I had a tutorial with Ignacia today and it greatly boosted my project.
I explained my ideas to Ignacia and she was so patient to hear all of it carefully. She kept asking me the logic of each step because I didn't put relevant annotations on my sketchbook, which I should. And it was lack of experimentations of the project. Then I came up with the idea that creating lanterns and print pixel characters on them but had no idea how to print nicely rather than only using a printer. She mentioned the idea of screen-printing, which I've tried a year ago but thought it was too complex. I told her my worry and she explained the process of it thoroughly:
- make digital images of the characters;
- cut a black piece of card with the shapes of different colors from the images;
- choose the fabric I want to print on;
- put the little cards on the screen and then put it in a UV unite to accelerate exposing;
- blend colors I need and start to print each shape individually.
After accepting her advice, I was full of energy and couldn't wait to work.
Today we were asked to make a prototype for our final outcomes. It was quite hard because I wasn't ready for it.
Plus, I wanted to make it in 2D, using different digital techniques like synthetic photos, pixel photos, digital collage, and many other effects which I hadn't tried before. It is hard to imagine a 3D prototype to present my digital images because there are many questions must be figured out before I start:
- Which materials match with the style of my project?
- In which kind of way would it connect to the theme?
- How big is it? How big is the digital image on it?
- How to display in the exhibition?
- Would the image on it be flat or be curve along the surface?
But somehow I started to work before solving the problems, and I created some paper lanterns which I believe could be a nice shape for presenting the cultural meanings. But the biggest problem is that I can hardly put an image on it because of the irregular surface. I think I would try another 3D form to contain my image better, which could also express the cultural meanings properly.
We were asked to fill a schedule sheet for this week. It reminds me that this course is quite short actually. What's more, it means that we only have a few days to finish our outcome basically. I browsed some work of the outstanding alumni, who have been studying Fashion Communication or Creative Direction for Fashion in UAL. And I felt even more confused. They present all kinds of wonderful works, from 2D to 3D, from photography to styling, from fine art to design. Actually, I am still worried about the form of the outcome. When I did projects, I used to focus mostly on the graphic design or photography but they were regarded as "lack of fashion". When some ideas come up, I feel excited at first and then turn down immediately, due to a series of concerns. For example:
- Whether I can finish the workload within the requirement?
- Would it too complicated to understand for the audiences?
- Is the form consistent with the concept?
- Is this an outdated idea?
- Is the logic among the process farfetched(unconvincing)?
- INFINITE QUESTIONS
I started on my project today. First of all, I wanted to retouch the pictures I took last weekend. I enjoyed retouching pictures I took but before long I got problems. I was still not sure about the tonality of my final outcome, which meant that I had no direction for the retouching. Then I asked myself "Why am I doing this at present?" Then I turned to work on the venn diagram which I almost forgot.
Contextual Practice 01/08/2018
To help us more easily to get into our projects without making disastrous mistakes, we were asked to fill each slot with specific ideas. I started to carefully fill these slots and tried to give more answers. I thought quickly because most of the answers were came from my original thinking of the projects separately. Then I found that it is quite a good way to organize my messy thoughts in my brain, as long as I classify those ideas into these sections.
Then we were asked to select three or more sections to build up our projects' structures. One should be our discipline, and the rest could be any others. The intersection of all those sections is supposed to be our project. The intersections between each two sections are supposed to be the references we find for the project.
Frankly, I stayed up late and crammed for the project proposal last night. I felt pretty bad for it. Actually, I am supposed to finish it earlier, but I spent too much time on worthless things like checking my WeChat moments, Instagram and stuff. I really need to improve my self-control ability. And then I realized that "interest is the greatest teacher". I probably should regard this project as my interest and pay more attention to it.
I had a tutorial today, and Allen was my tutor who was in charge of revising the project proposal for me. I used some obscured phrases and Allen pointed them out for me, which help me realize the importance of accuracy. What's more, I realized that I have to improve my English writing skill in order to be ready to take the challenges from BA courses.
Today I found a YIXI lecture that related to this project. It is called My Real Fashion Story, given by Raquel Sanchez Montes, who is working as a trend forecast specialist, basically help the fashion brands to predict what comes next.
