palette and textile techniques that I am using.
How can I tittle my sketchbook? I think I can experiment with textiles to create each of the letters that form the word SYMBIOSIS. Javier is a forward-thinking person but his passion is to play a really classic instrument. Javier is a fashion lover and the photo of himself wearing a classic morning coat with trainers really fascinates me as he was able to extrapolate his personality into his aesthetic. Javier also teaches classic music to children through a modern colourful approach (Suzuki).
I used classic embellishment techniques such as embroidery with modern materials and bright colours; beading on plastic and neoprene, cording, satin stitch, tulle ruffles and I also applied paint with Glass Beads texture gel and heavy structure gel.
I added delicate and maturity to the "childish" colours by applying tulle and sequins.
Today I practice tambour embroidery as it is quite tricky in the beginning. I've embroidered my right hand in the action of painting.
My mum masters the alike/resemblance looks and when I sent her the above picture, she replied with the following:
I didn’t know of the existence of this doll made out of stitches that I did when I was a child, but I am pleased that my mum secretly keeps whatever creative I did in my childhood. The best part is that in this project I am considering how childhood unconsciously marks the adulthood and now as an adult I am doing what I used to do as a child.
Today I just realised that Javier and I have something else in common; Javier doesn't like to compose music, so he says that for him music is "to interpret what others have written before". In my case, even if I am creating from zero this project, in fact, I am interpreting Javier.
How can I make visual the symbiosis of our hands in other ways? I decided to collage Javier's hands playing violin and my hands drawing and sewing. How can I make this realistic collage abstract? Then, I drew and paint this collage in a more abstract way with lines representing the violin wavelength. How can I make the painting 3D? I wanted to take this exploration further and I created beads from our hands in the painting and I used them around Javier's body in a drawing.
Today I decided to do something I have never done before: machine knitting and illustrator.
I found machine knitting incredible tedious in the induction session and that’s why I never came back to it. Jess was doing demos today of different techniques that I find interesting and I’d like to apply. I couldn’t do anything visually interesting as it took me a while to be patient and I use my time just to practice adding different colours and changing tension. I’ve already booked sessions for next week because I really want to get something from the knitting machine.
The digital workshop has been the best activity as it made me reflect and question all my project. Tutor Victoria has told me several times that I can elevate my project by finding more sophisticated and mature colours from the bold and bright ones that I am already using. So I challenged myself in this activity and from one of my colourful paintings I extrapolated also soft colours.
I left the workshop convinced that I needed to find materials in the soft colours because I am tackling childhood and adulthood in the project and this could be a way of going from "childish" bold colours to "mature and sophisticated" soft colours. But I wonder if colour has an age or even a level of sophistication or these are just social convictions!!!?? I think that colour preferences are purely a personal taste.
If I change the colours, my project will lose its meaning and also will look alike to my classmates as in textiles I find the monochrome and soft palette the most popular. I think that I have found other ways of making my project "mature and sophisticated" by using bold colours as I am manipulating refined fabrics with ancient techniques such as tambour embroidery on tulle.
When going through my colour combinations tutor Victoria said that primary colours mean foundation and the "sophisticated colours" mean higher level but I was thinking that if someone has already started the project using soft colours, then is already using proper colours and in a high level!?? Are "sophisticated" soft colours the right colours?
Today Patricia Williams taught us how to make holes with the knitting machine:
My knit swatches look horrible and I think I need to add other elements to try to fix them. Today was the first day using the loom weaving machine.
I also attended a hand knit workshop with Frances. I previously tried to hand knit with Youtube and my mum but I wasn't able to get it. Today it took me forever to get the routine of hand knit but I am glad I didn't give up and continued trying and trying.
Why my hands only work if I am listening to music in isolation? Today in the studios I first tried to work without headphones (as I find it quite rude when there is a tutor around) but I wasn't able to put anything together. Silent or people's conversations in the background make me feel anxious and I lose control. I am developing this project mostly by listening violin and piano. My hands work better in collaboration with my ears and when I create my space apart from other classmates. I've realised that music with words make me thing about the lyrics while classic music make me reflect a lot about what I am doing. Writing this reflection is also a isolated thing.
