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  • R Mansfield


Selection did not come without its focus points of changes and alterations however; the main point of contention being the necessity of something underneath the acrylic garment, which is not my personal choice- but I am aware I cannot fight every rule. This has been a difficult aspect to tackle, as I have designed and considered multiple options for underneath, and while one in particular stuck out to the point of illustrating the dress, there was feedback, which is typical fashion was difficult to handle initially, until the realisation it was right. Feedback which stated that anything too complicated is going to take away from the acrylic, and reduce it completely by stealing focus to the garment below. This is entirely true, and so the consideration of simply a bodysuit came to mind, and the potential to decorate it with sinuous forms which would bring artificial and natural elements into the undergarment. I want things to be done, and I do not want to spend too long trying to make decisions, and this is not the main focus, however the lack of assurance have made this difficult, and there needs to be clarity regarding the outfit before it can be an aspect which does not plague with concern. The sinuous forms were cut away from a bodysuit, and pattern-ised, and then recreated, and it looked awful, just tacky and cheap, and beyond any kind of repair. At this point, the cutting away was almost completely dismissed, and the current path is to create a bodysuit in a red hue to create a link with the other outfits, while ensuring modesty. The fabric however, cannot be the same as Outfit 3, and the search for appropriate fabrics has led to the next venture to a brighter red tulle, to be combined with black ,this will add to the sense of movement, and presence, and incorporates the tonality of the collection, the elusive nature of fabric in motion, the smokiness of the plastic an the burn marks. There is a promise about this which feels positive.

A further change, which was a point of personal contention, was the use of the cream petal streams on Outfit 3. There has been a continual questioning of whether this would work, and whether it was too stark against the outfits and against the collection itself. In some lights and line-ups, it felt it would lift the collection, and other times it seemed out of place, and too innocent of the collection. There has always been a personal lean towards to the latter, and hearing it form others confirmed it for me. This however, set about the question of what to substitute it for, which fabrics would work without seeming incongruous in the outfit, and across the collection. This brought back the considerations of the prior tutorial on this outfit which throw me off my confidence, where criticism included the lack of connectivity between the garments; this presented an opportunity to change that. The last scraps and pieces of the smoked plastic were burnt in strips, and even upon sampling, the garment felt much more together, and more streamlined within the collection itself. As a result, the process of removing the cream and replacing the plastic has begun, attaching every point by hand to try and reduce the presence of clear marks of adhesion. I am excited to see how this looks upon completion, as the lighter elements had been a consistent concern, and there is a feeling that bringing together the two aspect will have powerful and imposing.

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Selection Day. It was strange to be there, but this time it was the work of myself, and of the people I have worked around and with, and suddenly (thought no one seemed to act anything other than supportive) we were against one another in a attempt to be selected, and what we create and we have worked on for near a year, was being judged as to whether it was good enough for the opinions of those who are only seeing your work for 10 minutes, have not researched the concept, toiled numerous times, or even been there. This was a lot, and up to the day, I began to feel nervous, there were concerns, and doubts (surprise), however on the day, in my unorthodox professionalism, I felt something closer to fire, and drive, and in the end, I was much more fired up to show off my collection, and to want to put my work out there for others to see, and explain my concept, have people experience it and let everything I have been working come to blows for others to see. The collection is not simple, and ending up last, there felt like an absurd amount of pressure, however by the time the models were in the garments eventually, there was no time to panic or worry, only to perform. And that’s the guise I took on. Deep breaths, engagement, determination. While presentations are something which can be worried about and agonised over, preparation without over-engineering and over-preparing, seems to work better, as adrenaline carried me through, and my collection became what I presented about my creed and as a designer and Artist.

And apparently that worked- I’m throw to the catwalk show. This moment, after I genuinely thought I would not be considered and was at peace with that, I was shocked. My collection, artistic, conceptual, harsh, and alternative, was going to be one of the choices to represent the university. Honestly, I was not concerned about GFW, I know it is unlikely to give me a job- that is about what I do for myself- but just to see my work on the catwalk, like a compilation of everything I have done, and for the people around me as well, it is just a shock, and while it is more to work for, I will work for it, and I want what I do for it to be right.


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  • R Mansfield


While things seemed to have picked up, the fabric arrived, the pattern has been altered for the bodysuit, and the petal decoration had been burned for application, there is always one thing to throw you off, and just 3 days before I had to confidently present my collection, the issue arrived in the form of the doubt of another, as a time when I felt little doubt about Outfit 3, and the way in which I strode to present it, only made the doubt worse, as there seemed to be such determination the garment did not fit into the collection, and lacked the same natural ease of the others which just seemed to occur. This near broke me. This garment I had already spent so long agonising over, and had finally felt I could resolved and re-trust my instincts, now seemed incongruous and out of place- too forced and without the poise of the others. On this day, many hours were lost to the obsessive continuous questioning, and while part of my psyche told me to trust myself and carry on regardless, the doubt plagued me. Eventually, I resolved to create the bodysuit regardless of this feedback and force myself to trust in my choices, even if I did not feel like I could rely on them now. The ability to visualise alternatives or to see what the garment would transform into was somewhat lost, to leave the only option as to create it and then alter if necessary from there. However, upon the creation of the bodysuit, the addition of the floral streams, and paired with the skirt, there was a great deal of excitement for the results. Except, and this was minor compared to the psychological battle, finding a ,solution for the fastening of the skirt. By sheer accident, while considering the potential of small black hook and eyes at the front of the skirt, magnets were presented. Magnets allow for invisibility, strength, and maintain a greater illusion of the pieces coming together. Hence, the Centre Back was attached, other than the small point which is part of the design, and the nature of the application tested, with small bags with the magnets sealed inside, were burned, and then burned to the Centre Front. Upon preliminary use and sampling, there were no issues at all; when the garment was put on, it just fell to the ground. This was a punch in the stomach after the recent issues with the outfit anyway, and the lack of forgiveness of the method. However, the best way to remedy this was to work fast, and as the plastic has an element of tackiness, allowed for the alteration to a series of hook and eyes which hold in a far superior manner. There are some slight indications of stitching in invisible thread, to hold the central spine in place when attached, however the fastening is strong, small, and functional, and will without the walking of the wearer. This outfit is a beast.

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