I was looking forwards to developing my practice through pushing myself to use illustrator for this project and having a new approach on repeating patterns although the way that the project has turn I haven’t intended to create repeats so I haven’t needed to use illustrator. I have had a go at trying to create repeats looking back at my notes from the last project although I just can’t seem to get it right. In this instance all I have needed is Photoshop and so that’s what I have stuck to, I have furthered my knowledge on Photoshop so it’s not all bad! Through planning to create scarves since the beginning of the project I knew that I would be faced with the challenge of learning how to create a rolled hem. I wasn’t too worried about this as I can usually pick up these things fairly quickly, however I didn’t realise how much skill it would take to perfect it until I actually tried it. I have found that it is really all in the millimetres around the edging of the fabric and making sure you get the measurements right to create the roll otherwise it looks a mess. I intend to continue to practice until I start my final pieces. I decided to explore Selfridges and look at the type of market that I want to target, looking at the kind of prices, sort of fabrics and finishes that the scarves of this standard involve and also see the way that they are displayed. I noticed that the edges of the scarves are roll hemmed. This technique is the most common within scarf design, there is a great effort made to conceal the thread used to stich the rolled edge into place and make it look as professional as possible which worked in most cases for example Hermes and Dior. Some of the less expensive scarves seem to have less care taken over creating a good level of craftsmanship, this included Alexander McQueen and Ted Baker.
I haven’t chosen to collaborate during this project as I want to focus on working for myself and perfecting my own way of working so I feel that to collaborate now would be fatal to figuring out my own path. In a way working to a loose brief (personal, playful, intelligent) from the Whitworth is almost like a collaboration, at least it’s an unfamiliar way of working as I have had to consider the Whitworth at each turn the project is taking. For example, after pushing out all of my designs, I have decided that I would create a collection of four scarves that would cater for a range of consumer styles/preferences. This has been a challenge as I have had to include designs that I don’t really like with in the hope that others might choose this design. This for me is an unexpected development (actively creating a range of products for different consumers) as I wouldn’t usually show off a design or product that I didn’t feel totally confident in but it’s a risk that I feel that I should take as I know that I have to realise that some people will be interested in less complicated designs rather than more complex busy designs which is what I usually strive for. I intend to develop this by printing the range of scarves and showcasing them at the exhibition in a creative way using visualisations and consumer boards to get across my intentions clearly.
Through the development of my ideas and the creation of a collection of scarves I feel as though maybe I should come up with a concept for branding. When exploring Selfridges I also noticed that there was a big difference between the high end designer scarves and the, what selfridges call 'street fashion' brands. Ted Bakers scarves where considerably less expensive and the designs weren't as high quality, I also noticed that they were over crowed with branding and labels. The more expensive scarves had their branding printed within the design with a small label. I think that it would be difficult to brand my products as whilst working with the Whitworth, it would depend a lot on what they wanted as well. I think that I will investigate this idea further and create some mock up ideas and samples, even some visualisations.
As there is only a few weeks left I think that I am on track to finishing in time without a struggle, I have sent my digital designs to print early so that I will have more time to spend on perfecting the rolled hem, in the meantime I will continue to practice this technique and maybe have a go at using the rolled hem foot on the industrial machines at university. I do feel though that doing this by hand, if I can get it right will add more value to the product. I also intend to finish visualisations and perhaps try to show examples of how these designs may work as cushions just to show the Whitworth that I have thought about different products. If I have enough time I may create mock ups of the cushion covers just to cover all bases.