Why is Javier so blond and the violin's bow has also blond hair? In such a coincidence, I want to explore a symbiosis of Javier's physic and the violin physic across blond hair. I am going to deconstruct a blond wig in order to create textile samples and I was thinking that hair in textiles looks creepy. I am going to try to avoid the creepy look by adding beads to hair. I'm really pleased with the sample as I find it beautiful and not creepy and it might be because of the colour palette.
Now, the heat press machine is "the hot thing" in the studios as everyone is using it like crazy. I'd like to give it a chance and experiment. What materials related to the project can I heat press? Thinking about materials, tulle is the key material in my project and I'd like to melt plastic on it.
My music source this days is Spotify but I am also tackling childhood in this project so, How I used to listen to music when I was a child? Javier and I were born in 1990 and cassettes represent our childhood. I need to find some vintage cassettes to experiment. It wasnʼt easy to find music cassettes; in charity shops there are lots of vinyls because people collect them but cassettes are underestimated. I had to ask and then, they were brought from the stock room. How can I use the cassette tape? I decided to heat press it.
How I used to learn music? I also got from the charity shop a 4th grade piano book, as it was in that grade when I stopped playing. Music notation is visual music too.
Today I collaged Javier's feet positions. I used a lot of colours that inspired a textile swatch.
How can I make visual a symbiosis of feet and hands? Instead of drawing, this time I decided to cut out neoprene feet and hand shapes and collage them. For hands I cut out the whole shape while for feet I cut the borderline. My collage reminds me somehow a Matisse's collages, but I dit it unconsciously.
I wanted to develop a drawing from the previous collage and I used acrylics and hard plasters, which I hate on a sketchbook as they create a mess.
I illustrated live Javier's feet when in Spain, and in the profile perspective I can only see a pair of high tops. How can I make these feet look more like footwear? I decided to add laces to the illustrations as if they were velcro and also as typical laces. This is a symbiosis of feet and fashion.
Today I was inspired by Memphis Milano and Marc Chagall. How can I bring Memphis Milano to my work? I think I am going to underline colours with black to get a more graphic look. Memphis patters are well know for the use of black bits. I used bits of vinyls wrapped with thread, representing the strings of the violin.
The way in which I placed feet, questions gravity, inspired by Marc Chagall's paintings, where his figures don't follow the law of gravity.
I realised that when colouring my illustrations and placing colours together, my mind associates continuously pairs of colours with social meanings:
- red + green = Christmas
- yellow + green = Brasil
- yellow + red = McDonals
- red + blue = Barcelona Football Club
I am not a fan of Barça F.C but In the colour workshop with Victoria and Frances, I worked pairs of colours and my preferred one was red and blue. How can I develop red and blue further? I collaged hands and feet shapes on Javier's body.
Today, when discussing the "maturity" of the colour palette that I am using, the following question was raised: why donʼt you wear bright colours? My relationship with colour is complicated because I used to wear bright colours when I had a dark and depressing mind. Now that I have my mind under control, with a bit of OCD developed, I just dress in black. I think that if my "colourful self" sees more colours on my body, it gets anxious. By wearing black I keep my mind relaxed and under control. On the other hand, I think that for most adults the relationship with dark or "sophisticated" colours is different. For instance, when studying Business, I was told to wear dark suits when delivering speeches as that is "the professional etiquette". For this reason, I think most adults just follow standardised social rules. Another answer to "why don't you wear bright colours" can be what CSM short-course tutor Ian Scott Kettle replied to me few years ago; I was really curious about why he never wears his brand and Ian said: "there are different types of designers: the ones that are behind the brand, the ones aligned to the brand and the ones in front of the brand (the ones that represent the image of the brand in its most flamboyant way) and I am behind the brand". I would never have thought to get to this point but like Ian, I donʼt want to be “in front” of my designs all the time because sometimes I can be inspired by peopleʼs personalities and not just for what I like myself. I used to follow an unique style in the beginning of my twenties but with the past of the time I have learnt to be more tolerant and open-minded, what led me to embrace a wide range of aesthetics, being able now to find attractiveness in opposites such minimalism and extravaganza.
