Cathedrals are some of the last artifacts that communicate life and values from the Middle Ages. Chartres Cathedral in France exists as a time capsule of its culture, as an exhibition of religious, material, and social values as well as the expert craft guild that flourished in the city. Capturing the structure of the society and the cathedral became the objective of this project: a 21st century men's and women's wear fashion collection.
The menswear collection, an Honors Thesis, focuses on the architectonic aspects of the patriarchal society and the Cathedral. The women's wear expresses the similarities between the cathedrals stained glass and the women of medieval society. The didacticism of the glass helps present the juxtaposing values of women in medieval culture.
I used texts from both UC Davis and University of the Arts London, explored several other medieval cathedrals, and spent time visiting Chartres Cathedral to grasp the complexity of the topic. The collections use digital prints and glass to enhance the research. The final product of this research has been exhibited in the Fashion and Design Society's student fashion show during the 2012 UC Davis Picnic Day to an outstanding review and an audience of Deans, Faculty, and Donors from all over the University.
This project was funded by a Presidential Undergraduate Fellowship Grant, Fashion Group International, San Francisco, Scholarship, and supported by Dharma Traders.
Chartres Cathedral's Representation of Medieval Culture Seen Through 21st Century Design.
Please click on an image to open the gallery as the gallery's thumbnails distorts the images.
Each women's wear piece is inspired by the four characters present in the lives of medieval women: Eve as the innocent beginnings of womanhood - the Fallen Eve as a medievally believed manipulator of men, usurper of power, and mother of all medieval woman's intent - the Medieval Woman torn between the archetypes of the Fallen Eve and Mary the Queen of Heaven - and the woman most worshiped in the medieval culture, Mary.
This page exhibits some of my creative thought process as a snap shot from the formative stages of the Fiat Lux Menswear Collection.
Collection Title: From Lucas to Daemon (Fiat Lux UCD PUF Grant Project)
Collection Music: Rhinestone Eyes by the Gorillaz
The Character: I want the character to have the feel of "looking fair and feeling foul". I want his style too to be seducing. There was a lot about the church in those days about seducing people which goes along with my research on their philosophy.
The Materials: I've found some bits of "woven plastic" that are interesting, could be used for piping or something to give it a little bit of a hint of light in the dark. Two other fabrics I found were quite serendipitous. The one is a jersey with a plastic layer fused on top. The other one is more of its sheer counter part which I found at Target (a cheaper M&S) and it is the same plastic print, it is just a shower curtain. I also got a leather hide. More materials to come i.e. black/gray wool suiting, black/gray sheep skin, and jersey?
I left the older things on the website if you wish to compare. I tried to keep the silhouette simpler, emphasizing seam lines, and working with the materials.