“Tailor Made” – Primary Research

Throughout my secondary research, I continuously took inspiration from military uniforms, so I decided to look for primary research in my local museum; Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. During my visit, I was able to collect a range photographs of paintings and many angles of a historical First World War British Army Uniform. When taking my photographs, I made sure that I was capturing the key shapes, colours, details and silhouettes in the paintings and outfit to help me when designing my own menswear tailored collection.


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)

My Fashion Illustration Style:

Throughout the years of studying fashion and textiles, I have always struggled finding my own unique style of fashion illustrating. However, I took the time to experiment with many different styles until I was happy with the style I liked. In past projects I have worked with media’s like gouache paints but I wanted to teach myself and improve on my skills of using promarkers. After spending hours practicing different styles and using promarkers to capture texture and shading in a garment I was able to achieve a unique fashion illustration style that I could call my own. Instead of adding colour to the hair of my croquis I decided to stick with the basic line drawing because I didn’t want the volume of the hair to overpower the garment she was wearing. This worked really well because all of the attention was drawn straight to the garment, drapery, details and colours.

Constructing a Sculpture with Wooden Sticks and Embroidery Thread:

This afternoon we were given the task to construct a sculpture that was made from wooden sticks and layers of cotton and embroidery threads that interlocked with each other. I decided to start constructing a triangular base for my sculpture and construct a 3D edgy sculpture. Once the base and structure of my sculpture was completed, I continued the trend of spray painting my work with silver paint before wrapping and interlocking cotton and embroidery thread. I decided to use the colours black, red, orange and yellow as I have never worked with these colours before.


To take my experimentation further I decided to play around with the placement of my edgy sculpture of a female mannequin. This also enabled me to picture where my sculpture could be used in a garment. After experimenting with the placement many times in different areas I then decided to experiment with draping netting around the mannequin while pinning my sculpture ontop. This made my final placement outcomes more expressive and bold because of the drapery involved behind and around the 3D sculpture. I was then ready to printed my photographs out and draw onto them to design more unique and creative shapes.



Using Unconventional Materials to Create A Textile Piece:

We were given the task to create three A5 textile pieces and two 30cm yarn samples that were constructed from a range on unconventional materials. My first textile sample was created from wire that was used in the machinery industry. I was drawn to the texture and overall shine look this wire had so I decided to play on this and make the shape more interesting by bending strips and securing them with hot glue. I decided to layer and combine these individual pieces to create a very intense, edgy and industrial textile sample.  I am really happy with the final outcome of first textile sample because it was very futuristic take on textiles which was challenging to me as I’m usually not drawn to this take on fashion and textiles.

My second textile sample was constructed from an A5 sized cardboard sheet that was constructed in a zigzag form. This meant that I was able to wrap a continuous yarn of wool between the gaps in the cardboard to add depth and different layers to the simple sheet of cardboard. I completed this sample by spray painting the wool and cardboard. I’m really happy with the final outcome because the wool was able to absorb the particles in the spray paint and highlight the fine yarns that made up the wool yarn.  I am very happy with the final outcome of my second textile piece because it reminded me of the rope you find interlocked with cages used for fishing.

My third textiles sample piece was constructed from a range of materials. I used cardboard as the base of my sample and hot glued strips of paper, flat wire and crinkled wire. I made sure all the materials interlocked with each other and I incorporated layers to add depth to my textile piece. I decided to complete sample by spray painting a silver to continue to theme of futuristic. I didn’t have a method behind the placement of the materials and I thought this worked really well because it proved to myself that I don’t have to overthink everything I do and take risks/challenges to achieve interesting outcomes.


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

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

We spent the afternoon visiting Shrewsbury museum and art gallery to collect a wide range of primary research for our upcoming art project.

We were given the task to pick a garment that we will liked the look of and collect a range of photos of the up close detail, shapes, textures and colours. We also looked around the whole of the museum to see if anything else related to our chosen garment.

I’ve decided to focus all my attention to the Albania sleeveless jacket as I loved the continuous beaded embroidery. I also loved the contrast of bold and dramatic colours which made this garment stand out more compared to the others surrounding it. I noticed that the sleeveless jacket was made up of a floral and swirl pattern so I decided to venture round the museum to find other details and objects that related to my chosen garment.

My Chosen Garment:


Related Primary Research:


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.