Today I did Lino print inspired by the primary colours of the mats that Javier uses to teach children the position of the feet when playing violin, so I cut out the shape of a feet and overlapped several times to create a more abstract print.
I was reflecting about the media I am using to develop the project and I've realised that I haven't really use inks. How can I relate inks to the project? I am thinking about how the movement of the strings in the violin produces the wavelength sound shapes and how it is also possible to move ink drops to create shapes. My experiment with inks was also a colour test. I haven’t use yellow because I was thinking that by removing the brightest colour the whole look might change. After seeing the result, I now understand the power of yellow, how it has the power to add a different feeling to the eye.
Then, I added yellow and remove green and I set the colours within tulle and paper under the heat press.
How can I make my textile swatches more interesting? Today I combined hard with soft elements and also added hard elements to other textile swatches. It is complicated for me to manipulate hard elements and sometimes I prefer to manipulate soft elements first and add the hard ones afterwards. I get the impression that the combination makes the samples more interesting because each material gives a different feeling and consequently, more feelings are given to the swatch. I used the blue plastic tube from a jumping rope and and interlace it with tulle. I cut out a weaving swatch and I added hard beads:
I weaved merino wool with plastic. I painted a weaving mess and then weaved with stings of fabric:
I was thinking that I have researched a lot about the Suzuki Method but I haven't worked it yet on my sketchbook. What aspect of the Suzuki Method is the most interesting? Today Patricia Williams asked me about the relation of feet with a violinist and when I told her what Javier explained to me that "violin goes against gravity as it is played upwards and feet are the centre of balance, that's why violinists practice and sometimes perform barefoot", Patricia said that it was interesting as it was something unknown for her. Javier designed mats for her pupils with the feet positions for them to take awareness of the importance of the feet when playing violin. These mats are made with primary colours, the same colours that I found on a playground where Javier and I grew up. Suzuki is a method based on learning by playing and Javier explains the position of the hand on the violin with a simile of the shape of a slide.The shape of the playground ladder is interesting and also the picture of Javier as a child going against gravity while playing in a playground.
Today I am going to take action of yesterday's feedback. I told Patricia Williams that I was thinking about making as final outcome something for the hands or the feet. She told me that I was focusing more on feet than hands, and that I needed to think about how to bring the feet into 3D.
How can tackle feet with textile? My first instinct has been footwear, and I have been positioning and experimenting with textile samples around the feet. I haven't use any shoes as base because I am keeping in mind that for violinists being barefoot when playing the instrument is important.
Everything that I have developed so far for the feet, look very Native American. I sent pictures to my mum (who is the most honest and brutal) and she first said "they look Indian". I have used weaved fabric, bright colours and hair, consequently their resemblance. Even if I like the look of them, this aesthetics doesn't really go with my project.
How can I make my samples to NOT Native American-looking? Patricia Williams says I am very graphic (I am not sure if this is good or bad) but I am going to take it as an advantage and develop something more colour blocking, underlined by black (so really graphic), taking a strong inspiration from Memphis Milano.
Today I wanted to do a more graphic-looking textiles samples and I took the inspiration from the pipes and colours of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. I prefer this approach over the one with hair because I get the impression that the simplicity of contrasting structured colours really highlights the power of colour.
I don't really like the idea of "sandals" as final outcome. How can I cover the toes? As I want to continue practising tambour embroidery, I am going to embroider "hands embroidering" on red silk and I will try to shape the toes with this fabric. When I set textile samples on the foot and I covered the toes with the red silk fabric, the look reminds me again to Native American moccasins. I really don't want this look and I think I am going to get black-toe socks to play around.
