COUTURE BLOG

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COU-CAT-LEFT-SPACE2 If you love Couture patterns and the intricate process of couture construction then this blog page is perfect for you! The page features all our latest entries concerning our Couture pattern collections - past, present and future. Follow this blog to find all the latest news and info on our upcoming couture sewing patterns, competitions and prizes. This blog is also linked to our Corset Pinterest Board where we keep track of all our gorgeous couture inspirational finds... Go check it out - Click the pinterest image above! COU-CAT-RIGHT-SPACE2
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BASIC BLOCK DRAFTING- Measurement Generator – MGV2

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TRIAL  FULL-VERSION
>YOU REQUIRE MICROSOFT EXCEL TO USE THIS PROGRAM
It’s finally arrived! The Measurement generator! This little piece of software allows you to construct your very own custom sized sloper or basic blocks. 
A very simplistic and easy to use system that imports your custom measurements to produce an easy to follow step by step, point to point instruction set with diagrams, that teaches you to construct your basic blocks either in adobe Illustrator or on pattern paper, with no prior knowledge of pattern cutting techniques. Take a look at our overview above or watch the individual tutorials below to see how you can produce your own custom sized basic blocks, for personal or client Use.
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>BODICE BLOCK – VIDEO TUTORIAL
We take you step by step through the process of creating the one piece bodice block, This tutorial also shows you how to use Adobe Illustrator as a pattern cutting platform. It also includes tips and tricks on how to add one click seam allowance!

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>TROUSER BLOCK – VIDEO TUTORIAL
Learn how to produce our basic trouser block using the Measurement generator, to create your own Basic trouser block, includes one click seam allowance and dart manipulation techniques.

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>SLEEVE BLOCK – VIDEO TUTORIAL
We take you step by step through the process of creating the one piece sleeve block, which is useable with both the bodice block and dress block.

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>SKIRT BLOCK – VIDEO TUTORIAL
Build your own custom sized skirt block using our measurement generator and Adobe Illustrator. Possibly the easiest block to cut. Follow us point by point!

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>DRESS BLOCK – VIDEO TUTORIAL
We take you step by step through the process of creating the one piece dress block, a great pattern that is put together using the Bodice block and Skirt block. Check it out now!

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>PRINTING YOUR PATTERN IN MULTI-PAGE PDF’s
Learn how to split your basic block patterns into Multi-page PDF’s. Allowing you to, save, share and print your patterns off on your home printer. 

THE FINAL LINE UP – Couture sewing patterns

Finally we have finished the Couture line up for couture collection and like our commercial range we are offering the illustrations and and model templates as a free download! not only for you to check out but to use for your own design work and for you to colour up in preparation for for the release of our range of couture sewing patterns. To take a look and let us know what you think. We are still working on a collection of couture origami inspired coats to go with this collection and should have them u as soon as we’ve finished our toiling. The design silhouettes have been finalised however we still have work to do on the exact embellishment patterns for each design, but all in good time. We’l be pattern cutting and grading these designs over the coming weeks, so look out for more updates as we progress. Either way we’re really excited to start production of the sewing patterns and samples! We hope you like them as much as we do!so get downloading and let us know. If you want to see our inspiration for this collection then check out the previous posts on our couture blog, see the original mood board or visit our pinterest page!
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Couture line up finalised

Hoorah! We have just finalised our designs for the recent couture collection and are about to start pattern cutting/ grading! We’ll be posting the finished designs in the next day or two, but in the mean time feel free to download our 1920’s inspired model templates, that we used to build our couture range. Feel free to download and use these templates for your portfolio or design work, they’re completely copyright free, all we ask is that you mention us online! Spread the work guys and enjoy.

