Friday, 10 May 2013

Fabric Distressing

Despite the fact that I only just handed in my work for the end of my 3rd year at ECA, i have already begun researching and sampling for my fourth year project. In fourth year, which is the final year, you get to chose what play you want to study and design for and then make a minimum of 2-3 costumes for that play.
I have decided that I want to design for Sleeping Beauty. I have a great many ideas so far, but I am currently focusing my thinking on Sleeping Beauty and the Evil Fairy, as those are the 2 that i definatley want to make in the end as well as probably the prince and if possible one or two of the good fairies as well  I want to make 5 overall, but that's pretty ambitious so I don't know how well that will work out. But I figure if i get started on the research stages straight away by the time i get back in September for 4th year I will be ready to make straight away.

So my ideas are;
 - For the evil fairy, instead of an Old Crone, as she is described in the fairy tale  I want to make her a fiercer character, stronger, probably closer to the maleficent from the Disney version. Her cursing of the princess is a very aggressive move, almost like the start of a war or attack against the royal family. Because of this i want to make some form of metal costume, with armour elements to portray her paranoid and aggressive nature.
  - For sleeping Beauty I really want to work on distressing her dress, as she is a princess her dress should be quite grand and decorated but at the same time she has been asleep for a hundred years; while her body has been preserved the fabric has begun to decay and dirty over the years. I like the idea of the contrast between the grand embroidered dress that is then destroyed and dirtied.
Also for sleeping beauty i am discussions with an illustrator who is interested in a collaboration. On Sleeping beauty's dress i like the idea of there being some intricate and delicate embroidery on the front with roses and trailing briars, like the briars that grow up around her and the castle, that trail off into the skirt of the dress. The illustrator will design this intricate floral pattern which i will then embroider onto the front of the dress.
- In the original fairytale the prince is quite a sinister character, for starters he is married when he finds Sleeping Beauty in her tower and he proceeds to rape her before she wakes up. In the original it is not the kiss of the prince that wakes her, it is after she has given birth to two children and they suckle at her finger dislodging the splinter from the spinning wheel. While i don't really want rape to be a part of my interpretatino of sleeping beauty, i think it would be interesting to explore this slightly more devious side of the prince, giving a bit of a change from the generic prince charming character.

I also have a few ideas for the fairies but not really well enough in my head to articulate.

So i spent this afternoon distressing and having a bit of fun with fabric....
I ordered these 'ageing sprays' off a website that i found and i thought i would give them a try...

I really quite liked the effect that they gave, I think i may order a couple of different colours aswell. These two are 'ash blonde' and 'mould'. Ash blonde gives of a very light brown yellowey colour and the mould makes spots and splatters of a greeny blue colour

 I also did a bit of tea and coffee staining, although these results weren't as successful. I think this was down to the fabrics i was using, which were mainly synthetic so didn't soak up the tea very well at all.
 I also broke out my new hot gun to give the fabric a bit of a melt, which looks okay but it makes the fabric quite stiff and weird because of the melting of the fabrics fibers  I think the hot gunning technique needs more practice. In the end though i had quite a large selection of different techniques that I am happy with.
 I also had a bit of fun with some craft foam. I am still considering using actual metal in the evil fairies costume, but i thought i would also explore the use of craft foam, which i have seen used on cosplay armour online. Craft foam can be heated and moulded, which would be easier than having to hammer the metal into a body shape, and it would be way more comfortable to wear. So I have also been practicing how to then paint the craft foam to still look like convincing metal. I want the corset to have some form of pattern and engraving on, so i cut out two squares of craft foam and then cut out a filigree engraving pattern on one piece. I Spray painted it with 'Hammered' effect spray paint and then added shoe polish and ageing sprays to add texture to it. I am relatively happy with the results, although i think i maybe used too much of the Ash blonde spray, as it now looks a bit too yellowy in places. Perhaps if I get some different colours in the aging sprays in will have a better effect :)

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