I placed a weaved sample over the socks and I really like how it looks but the position reminds me to the "Adidas Slides" and I don't want to follow an over-explored shoe-shape. My mum also told me that they could be a pair of Chanel sandals as the textile reminds her to Chanel tweed. I love this textile sample but I really don't want my final outcome to look "Chanelish".
Today I was thinking about another Centre Pompidou, the one in Málaga (Spain). This building is a cube with colourful and see-through windows and I was blocked about how to develop footwear from this building. I changed the see through windows for more colourful windows and then, the building inspired me a Rubik cube. I illustrated a Rubik cube collaging one of my previous illustrations with plain colour. I like the idea of a Rubik cube as it is play while developing a mental strength and it relates to the Suzuki method, witch is learn while playing.
How can I make a print from the Centre Pompidou Málaga? I subtracted the colourful windows that I previously added to create a print. Then, I drew my foot in the middle without the hope of visualising something interesting but I clicked and I developed the best footwear so far. The elevated base reminds me to two things: football trainers and Japanese shoes. Javier is a violinist teacher of the Suzuki method, which is a Japanese teaching philosophy and I am personally obsessed with the Japanese fashion aesthetic, so I think I should develop footwear taking inspiration from Japanese Geta shoes.
Saturday 30/3/2019 and Sunday 31/3/2019
Today I am thinking about how to make elevated shoe heels? and how to relate them to music. How can I extoll music in my project in a non-obvious way? Looking at my research, most fashion designers have use music in their designs by incorporating music notation. I think this aspect is overexploited and I am going to take another direction. Vinyls and cassettes are tangible music and I am going to incorporate these elements in my samples.
Vinyls and cassettes make me think that these days music isn't tangible at all because music is realised on online platforms. This reached me to the question: How can music stand the test of time? Thinking about materials that help conservation I came with the idea of using resign, inspired by the blue violin inside an exhibition cage, a tribute to Yves Klein by Arman. I was thinking that as an Arman payed homage to Yves Klein, I want to play tribute to my friend Javier who is a magnificent violin teacher, because in his creative way of teaching he helps to keep fun the learning of a difucult discipline. Consequently, I use his illustrated face and I conserved also in resin.
I was thinking about how I haven't separate my ears from my headphones in this project and how classic music is helping me to paint, sew or develop ideas. I think I can say that music is in my fingertips. How can I make visual that music is in my fingers? Having in my mind the giant sculpture of The Thumb created by Cesar Baldaccini, I just remembered the 3D workshop induction and I think I can cast my fingers. How can I cast my fingers at home? I probably watched all Youtube videos casting related and I used silicone paste. I started by casting my right index finger thinking about Michelangelo's Creation of Adam in which God and Adam are connected by their index fingers. I'd like to also cast Javier's index finger but the logistic doesn't allow me as he lives in Spain. In which material? I want to cast my fingers with bits of vinyls and cassette tape, consequently I am going to do it in clear resin. In the first attempt, I just used resin but I don't like how it looks, I think the resin went wrong as it got bubbles.
Then, I thought that I am using all my fingers to develop this project, so I cast all my right fingers. This project is very colourful so, how can I make colourful fingers? resin takes min 24h to dry and I need to see a quick result so I am going to make plaster fingers. I mixed a bit of plaster with green acrylic colour but when dried, it doesnʼt look smooth and detailed. So I cast my fingers just with plaster and add colour ink when dried. I first added red colour because my nails are always varnished in red.
How can I make shoes? I think I should start by having the sole as a base, but how can I make shoe soles? My first idea was to get an already made shoes to use the sole as a base. But I wanted toe- shaped shoes as it is what I am developing. I googled 5 toe shoes and the brand Vibram was there. Luckily there is a Vibram store in London. When I got to the shop, I saw how expensive the shoes where and I left handsfree. How can I make MY OWN shoe toe-shaped sole? I just got a pair of insoles and I have a couple of toe socks. I cut the insole in the 43 shoe size (EU) as it is Javierʼs. I shaped the insole with toes and make it harder with cardboard. I created an exterior appearance sole by painting the sock with granulate plaster.
