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sustainability in design = changing mindsets + deeds

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spirit of the Black Dress

A while back, Adel and I worked together to produce a black dress for The Spirit of the Black Dress competition. The focus of this was not only to create a dress, but do so in a sustainable manner - sustainability being the theme of this year's competition.

The following are photos of the final product, accompanied with explanations that formed part of our submission. While we weren't selected in the final 10, we did receive some encouraging feedback from the judges, and it was certainly a very worthwhile exercise to undertake!

This dress celebrates both drape and geometry. A collaborative effort between myself and Adel, the dress is a short shift constructed from crepe, and features structured elements derived from up-cycled garments: a diagonally realigned, functional button wrap forms part of the front bodice, and a collar draped over the shoulder creates a long, loose, “kimono-esque” sleeve. Inverted box pleats in the front bodice panels also give the garment form.

The dress was created from sustainably sourced materials, beginning life as a blouse and skirt set (featuring an outsized, ‘80s style blouse in black crepe, along with matching straight skirt), which were then up-cycled to create the final garment.

We were determined to use as much of the original garments as possible, eliminate the use of paper (the nature of up-cycling itself), and for the dress to have a strong emphasis on hand construction.

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