Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Art and Design | Fashion Design
The objective of my thesis was to design a collection of six garments and produce one made from fabric I developed using Silk Cloqué which involves felting wool in between two layers of silk gauze. The process was initially developed by David and Dorita Reyen of Reyen Design Studio based on the work of textile designer Polly Stirling. I became interested in Silk Cloqué when the Reyens were selling their work in Slocum Hall. In fall 2004, I began working with them. My first experience working with Silk Cloqué was at one of the Reyen’s scarf workshops. My other experiences working with the Reyens included a belly dance festival in Syracuse, New York, and a Renaissance festival in Tuxedo, New York summer 2005.
My thesis begins with background information on Reyen Design Studio, acid dyeing, and felting. Then I proceed to discuss the design portion beginning with twelve sketches (which were narrowed down to a collection of six), the development of Silk Cloqué fabric, and finally the production of my final garment. To render my illustrations, I used a Staedtler micro-tip pen and Staedtler watercolor pencils as my drawing medium on Strathmore watercolor paper. The drawings were scanned into PhotoShop and enhanced. However, I changed my design completely and drew five new drawings using the same medium. The new drawings were done after the final garment was made. The advantage of making the dress first was that I could look at the garment when I drew it. Unlike my previous illustrations, I did not create the background using PhotoShop. Instead, I enlarged a digital photo of a sample scarf made from Silk Cloqué to use as an understated yet effective background.
Before dyeing and felting the final fabric I dyed several sample pieces and made a sample scarf. The actual production of the garment was very tedious. After countless trials of dyeing fabric in my kitchen sink, it was quite difficult to recreate successful dye mixtures for my final garment! In addition, the outcome of my thesis differed drastically than from what I had initially expected. The first six drawings were composed of too many seams which detracted from the essence of the Silk Cloqué fabric. This thesis demonstrates the evolution of my original design ideas as well as the successes and drawbacks of the process.
Derr, Emily, "A Designer’s Process" (2006). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 598.
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