Tailor Made – 19th Century French Military Uniform:

19th Century French Military Uniform:

When designing the French military uniform in 19th century, cost wasn’t the first thought that came into their minds and this caused serious trouble with Napoleon. Lannes overspent the guards budget and Napoleon was forced to replace him with Bessieres. Due to Lannes overspending the budge, Bessieres decided to design and construct three types of military uniforms; One uniform for a parade, another for a service and one uniform for off duty.

Outfits and their Costs:

  • Infantryman’s Outfit: 200 to 250 Francs,
  • Line Grenadies’s Uniform: 300 Francs,
  • Cavalryman’s Uniform: 500 Francs,
  • Guard Chasseur-a-cheval’s: 950 Francs,
  • Cuirassier’s Uniform: 2,000 Francs.

It was very common for the uniforms to be constructed of wool, silk, hemp, canvas and linen. Fabrics like wool and canvas are strong fabrics which would make the uniform longer lasting. They definitely needing this because they didn’t have the money to buy more fabrics. As for the textiles that was embellished onto the jackets, cuffs, collars, outerwear and trousers was made from linen and hemp cloth. The colour palette for the French military uniforms consisted of a range of natural shades and bold colours that were from light to dark. For example; Black, Navy, Dark Blue, Royal Blue, Rich Red’s with Gold embellishments. French military outfits consisted of multiple layers, for example; waistcoats, cropped coats and jackets, outerwear, cloaks, greatcoats, trousers, and tailcoats. Throughout the stage of design development, I will take inspiration from the traditional French military uniform as it is commonly seen in the movie, The Phantom of the Opera; Masquerade Ball scene. I will take my influence from the multiple layers and experiment with the lengths, key features, scale and proportions to create a bold, powerful and structured tailored outfit.

{Picture Below: Traditional 19th Century French Military Uniforms that I will take inspiration from when designing my own tailor made outfit.}

Uniforms of french army : Foreign Troops in French Service, 18-19th century, engraving by Charles Vernier (1831-1887)


Design Development: Photoshop

During my athleisure collection I experimented a lot with the shape, colour, volume and proportion until I was happy with 4 different outfits. This stage in the project is called design development because it shows a story from where to started, to experimenting and being really creative with your design to your final designs you want to display as your final collection.

I was inspired by the darker side of athleisure I used a range of shades of black and grey. When I was designing my collection, I started off by lightening and photocopying my male croquis so that I was able to quick sketch ontop of the figure. This allowed me to get all my ideas and thoughts down quickly and not worry about neatness.


I wanted to focus on the large volumes and proportions so I decided to start off by drawing oversized jackets and padded sleeves. I also played around with the scale by sticking with one design that I loved and drew it three times but changing the length and volume to give me three very different designs.

I also designed a range jogging bottoms and shirts and played around with the proportions until I was happy with my 60 designs. I then decided to match up some of my designs so that I had 4 final outcomes that I was confident with. I then scanned my 4 final outfits into Photoshop and played around with the my choice of fabrics. This really did bring my outfits to life and gave me a clearer view of my final garments.


My Final Design Boards for My Portfolio:

Collection Name: Grayscale

Draping On The Stand

After spending a few minutes dressing the mannequins in draped garments and hanging flowers from the ceiling, we were then able to sketch all the different shapes, shadows and detail  on the garments. By dressing the mannequins and hanging the flowers upside down, we were able to capture many interesting an unusual shapes visually and in our sketches.

I really enjoyed trying to capturing these bold shapes and details in my sketch. I then decided to use acrylic paints to capture all the bold and colourful colours in our display. Acrylics paints were really easy to use because I was able to create so many different tones and shades of one colour but just adding white to the paint.

To take my visual sketching further, I will practise and experiment more at home to get more confident with the acrylic paints. We were also given the task as homework to collect a range of draped garments, floral, patterns and textures and display them in our sketchbook with rough sketches.

Jersey Fabric Swatches

Jersey is a very common fabric that is used in gym wear as it a stretch fabric. The stretch fabric allows more movement when the garment is being worn. After collecting and pinning a collection of inspirational photos onto my board, we then moved onto decided which fabric swatches suited our take of the athleisure theme

I decided to pick mesh, brushed sweatshirt jersey, single jersey, rib and sweatshirt jersey as all these fabrics had very different textures to them. I’ve also never worked with these types of jersey fabrics so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and experiment more with bolder colours and different fabrics.


I will scan my fabric swatches into Photoshop when I come to designing my collection. This will give me a clearer visual of how my finished designs will look. I will also use my fabric swatches to experiment different seams and fabric manipulation so that I will get more of an understanding of how these fabrics work.

Menswear Athleisure Collection

For my first collection of the HNC year, we were given the task to design a range of 10 different garments that were inspired by Athleisure for Adidas. I started doing my research by looking on Pinterest for inspiration and related designers that are inspired by athleisure. This was when I came across Alexander Wang, James Long, public school and Juuni.J. I really liked how to focused on the oversized shapes, exaggerated proportions, bold colours and striking textures.

I collected a range of different images that focused on the oversized shapes, bold colours, exaggerated proportions, striking textures and the causal trend of athleisure. Once I had all my images printed off I then started cutting them out and pinning them onto a design board for me to see clearly when it came to analysing and designing my collection.