11 Jan 2013

The Joys of Being A Student

My new brief:

The Museum oDomestic Design & Architecture is a treasure trove of visual inspiration developed from a number of eclectic collections acquired by Middlesex University between the late 1960s and the 1990s.
The collections include wallpapers, textiles, designs, books, catalogues and magazines from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century. They are a great resource for any designer looking for inspiration.

There is an extensive collection of books on a range of subjects including architecture, design, fine art, town planning, textile design, cookery, natural history and household management.
Many are interesting for their design, illustration and typography as well as their contents.

MoDA has around 40,000 original designs on paper.  Most of the designs are for wallpapers and textiles. They were created by the Silver Studio, which sold them to manufacturers around the country, between 1880 and the early1960s.
These designs are in a variety of media, including pencil, inks, charcoal, pastels and gouaches.

Designers who worked for the Silver Studio acquired lots of material for visual reference.  The collections of the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA) include everything from cigarette cards, postcards and newspaper cuttings to an important collection of Japanese katagami stencils.
Designers used these items to help them create designs which showed awareness of key fashion trends, while retaining mass market appeal.

Magazines & Journals
MoDA has an extensive collection of magazines, journals, brochures and retail catalogues, relating to all aspects of home furnishing and home buying.  This includes household management, cookery, DIY, homecrafts and gardening.
We also have material relating to the growth of interwar suburbia, including publicity material produced by estate agents and property developers.

Most of the textiles in MoDA’s collections were designed for British homes between about 1880 and the 1960s.  Many were produced for well-known manufacturers such as Liberty & Co and Sandersons. We have examples of both printed and woven furnishing fabrics and some examples of dress fabrics.

MoDA holds one of the country’s finest collections of mass market wallpapers, dating from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.  Some are part of the Silver Studio collection, while others originated from Crown Wallpapers.

We also have a small selection of wallpapers by well-known designers such as Edward Bawden, John Aldridge, Lucienne Day and others.

We want you to get obsessed with the MoDA collections!

You will go on an initial exploration visit to the MoDA museum to have a look at the collections. Find something that inspires you!. It could be a children’s book cover, a fragment of 1920’s wallpaper, a kitsch 1950’s housewives magazine, a faded postcard of a lost resort, an art nouveau woven textile, or a delicately graphic Japanese katagami stencil.

Once you have your starting point, you will become obsessed!. Find out everything you can about it, who made it/ designed it, what is it made of, who is it for, how was it used, when was it made, what is it’s social context…you will become the world’s foremost expert on this starting point!. It is vital that you arrange to visit the museum independently at any other time to further your research.

Your research output should be purely visual, providing information relating to your chosen obsession, from books, films & exhibitions. We would prefer to see your own documentation in the form of photographs, collages, drawings, paintings, stand work, hand work etc…(Images printed from the internet must be of a high quality in pixel size and print). Contemporary fashion images are not recommended, relevant historical fashion images may be used.

You may include some analytical notes, but these must be kept to a minimum, we are fashion designers, we must express ourselves visually!.

Turn your obsessive research to clothing by developing it into details within garments (i.e., pockets, collars, cuffs, fastenings, trims etc…) Visit boutiques, vintage & department stores, turn garments inside out, draw/sketch and photograph the details you see. Buy second hand clothes and manipulate them on the stand. Collect fabric samples that relates to your research in terms of theme, weight, colour and fibre.

From your research and development of clothing details you must design and produce 10 of your own DETAIL samples, which must be made perfectly in fabric and used when you begin your design development work.

Design minimum of 80 outfits, front and back, in colour. Make sure you consider the 10 detail samples! One of these outfits you will have to make and it needs to consist of 2 garments, top and bottom. Think about Silhouette, Proportion, Scale, Detail Placement, Trims, Construction techniques, Texture…


No fashion designer works in isolation! As a professional fashion designer you will always been working with others on your collections, this will apply to the design, development and making stages, the whole process from inspiration to runway is a series of collaborations.

Once the research and design development process of your collection is reaching completion, you will be grouped with one or more of your design colleagues either from Fashion Textiles or Fashion Design to begin designing your final collection and making an outfit for your fashion show.

Your final outfit will consist of 2 garments, top and bottom, and will be finished and presented to a professional standard.


  • 1 Research Sketchbook
  • 10 fabric samples
  • 10 samples of details
  • 80 design developments in colour, front and back
And the following in Portfolio Format in this order:
  • 2 presentation pages
  • Line-up of final collection
  • 6 illustrations with
  • Working drawings and fabric swatches
  • Fully finished outfit presented to a high standard with appropriate styling.

Therefor I have been living in the library for the past 2 days and I'm now on my third, posting this from the library, needed a little break from the books!
 ALL initial research must be completed for Monday! Hence my absence on the blog! 

The final images for the Shirt and Silhouette project will be up soon! 


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