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Printed textiles for Donna Karan fashion collection

Bigwood, Fleet and Gillin, W. (2001) Printed textiles for Donna Karan fashion collection. [Art/Design Item]
Creators:Bigwood, Fleet and Gillin, W.

This work developed out of earlier textile research, which was process-led. I had already used techniques such as burning, rusting and weaving human hair into fabrics in the 1990s for Alexander McQueen and for Donna Karan’s 1995 Florence Biennale exhibit.

For Karan I developed those design ideas using devoré, a technique that etches patterns into fabrics with a pile such as velvet. I produced a series of 3m x 1.4m devoré panels featuring large, gestural marks without a repeat. Each panel was individual and was engineered for a specific garment. My close collaboration with Karan meant that my textile designs impacted on her fashion designs, for example when her designs incorporated patterns I had burnt out on satin fabric that she subsequently sent back to me to add in beading.

I further developed this way of designing for Karan’s “Vietnam Collection” (S/S 2001). Here I produced a multiple stripe pattern as a black print on ivory chiffon and as a discharge print on black matt viscose jersey before cutting and collaging the fabric into panels specifically engineered for the body. These were augmented in conjunction with the designer through a design process of draping and twisting, rather than drawing. The fabric thus dictated and influenced the design rather than the design requiring a fabric. The result was three-dimensional and tactile fabrics with drama and graphic energy.

My textiles were used in the Donna Karan catwalk show and featured in the S/S 01 advertising campaign and other international publications, including British, Italian and American Vogue. They can be viewed online at vogue.co.uk, style.com and catwalking.com.

This particular look was subsequently copied throughout the industry including in high street fashion, though the technical processes used for the mass market were different and the proportion and balance of the patterns was altered.

Type of Research:Art/Design Item
Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Date:01 July 2001
ID Code:1073
Deposited On:05 Dec 2009 12:58
Last Modified:06 Oct 2011 12:56
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