On November 22, 2014, she arrived in Guangzhou, which is my hometown. In a very organic way, she started to take pictures of old people. She said she's not really interested in young people because she thought that young people all wear the same. And was these old people who gave her the more fresh ideas. "They are not really focused on fashion or just clothes, they are also focused on lifestyle, love, happiness."
Today is Tuesday. Because of illness, I stayed at home this morning, but when I got better in the afternoon, I went to KX's library and did some research. I did what Karen told me and found the book The Fashion System by Roland Barthes. Actually, it is a theoretical book in English and I found it really hard to read because of both language and the profound meanings.
Then I went on finding other books, trying to know more about the history of fashion in China, like the Fashion Revolution in China by Anthony Bednall, which is a booklet including summarized changes happened in China since 1949. It shows how the policy influenced people's attitudes and behaviors in fashion. It inspired me to think more about the relationship between the environment and fashion in different periods.
"Mao Tse-tung, the party head and supreme leader, recognized the power of dress to create shared identity and the style of clothing he and the communist party members favoured became the dominant style from the 1950's through to the late 1970's."
I kept working on abstracting and blending styles and making the pixel looks. It sounds easy but actually, it was rather complicated. I had to consider loads of things throughout the making.
- Designing the post of the former model is one of the biggest challenges. Which angle is the best to present as many different clothing and accessories as possible? And I needed to readjust the details of the post every time I tried a new look in order to fit it with every item perfectly.
- To work in concert with my concept, select the proper elements from my researches( street styles of Chinese old generations and workers), considering the visual effects and representation of the communities;
- Which quantity range of pixels is appropriate to present the styles? Not being to details but still remains some. After researching some pixel artists' works and tried in person, I got my answer.
- How to remain as many details as possible with a single color to present one piece of clothing and item. Mind the shapes! See through clearly the shapes of each item!
- I had trouble how to style them more interestingly. But finally, I found that imaging each characters' story could really help styling them.
- Because I don't have much time, I only design female figures but fashion elements were abstracted from both male and female Chinese old generations and workers.
- How to place the detached pixels properly? Stick it carefully on a transparent film paper!
- Order the items' layers base on actual shielding effects. (body-->clothes; body-->hair-->glasses/hat; etc.)
- Couldn't set the background as black or white and any other color that would be shown on the looks. So finally I chose green, just like the green screen for filming, as it would seldom be used on the normal look.
I hung out with my friend yesterday and we went shopping in IKEA. Before it, I haven't been sure about almost any aspect of it. But after a short relaxing time in IKEA, I became interested in making something, like handcrafting. I saw some plain paper lanterns, which reminds me that the Mid-Autumn Festival was coming soon.
I suddenly thought lantern would be a perfect medium to present my concept - utility fashion of Chinese old generations and workers. In my point of view, somehow it shows the similar personality as these two communities. Lantern is used to be the essential good in ancient China, as everyone needed one to lighten their rooms, or to lighten the road when they went out. But now after being promoted by people of generations, it became a symbol of practical and beautiful. The practical meaning is reflected not only in its actual usage but also the moral (implied meaning) within it - reunion and auspicious. The history of lantern is quite similar to the aesthetic evolution of those communities.
They coincidentally wear clothes on the basis of utilitarian, and then the communities have generated a unique and respectable vibe of fashion. The fashion of them is independent, bizarre and even bold since they seldom care about others opinions but spontaneously follow their own instincts. And that's why their fashion is always reasonable and more intriguing which can hardly be outdated in a way. They are equal in the circle because of their same attitude to fashion.
Thanks to the lantern, it has helped reflect on my theme more objectively and thoroughly.
Today is the deadline for the project proposal, as well as the digital workshop day.
I spent four hours on the premiere workshop since morning. Actually, I couldn't catch up in the first place, but then I got into it and found it really interesting. The interface of this software was too complicated for me before, but when I followed the tutor step by step, it became much clearer.
However, I needed to revise my proposal twice because of my carelessness.
