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  • R Mansfield

Fighting Form

The jumpsuit pattern was something which was a fun task to make, but upon revealing the task I had left for myself, made me question my own sanity and intention as, while the pattern, in its two pieces had no reason not the work, was a task to finish and fulfil to pattern as the pattern for the powernet only joins at very specific areas, while the rest is connected to chiffon panels which will then attach, which despite marking on areas and lines which translated across, still concerned the manufacture process. Cutting the abstract pattern pieces was complex alone, and then to begin to assemble, was fearful as the chosen method is babylocking for the finish and handle of lighter fabrics and the trimming of fraying edges- However, leaving no seam Allowance. This caused issues, as despite the nature of the pattern cut directly from a pattern fitted to the body, the complex wrapping of the chiffon when attached into the lower left leg, created a tight bunching which completely reduced the leg in size. The initial issue was to such a degree you could barely fit a hand throw- and to this, the response became one of truly needing to evaluate and understand my own process which had given such a complex output. This was something that I would not trust another person to do, even by my own instruction or guidance, as the method of creating the pattern and the vision was so organic and guided by the balance of growth, that it is as if there is an instinctual connection to the final outcome, and it is as if creating the garments has become some sort of ritual. One where I must feel all the emotions of devotion in order to create an outfit- borderline masochism where I must struggle against the vision which I am set on creating, in order to bear the creation. The issues, however, were finally resolved and it became a process of steady feeding of material, pinning against two challenging fabrics- neither of which wished to behave- and constantly putting together the patterns to envisage how they would adjourn. The process was long and costly through the nature of the print, however as it came together, the consideration needed to move on to consider the head piece. Working back on familiar ground with a pattern traced many a time, it became about the consideration of where the channel would follow round the head. This had only one way I felt I could fully allow for the pattern to remain the organic nature it did- as the jumpsuit was devised on the mannequin ( a body)- the head needed to follow suit in its naturalism. However, in this case, the pattern to be cut up was the one created of the prior pieces of printed Powernet as it allowed for the nose. Even on the reverse of these vibrant fabrics, chalk failed to show- and so, wasting no time the ritualistic approach continued. Pinning carefully around my own face, needles scraping my lips and hoovering above my eyes, I carefully mapped the 10cm track around the head, across the face and over the nose and above over the eye , and round- through the zip tape, and connecting down into the stem of the chiffon to create a powerful statement over the face. This process, and my working method, have evolved to be in so involved- I can’t not be part of the creation, as if the process is a piece of unseen performance art where the artist creates at the watch of others, it is truly a process of creationism unmatched and while I have never felt my skills dominant in manufacture, creating in an organic way, which can utilise and homage traditional techniques, aids in my artisanal styling and designs. The jumpsuit was a task to finish and one I was intent on- for one reason…



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