Monday, January 9, 2012

Tech Drawing Final: Robots vs. Lizard Men!

The semester ended several weeks ago, but lucky me, I got to immediately leave town to go on vacation, and since being back in New York I've just been enjoying the break from school after what was an extremely intense semester. Three studio classes was such a lot of work, and thankfully I won't have to do another course load like that again, since this time next year I will be officially done with the program. Two classes next semester, an internship over the summer, a class and an internship next fall, graduation, and then...whatever the next step is after that. We'll see when we get there! In the meantime, let's talk final projects:

Technical Drawing was probably my favorite class this past semester. It was also the most time-consuming work-wise, and by extension the most anxiety inducing. Near the end, I was having mini-panic attacks all over the place, convinced to my very soul that there simply wouldn't be enough time to finish this project, and that it would be horrible, and that that would be the end of me. Really. I think I said on more than one occasion to patient friends that I was going to die, and I was sort of only half joking. In the end, as is always the case, once I put aside the mental and physical teeth grinding and just got down business things came together really well.

This is one of the weirdest projects I've done at Parsons yet. The theme is weird, and my brain went to strange places while I was designing the collection. And I love it. I think it's great, and I would wear every single piece here. I actually did fabricate on of the looks for my Knits final, which will be making an appearance in another post soon enough.

Mood board and fabric story
The theme of this 10 look collection was inspired by the new Doctor Who series, a great show recommended to me and championed by my friend Rob. After a few false starts with the Chris Eccleston episodes, I burned through the Tennant and Smith seasons like a Dalek through an expendable Torchwood agent.

There are a bunch of things that I really love about this show. I like that the underlying message is one of kindness, and that when we are kind to one another, when we try to solve problems and resolve conflicts with understanding and care, we really are at our best. I like that the Doctor is a true hero, but is also a slave to his emotions and past demons sometimes, just like we all are. I like that the show is so weird and silly and cinematic, that the dialogue is so clever, that the characters are so intensely likeable.

I like that Matt Smith is a complete dreamboat.

I also like how charmingly low budget the monsters and special effects are, particularly in those first few seasons.While there is some CG used in this show, there are also a lot of costumes and make-up, which harkens back to the old sci-fi movies of yesteryear, when costumes and make-up were what constituted special effects. It's completely charming, and it's part of the cheekiness and the sincerity that make the show work. The theme of this collection comes from all of this, and comes too from my enduring love of narrative and costume, which is really a form of narrative itself. Some of the details are directly inspired by Doctor Who, and some are just my own riffs on cheesy sci-fi monster costumes. While designing these pieces, I thought of each look as a character taking part in the war between robots and lizard people. Each side has a monarch, a general, a cleric, a scout, and a soldier. Super weird and nerdy? Yes. Successful and wearable? Also yes. It's win-win!

Silk dupioni suit with cotton jersey tank, wool ponte princess line dress with oversized sweater knit funnel neck, cotton waffle knit cutout top and black leggings with sweater knit patches.

Cotton jersey long-sleeve top and silk dupioni godet skirt, cotton jersey 3/4 sleeve top and wool jersey maxi tuck-pleat skirt

Wool ponte maxi dress, silk charmeuse tunic dress, wool jersey sweater and wool ponte leggings with novelty snake print.

Wool jersey blazer, silk charmeuse top and wool ponte pants, novelty stretch top and wool ponte skirt.