SIMPLY CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO DOWNLOAD

RESEARCH

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So far i have done a bit of browsing into what resources are available to me in and around London for the 1920’s and Art Deco movement. However, no current exhibitions are on show in London or the surrounding area, so i have turned to the wealth of references housed in various fashion Library’s in London.
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>Middlesex university - 
Cat Hill Campus Fashion Library:
This is my old university Campus and has a fantastic collection or books on or relating to fashion from the 1920’s. So a day at their library should be a good start to finding source imagery. Luckily the library is open to the public as long as you register, by bringing one form of identity and two passport.

>London College of Fashion -Oxford Street Campus Library:
Yet another of my old campuses, this library is situated in the heart of London, just off oxford street. Luckily it is also open to the public and my appointment is booked for 9th-Jan-2014 (tomorrow) and does not require any identification to enter. Simply call up or e-mail them and they will gladly fit you in!

>Victoria & Albert museum -Archive of fashion & textiles:
The V&A holds a huge collection of garments from a variety of era’s and amazingly it’s open to the public by way of appointment. I am incredibly excited about this resource as it will easily be the best resource to analyse and study those elusive 1920’s details.
>The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Accessories Fair:
The London Vintage Fashion Fairs organised by P & A Antiques Ltd are an inspiration to fashionistas and an unbeatable source of one-off bargains. This particular event is going to be something really special. I remember wanting to go to this a while back but i missed it. We’ll certainly video blog as much of this as we can! Thank you to Shelley Atkins for suggesting it.
>Uproar!
at The Ben Uri gallery:
The first 50 years of The London Group 1913-1963 I’m not sure how much information specifically about 1920’s fashion there will be at this exhibition, but it’s certainly worth a look. I haven’t researched it and i don’t intend to. No expectations… no let downs! But a huge thank you to Alex Deysac for suggesting it.
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The idea is to gather as much imagery and information on 1920’s fashion as possible, then to scan, photograph and photocopy anything that works with my theme: whether it be garment silhouettes, colour, embellishment, iconic details or overall trend from that time period. I’m looking specifically for obscure information that might not be available online or in imagery I have seen so far. This will give me a broader variety of inspiration when it comes to developing my ideas. It might also trigger other areas of research that might not be immediately apparent. But lets not forget the other themes such as Art Deco and origami… There will no doubt be plenty of research material in the library archives for me to collect, so this can all be done in the same sitting.
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Oh…. I just recieved an e-mail from an incredibly friendly man with a truly amazing company! Papershake is a London based creative team that specialise in truly fabulous Origami! It’s modern, cutting edge and they have some big names under their belt! Luckily i have been given the opportunity to visit them at their offices in Canary Wharf to view their collections and see the process first hand! This is something i will certainly video blog! check out their site and let me know what you think. In terms of research content it’s a lovely opportunity!

BOARD ANALYSIS

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>THANKYOU

Congratulations to Jemima Daisy for her fabulous board… we can’t wait to get started! Also a huge thank you to everyone that took part, your sewing patterns are on their way!

>WHY?

So why did I choose this board in particular, to be the inspiration for our next collection of couture sewing patterns? Well… I’ve written a lit bit of information under each section, to give you a little insight into each aspect of the moodboard, what inspired me and why. I also explain a bit about the next step in the development process.

