My research began with a few wet doodles and a baby blanket. I began by creating sketches on drawing paper with a water soluble marker, and then applying water to the drawings using various methods. This led me down the road of fiber reactive dyes. I chose to implement ice dyeing in my research. I used a few methods: the traditional technique of applying ice and powdered dyes directly to the garment, as well as I created dye ice cubes to be inserted into the muslin to be dyed.
With my childhood quilt as inspiration, I draped forms with the intention of protecting the body. I used the quilt itself to create large, oversized forms encompassing the body. I applied focus the neck area in an attempt to make the wearer feel protected from the outside world. The squares of the quilt inspired me to investigate pockets. While draping I created large folds that could be used as pockets, and if the garment were reversed, create an interesting fit on the form. I took this experiment further by creating a quilted sample in which each quilting square was a pocket and then draped with the sample.
Knit silhouettes were created to compliment the larger, protective shapes with small areas of vulnerability. The variations of these cutouts show off beautiful parts of the body without being provocative. Accenting areas on the body with small cutouts, while protecting the wearer with high necklines and extended sleeves and pant legs.
Moving forward, I investigated the idea of ancestral threads. Every garment has an ancestral story of its creation or attainment, so I turned to used clothing. I used post consumer materials to create three dimensional interpretations of traditional sewing techniques. I patchworked irregular shapes from the deconstruction of a few favorite pairs of jeans into a textured, armor like textile. I have used to also used this textile, as well as leather I dyed by hand, to create the cover for this presentation.
The fiber reactive dyes will fade with time, allowing for the future personalization of these garments with new dyes. The garments are insulated with 3M™ Thinsulate™ Platinum Insulation X-STATIC, which contains silver filament for antimicrobial odor protection. This allows the garment to forgo a wash or two between wears— prolonging the life of the garment while reducing energy and water consumption. The knits are created with post consumer recycled bamboo and Santoni single jersey circular knitting machines. The absence of seams significantly reduces waste (promoting zero waste practices) and provides a more comfortable fit for the wearer.
I used repurposed materials for the collection, with the idea of making the garment transformative. I want the wearer of the garment to customize it, make it their own, and then pass it on to someone else, sewing their own ancestral threads. I want to create a garment that becomes a tradition, created by repurposed garments.