I create new versions of the DIYcouture garments each season with the aim of displaying some of the different ways each garment can be made. They are versatile designs and though any two people could be following the same set of instructions, each will come up with a totally unique piece of clothing. (I think the DIYcouture garments can probably be made in an infinite number of ways, though this has yet to be tested.)
When I say season, I mean fashion season, and there are only two of these each year; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. However, unlike the catwalk brands that design, produce and photograph their collections a minimum of six months in advance of the real-world season, I usually get the DIYcouture pieces together just about in time for them to coincide with the physical nature-based season. This is not because of any particular philosopy, but a matter of available time dictating that this is so.
However, this gives me a chance to look at the catwalks and take inspiration from the amazing pieces of clothing on display there. This spring I particularly liked the look of House Of Holland, Philip Lim and Louis Vuitton.
I built a picture of a DIYcouture collection in my head and went fabric shopping accordingly. My greatest find must be the pinky-aqua ombre chiffon I found at Z Butt on Brick Lane (seet he pleated skirt and gathered dress below)
I played around with technical illustrations of some DIYcouture pieces, bearing in mind my real life fabrics.
I bought all the other bits and pieces I needed to make the garments, including a lot of elastic for the gathered dress, the shorts and the rompers. I made the shorts with some pale orange polycotton, but wanted something in a heavier weight to make the cloak. I found a pastel tangerine linen at Dalston Mill fabric shop.
I made a striped version of the gathered dress by joining multiple pieces of fabric. A few weeks later I noticed that Mulberry have got a similar dress available as part of their SS12 collection, called the lollipop dress.
I made a pleated skirt from the beautiful colour-fade chiffon.
I did also DIY two items to style the outfits with, which I will blog how-tos for in the next week or so. One is a bandeau top...
And the other is a fruity painted t-shirt...
I wanted to style the outfits with some amazing fractured-mirror wedges by Elizabeth Dunn.
I spotted these online months ago and have been dying to borrow them for a shoot. Elizabeth is based in London and was kind enough to lend me the shoes.
I planned the oufits for the shoot visually. Some of the garments are transparent so you can see I drew little black knickers to remind myself that the model needed to wear nude coloured underpants.
I did a quick light test to try and get the set up right before my model arrived. I am not a lighting expert.
Modelling for DIYcouture's SS12 is the beautiful and very intelligent Lily Molly Silverton. She used to run a blog called 'no new clothes for a year' and she continues to have new adventures in slow fashion. She was happy to donate her afternoon to the DIYcouture photoshoot, and as she is a trained dancer, knew exactly what to do with her limbs.
We took about eight hundred photos. The next day, I edited them down and picked a few to go on the DIYcouture homepage. I also did some more fun Photoshop work, making collages for my Twitter wallpaper with pictures of magic crystal paper trees...
And the DIYcouture gathered dress was brought to life in a dancing GIF.
I hope lots of people enjoy creating and wearing home made clothes this spring.