How can I make finger beads? I tried to cast my finger in latex as I though latex will allow me to sew it and use it as bead but I waited 2 days and latex never dried inside the silicone mold. Plaster or resin don't stick out from the socks as these materials are heavy.
Taking the Rubik cube I developed footwear inspired by Japanese Geta:
I was thinking about what Javier told me regarding the pleasure created in a concert; not only the pleasure that Javier feels when performing in front of people, but also the pleasure people feel when listening his violin. How can I make visual a symbiosis of Javier and the audience? I decided to cover the members of his orchestra with fabric strings and this collage inspired me the print for the socks. I glued the strings to the socks thinking about the patched Dr Martins that I saw in Camden. I tried to create a cube with resin and bits of vinyl to use it as a base of the socks but the bits instead of dispersing, they sank to the bottom and I don't like the look. So I created the bases with plaster and then coloured them with black ink.
I added resin and plaster elements to the base that represent music and my fingers but when replicating the prototype, resin never dried and I had to move on.
How can I express that my hands work when connected to the music? I cast all my right hand fingers, coloured them, added tulle and plastic tube, representing the violin strings. I wanted to place them around the feet but I first sent a picture to my honest mum and she replied "they look like ballerina tutu fingers, you know... the penis props from a bachelorette party". My mum really ruined the visioning of my fingers. I was about to throw them away but I decided to collaged them with different illustrations of my headphones, my hand and music wavelength with bits of vinyls.
Today I was thinking: How can I make chunky soles? I don't want to get an already made soles because I want to create everything myself, so expanding foam came to my mind and I shaped it to the toe socks. When trying different ways to cover the polyurethane, tulle worked because it adds extra volume.
The issue is that Javier told me that he plays barefoot because “shoes have shape that doesnʼt allow to properly sit the body”. The expanding foam is rigid and goes agains this theory so, how can I respect the natural shape of the feet? I am not going to use any chunky sole and stick to the painted sole and I probably add more textile samples.
I was playing around with the resin sample with music inside and when I set it as “an ankle bracelet” it reminds me in a way to ankle monitors, use to control house arrest. This makes me think: Am I a prisoner of music? I love philosophy as it makes me question everything; I consider music my ally as it makes me focus but because my creativity depends on music, I am dependance on music, so I am a prisoner to the music.
Is symbiosis a dependence? The dilemma let me think that when two organisms or things depend to each other in order to survive, this also means that they are prisoners to the other as they cannot survive “alone”.
Today I decided to make the final piece. I started from painting the white net. The problem now is that when I did the swatch I used black fabric from the stitch workshop and now I need to find a similar one that frays easily.
How can I make visual the symbiosis spectrum? I digital print two of my collages but only the first illustrations were there and I didn't like how the colours look when printed. How can I express ALL the project development into textiles with PROPER colours? I decided to collage my illustrations and hand paint them on a white fabric, using it as a blank canvas. For me it is important to express the symbiotical spectrum and not just one type of symbiosis. What painting techniques? Having in mind the texturised drawings of feet that Patricia William liked, I decided to mix plain paint with texturised paint. I am creating the texture with Modelling Paste (mate), Heavy Structure Gel (shine) , Granular Plaster (rugged) and Glass Beads Texture Gel (shiny beads). What embellishment techniques? I decided to use padded satin stitch and beads because I combined them before in feet illustrations and add volume.
From 4/4/2019 to 6/4/2019
TECHNICAL PROBLEMS: Hand painting is taking me forever + the different texture materials take a lot of time to dry. I got fabric paint in my colour palette but blue dries much darker and yellow is driving me crazy because first I got a too bright yellow, then a too dull yellow. The solution that I found was to get a textile medium to mix it with yellow acrylic as that is the yellow I want. I am going to repaint all yellow with acrylic and texturised pastes.
