I had a blast from the past last week when Mr M found the programme from my final collection show. Seeing it made me feel rather old, but also reminded me that I'd spotted my work languishing in a box in the garage earlier in the week, and I went and dug it out to see what sort of a state it was in...
Not brilliant was the answer! So I brought everything in and hung it out before giving it a steam press and photographing it. I don't have any of the original photographs from the time, or my sketchbook as they were lost by my college when I left them over the summer for the end of year show. But all 9 items from my collection were returned to me, and I figured that I'd better get some images of them now in case they deteriorate further (it looks like a moth's been at one of the little jumpers).
Anyway, I thought this would also be a good opportunity to share the story of my final collection - as much as I can remember anyway! Here's my mood board...
My inspiration was a combination of early 1960's shapes, late 1960's flower power, the Roger Hargreaves book Little Miss Splendid (also the name of my collection) and the A/W 1995 collection from Blumarine. I can't find any images to share of that collection, but the black and white photos on my mood board all feature it. It was very subdued in it's colours (and the whole advertising campaign was shot in black and white) but I really loved the shapes - I toyed with the idea of a monochrome collection, but it wasn't really me so out came the colour!
So my collection consisted of three mix and match suits in heavy wool with accompanying machine knitted sweaters (featuring a flower power motif). The jackets are in three different lengths from cropped to really quite long, and they were worn with green trousers, a mini skirt in the purple and a pink knee length pencil skirt.
No images of them on a model now I'm afraid as I'm no longer a size 8, but I did model in the show (looking now at the skirt I wore I can hardly believe it - it's tiny!).
I bought a large batch of heavy natural wool for the suits which I dyed in the three colours I'd chosen - I then went on to spend ages trying to find suitable contrasting lining fabric (which wasn't quite right, especially the green which wasn't bright enough). I hand dyed the pale blue yarn for the sweaters and bought the purple, green and pink in.
The jumpers were a real labour of love - I've always adored knitwear but am not a natural at knitting, either by hand or on the machine - they were machine knitted over a period of about a month and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into them. I haven't been brave enough to go near a knitting machine since, but maybe one day I will!
Looking back at my collection like this has reminded me why I'm doing what I do now - I had the most wonderful time at college but obviously that isn't real life. There's also no way I could've gone off to do what I do now 19 years ago - for all it's faults the internet is a truly amazing thing which has changed so many of our lives (and for the most part for the better). For a long time I felt that my years at college were wasted, but not any more. Digging my old work out has not only made me realise that it was better than I thought it was, but it's also inspired me for some of the new work I have planned.
And then there's the old 90's nostalgia which I'm suffering from massively at the moment! Here's a little playlist for you (starting with the music from my final collection, by Pulp) - enjoy!
Stacks - Pulp Today Tomorrow Sometime Never - Echobelly Inbetweener - Sleeper Stereotypes - Blur Universal Heart Beat - Juliana Hatfield Sitting Up Straight - Supergrass (this was my second choice for the final collection song) Stars - Dubstar Fix Me Now - Garbage Might Be Stars - The Wannadies Your Woman - White Town
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