Angel of the Streets…

 

As most of you know, I spent the month of July in Paris studying with the Arts of Fashion Foundation in their Summer Masterclass Program. Under the guidance of French Couture designer, Stephanie Coudert, myself and the other 9 international students were all able to complete our two body collections ready for the exhibition and photoshoot.

We were extremely fortunate to have our exhibition held in the Decorative Arts Museum, in association with the Louvre Museum. The exhibition was a one night only event in which industry representatives, people we had collaborated with, and some of the student’s family and friends attended. It was a successful night with everyone’s work being well received.

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This blog is about my final designs that I created in the very short amount of time over there. If you want to read about my week one experience please click here and if you want to see my ‘One Month in One Minute’ video, click here.

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My ‘Angel of the Streets’ collection is inspired by the street culture of Cuba. Skateboarding is a relatively new craze in Cuba as there is no places to actually buy skate equipment in the country at this time. There is a non-for-profit organisation based in America called ‘Skate Cuba’ who is providing boards and tools for people in Cuba. Targeting the younger population, Skate Cuba is helping to make a positive difference in people’s lives. The idea of the collection is to bring a positive and light energy to the skater culture. The clothes are versatile in the way that you could dress them up with a pair of heels, or easily pull of the look with a pair of luxe sneakers.

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The loose-fitting, light-weight jacket is a beautiful piece to wear. It creates its own movement and flow in the back whilst still maintaining structure in the front. It is made of a soft cotton with an organza lining to add volume and edged with a unique straw like knitted fabric. The sleeves are held up with straps made of the straw, held in place with a rustic D-ring buckle.

The dress has matching straps to the jacket with the body of it falling softly. There is a clutch bag incorporated into the design that can be held in the hand or attached magnetically to the back of the dress for when you’re skating along. I have never made a bag before so this was a new venture for me.

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The insert in the bag is pleated along with the pants and the drape piece on the top. I hand sewed the draped pleat piece onto the individual top patterns before constructing it, this only took 10 hours… The pants were very difficult to create as the accordion pleating does not sit flat. I had to pleat the pleats myself at the top of the pants in order to sew them flat around the waist, which was not easy. I want to thank you to Maison Lognon for creating these beautiful pleats for me to work with.

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On the final night we had a farewell and were all presented with certificates of achievement by Stephanie and Nathalie. I am very excited and so honoured to announce that I received the top award of ‘Couture’ which is extremely humbling. Stephanie said that she saw a lot of fight in me and that she and I share something in common…

“Fashion is not just anything to me… it is a matter of life and death.”

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I was so humbled by the words and I can’t thank Stephanie enough for all her guidance and for being such a beautiful, calming soul throughout the course. I also have to thank Nathalie and Phillip Doucet from the Arts of Fashion Foundation for accepting me into the course and giving us students the opportunity to see and learn from some amazing companies. Thank you to the interns that worked with us, Clémence Doucet and Paul Gibert; and the beautiful dancers who modelled my clothes, Kelly Riffaud-Laneurit and Naïs Duboscq.

A final congratulations to all the other students; Maria Alejandra Parra Parodi, Kartika Wijaya, Young Woo Kim, Anette Nyseth, Mimmy Begazo, Yanchen Yao, Yanting Yao, Yi Ding and Yiwen Li; I loved getting to know you all and it was an honour to present my work along side yours.

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