Studying at Central St. Martins School of Art and Design, the UK's top fashion design school, was incredibly different from UC Davis. There are similarities in design outcome between the two schools but the execution of the learning process couldn't be more different. Being abroad, Miquette learned so much about the cultures of design around the world. Miquette learned British design execution and culture from her tutors, and global design culture from her international classmates. Central St. Martins has the global student base to foster these experiences. This year abroad was an invaluable supplement to her Bachelors of Arts at UC Davis.
Central St. Martins, Charing Cross Road, London
One design exercise from Central St. Martins is called the Dog Project. This project helps the students to find out of the box inspirations for collections. It is often said that owners look like their dogs. For this project the students were asked to choose a dog and design a collection for the owner of that dog. That is a nutshell explanation for the hours of research and in depth character seeking and building that went on to prepare these designs below. Miquette chose a true American dog, the mutt, to be inspired by. The mix of coloring in the dogs fur became traditional British fabrics in Miquette's mind. The character of the dog inspired the silhouettes and style lines.
The "White Project" at Central St. Martins is the first construction project of the course. The challenge is to make a garment all out of one of two white fabrics: felt or poplin. I was inspired by the Samurai of Tokugawa Japan. I went to several museums including the Japanese collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The poplin fabric I saw as a more suitable fabric for creating a 'snow suit' and keeping in line with the clean simplicity of the Japanese style. Below are some photos of the design process and the final outcome.
Over Spring Holiday students were asked to research everything about one fibre type: protein, cellulose, or synthetic. Miquette chose to research synthetic fibers and their qualities as fabrics. At UC Davis she had taken several textile science courses and had an in depth comprehensive understanding of the fibers and fabrics, but not how those fabrics translated into garments. Miquette was inspired by the poncho's inherent water proof qualities because of their lack of seams and incorporated those elements and the unique colors synthetic dyes are capable of holding.
Students are asked to go to a vintage shop, buy an article of clothing, and create a four piece collection based on that garment. Miquette found a windbreaker of unknown date and created a collage of all of the things that came to mind when she sees the jacket. Miquette really enjoyed this project and took time to explore textile designs as well as invest in her illustrations.
This project was the first project assigned at CSM. The brief directed us to look around London and find inspiration in the architecture we found. Miquette was inspired by the organic elements found cohabiting the architectonic landscape of central London. The students were directed to create a collection of t-shirts to explore this fashion staples boundaries.