I just realised that the fabric paint or the acrylic mixed with textile medium are useless as I am adding non washable beads.
Today I am getting desperate as I am hand painting and embroidering the fabric non-stop and it has no end.
Today I have finished painting the print. I've been collaging the different illustrations that I have developed across the project and represent different types of symbiosis. The illustrations together have created a random shape which I like as I wanted to represent a symbiotically spectrum.
I have added 3D elements but I was thinking about how the hands are the element that represent the symbiosis of Javier and I across our passions, so, How can I highlight the hands in the print? I think my project is quite colourful, playful, geometrical and surrealist, which I think might make a minority love it and the majority hate it. When working in the studios, an honest classmate told me that he hates bright colours and geometrical shapes as they go against good taste. A tutor also questioned the sophistication of my colour palette. This brings to my mind one of the collaborative works of Dali and Schiaparelli: The Skeleton Dress, which at the time was consider vulgar.
What is vulgar? I visited few years ago an exhibit at the Barbican called The Vulgar- Fashion Redefined. Vulgar is defined as “lacking sophistication or good taste”. What is good taste? I think taste is all down to a personal opinion. Vulgar might be something eccentric or a strange idea but I think that "strange" is just attributed to what is not standardised in the zeitgeist. I have this opinion because looking back in time, what it was considered as vulgar in the past, it is not consider as such these days just because that "strange" aesthetic has been standardised in society that is now seen as "normal". This reflection leads me also to think about the next Met Exhibit, Camp: Notes of Fashion. It took me a while to understand what is Camp but I realised that it is the same concept of the Vulgar Exhibit at the Barbican. I read that Camp has been defined as the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration", aiming to dethrone the serious. Consequently, I am going to consider Schiaparelli "Lady Camp of the 30s" and back to her Skeleton Dress, in which the bones are 3D padded, I think I am going to use this technique to bring the hands 3D in the print.
I used a white crepe as blank canvas but I'd like to give it hardness to be able to create shape. What material can I use that allow me 3D shape on its own? I'm obsessed with neoprene and I have use it in the development of the project.
What type of garment can I make? I developed the socks inspired by Japanese Geta-Footwear and I'd like to create a tunic Kimono-inspired.
In which material? I used red neoprene to give shape to the print and I'd like to use the same material to make it cohesive. I got this neoprene more than a year ago. It took me a while to find the same double-side neoprene in the same colour.
For this project I haven't set a budget in order to be as much experimental as possible and not find my creativity limited by resources. How can I counteract the splurge in materials? Few years ago I was studying at uni Business Administration while working as store manager for a fashion brand. We were selling vintage Levis-ripped shorts for 50€ while I could get them in a second hand market for 6€ and cut them myself. So I started to customise them and give them away to my friends for their birthdays (It was a really win-win situation). I have some Levis in London but I have lots of them in Spain and I asked my mum to send them to London. I think I am going to take the customisation further and upcycle Levis jeans instead.
What element of the jeans should I exalt? I express my fascination for pockets in the lanyard project, as they mean freedom of movement (avoid carrying a bag sometimes) and I think I am going to be exaggerated and use lots of them. How can I relate pockets with the project? I was thinking how the final outcome started from the feet and the reason behind. Violin goes against gravity and feet are important as they are the centre of gravity in a violinist, so I am going to position the pockets against gravity, like the violin, because I already have a solid base (the socks).
I was unstitching the Levis thinking about the deconstruction project. Tutors told us to pay attention to details from both the interior and exterior. Levis labels are iconic and I think they are what make different a regular pair of jeans from a pair of Levis. Why Levis labels are so iconic? I think that part of their success reside in the red-colour-branding, which pops when contrasted with blue jeans. I have already studied red and blue in this project because they are really pleasant to my eyes.