Today I went to the Design Museum in the afternoon, and it was really an eye-opener for me. The exhibition involves almost all fields of design, and basically, they are product design. Some are so appealing that they activate my desire to make a relevant project in the future; some are instructive and have impacted on my notion.
- The manufacturing operation of tennis balls
- ( It shows the importance of conforming design to efficient manufacture. )
- The manufacturing process of yarn-dyed fabric
- ( It shows me that there are many possibilities to mix ideas and technology together. )
- The typography design in the transportation system
- ( It reminds me of the importance of details and comprehensive reflection of our work. )
- The handcrafted process of leather boot
- ( It shows me the charm from the construction of craftsman. )
- The evolution of electronic products
- ( It shows me plenty of other possibilities of products; and the unique relationship between the specific products and era. )
I was still working on the pictures taken by Raquel.
There are several themes she classified from these pictures.
- Sleeping beauty -- the lovely people sleeping in public places, with diverse postures.
- Beauty in daily life -- the ordinary things become extraordinary, like the oversleeves. Some people in China regard it just as a protector with function, something useful. "The crazy mixes. It is true that in fashion nowadays, everything is possible." There was an old lady she showed on the ppt, who always has the same style in fact. She wears the hat, with the mask, also like mixing prints, the tracksuit, the sneakers and the white socks.
- Pajamas -- She thought the coolest pajama was in China. There were many patients walking around in pajamas.
- Plastic -- like Raf Simons and Balenciaga, they have elevated the plastic from trash to luxury. There are also many local people in Guangzhou use plastic as their daily accessories (with actual functions), to take shelter from the rain or avoid getting dirty. These ideas are all about giving a second life to daily accessories.
- Towel -- used by some fashion brand like Loewe, also used by some Miao village girls to cover their bun.
- Crop top -- maybe the inspiration is coming from the hot Chinese guys, who rolls up the T-shirt because of the hot weather.
- Queens of style -- people who don't have any knowledge about fashion and even don't care about fashion, would probably come up with natural style, natural sense of fashion.
Today we went to KX in the afternoon and I continued to research.
As my theme is about blue-collar workers' fashion in China, I thought they might appear on the street photography books. Then I read a book called Shanghai Street Style in the library.
- Although I found it not as practical to my project, I enjoy reading this book cause it brought a different angle to appreciate the normal street styles in China.
- Also, reading this book could enrich my knowledge of fashion as well as the vocabulary of fashion. It reminds me of the saying:" Was vernünftig ist, das ist wirklich,
und was wirklich ist, das ist vernünftig. (What is real is reasonable, what is reasonable is real.)", by Hegel.
- It inspired me with its methods of recording street fashion. It shows not only the whole looks of people but also some detail‘s closeup of the looks, like glasses, shoes, bags, accessories and the like.
After reading this fashion album, I really like to try taking photos of people in the street. But before doing it, of course, I need to read more related collections and find the proper way to go into action.
Today we were introduced more about unit 7 by Allen. I came up with 3 themes and had thought about the rough expectation for each theme.
- Theme1: "Accident"-- Discovering interesting or beautiful moments in accidents ( like shoe stain, car scratch, tumble wound etc. ), then create accidents on purpose.
- Theme2: "AI Drawing Guessing"-- Comprehending and the universality that people think of specific objects ( in a philosophy way), and develop into graphic elements.
- Theme3: "Democratic Fashion in Guangzhou"-- Collecting the way to create fashion by local people in GZ, who doesn't care about fashion.
I had a tutorial with Karen in the afternoon. I explained my ideas to her with my broken English and she was very patient and directly recommended several related artists to me. Then up to the second theme, she thought that the theme was so limited that there wouldn't be much space for me to develop the theme. Actually, that was just what I had in mind. Then she corrected the word "democratic fashion" because there is no such thing. And she recommended a book called The Fashion System in order to enhance my comprehension of fashion. I explained my exact idea of this theme to her and she thought I should change the words into "Blue-collar" or "Utilitarian", which were more precise to present my concept.
I am going to read the book and start to do some research on the same clothes in different culture and industries. It seems that there is unlimited research I could do.