I found incredible interesting how the same model Levis 501 from the same brand is sewed with different interior details depending on where they have been made. They've got human personality somehow because in the interior labels is where the personality of the jeans dwells (where they have been made, composition...). How can I exalt the ID of the jeans? I'd like to reflect a symbiosis of the inside and the outside by exposing the interior labels.
How can I make a garment cohesive with the socks? The socks are made out of colour strings and I can use the same strings of fabric as labels.
Which other elements of the jeans can I use? Deconstructing the jeans I find interesting the buttons and buttonholes and I am going to play around with them.
I decided to add hair to connect the garment with the socks, for which I also used hair.
How can I sew the pockets and denim? When Jo Simpson was presenting the denim project, an example of technique was the Japanese mending. I first thought about unsticking the neoprene tunic and sew a patterned denim part. But instead, I am going to mend the denim on top of the neoprene because Boro patchwork was built up from many layers to provide extra warmth and the quilts were constructed in a kimono shape, which is the shape I am already using. I know that the garment is not going to look clean in the inside, but it is going to have the mending essence.
Javier says "Music is for sharing and I am an exhibitionist and I like to be listened. I haven't spent years training to play just for myself" How can I bring Javier openness and exhibitionist self to the project? The idea of using exposed zips that might work because zips are usually sewn by hiding them and there also exist the invisible ones. I've got some chunky and colourful zips to play around.
As the tunic was already made, I had to improvise and cut the open part for the zip, measuring the centre. I couldn't position it on the sewing machine and I had to sew it by hand. When sewed, It actually looks straight, something that not always happen when I sew zips using machine. I really enjoy finding solutions to the problems, as problem-solving sometimes reach better solutions.
Today I was thinking that this project is in fact a symbiosis of some previous projects: deconstruction, cultural swap (it is about Javier), lanyard (I used lots of pockets for the lanyard), denim, inwards (Digital footprint of Javier) and outwards (upcycling).
My sketchbook cover is breaking as it got thick. How can I fix my sketchbook cover? I was thinking of taking advantage of the A2 digital print fabric I got. I donʼt like the colours of this textile when the piece is seen as a whole (because green is not always the same), but if I use it as sketchbook's cover I can avoid the colours I don't like. Iʼm thinking about also adding 3d elements to fix it.
Today I had to listen twice to believe that my work has been selected for the exhibit. I haven't got a place to study a BA in fashion design and I could't imagine that my garment could be exhibited.
I am thrilled because I feel like this project is completed when exhibited; Javier told me that he likes to perform for an audience as a concert is the culmination of months of preparation and he reaches the climax when pleasing people's ears. I couldn't imagine reflecting this but if my work has been selected this might mean that maybe it is possible to please at least someone's eyes when my work will be exhibited. Javier also compared music with art because he doesn't understand music without sharing it as he doesn't understand art without exhibiting it. I hand painted white fabric considering it a blank canvas, then I added a more fashion-related elements. For me my final outcome is wearable art in a way.
Today I was analysing the picture I took yesterday with the garment. I didn't use the socks as they are too big for me. I really like how the garment look with plain black boots and I think I won't be happy when shooting the garment with the socks with tulle+hair. Why am I not happy now with the outcome? I've realised today that I developed the socks and the garment separately and not to be worn together. I am glad that the socks with tulle inspired part of the garment. but, (socks with tulle+hair) + (garment) =too much.
Why I added a lot of elements to the socks? I added tulle and hair to the socks because I thought my final outcome was about to finish in the socks and I was finding the first prototype too minimal. Whereas, now, I think that I can go back and use the more minimal socks to be worn with the garment. I think that my personal taste is minimal accessories for a extravagant garment or extravagant accessories for a minimal garment.
Today I have decided to repeat the first sock that I did. I only did one and I created the colour of the fake sole my mixing certain amount of Coeruleum Blue with white sand paste. To get the same colour in the pair, I am going to start from zero.
Today was the shooting of the garment. The socks were too small for the model. The garment looks amazing on the model and I really like the fact that the garment looks great in both female and male bodies.