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Using the 1920′s as the main theme really struck a chord with me, as it is an era i adore, the shapes and styling are gorgeous to say the least. The coats especially give a feel of glamor and opulence, plus… what with the Great Gatsby release in 2013 there’s a wealth of imagery and cinematography to look at. I’m not fully familiar with the genre so researching will be a real pleasure.
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This is what really did it for me: The concept of origami as a modern vein running through the collection.
So lets speak in a purely pattern cutting sense! The patterns we can create from this technique are going to be quite exciting, complicated yes but a real pleasure to make! Take the far left image as an example (dia-1), this idea not only follows the esthetics of the Art Deco movement but could be used in such a way that creates volume (not dissimilar to the 1920′s wrap around High-Lux coats), whilst adding a gorgeous structural element. This idea of voluptuous origami coats brings a really modern and exciting twist to the 1920′s theme. Not only that… but the idea of adding floral or textural embellishment techniques (dia-2) using origami creates a feeling of excitement about the the potential this technique could hold for tutorials and more.
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detail-analysis
This board is just as inspirational as the basic theme, simply because it builds upon the origami idea. In my opinion Art Deco is symmetry incarnate, with numerous dissecting and folding lines that create a wealth of dramatic imagery; It’s the empire state building and what better way to convey majesty… you might say… pure opulence. I love the idea of using this art movement as a form of embellishment or beading! However, combining it with the symmetrical folding panels of the origami is going to complicated and something that will need to be considered… but a lovely combination none the less.
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I do love this color palette! It screams depth and vibrancy of color but is quelled with a muted glaze that makes it fit effortlessly with the 1920′s washed out colors. I’m thinking satin in gorgeous subdued tones, contrasted by additional matt textural materials to mute the color. I’ll cap it off with little highlights and touches of dramatic color… See those little blocks of color on the inside of the umbrella that just pop out at you (dia 3)…… Now step back and look at all the images in combination as one big palette, it all sits so well together.

>WHERE TO NEXT?

Right so what’s next? Well I’m going to start building a wall, using the imagery from this board. I’ll categorize the images into their individual areas of research and start collating imagery, swatches, artifacts and information based on each of these categories. I need to make this inspiration mine, so i can start to develop the ideas and eventually start designing. There’s no better way to start research than with a trip to a museum or exhibition so keep on the look out. I’ll be blogging the whole process via articles and video blogs…

I hope you enjoy the whole process!

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COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT

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prof-banner-pic >Jemima Daisy

>Background: I worked and interned in Fashion throughout my teens and at 17 began working full time for a fashion website. Here I created content, designed web graphics, posters and also reported from various fashion shows around the world. I still write a blog (currently being re-vamped for a new launch!!) and write for a couple of websites about fashion weeks and fashion shows. I currently work in design for a newspaper advertising company.

>Job: Concept Designer at Newsquest Media Sales

>About me: I love to design fantasy collections in my head inspired by all the shows I have1st seen over the years as well as what I see on a daily basis. This is the first time I have created anything online to inspire a collection!!

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I love the subtlety of the 1920’s: Understated elegance, a gorgeous, slender silhouette with fluid fabrics to boot. Contrasted and trimmed with complex pleating – modernised by origami folds. Volkswagon recently created a CGI version of Gene Kelly breakdancing to a remixed version of ‘Singing in the Rain’. This added to my inspiration for a super modern, super glam 1920’s inspired collection. I love the idea of creative a collection based on the film ‘Singing in the Rain’! The styles and the retro, muted colours of the golden era. Researching through pinterest and other social media sites I researched a mixture of modern and retro themes following on from the art deco inspirations. With the hyper-clean origami styles that I was looking into I was moving further away from the original theme of “Singing in the Rain” and started to look for photos of rain, people in the rain, umbrellas and retro style photos of rainstorms, with muted colours to create a print idea. Rain drop research also led me to look into couture style beading and crystal lines building the origami lines. As a result I’ve pulled together a whole range of images and ideas that will create a contemporary collection using the 1920’s as a basis with couture influences, strong lines and complex pleated structure.
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LINDSEY-COLLISON

>Lindsey Collison

>Background: Studied art history and fine art at a foundation level at Northampton Nene college BA Honours in fashion design from Nottingham Trent University.

>Job: Leather and denim product developer for Allsaints

>About me: I’ve been working in the fashion industry for the past 9 years in the pattern cutting and 2nd technical departments. Fashion is my life and I take great pleasure from being involved in developing a garment from concept to fruition. On a personal level I do still like to dip my fingers into design from time to time and still create my own garments.

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Hard candy is elegance juxtaposed with unyielding.
Strong structure combined with fluid drapes, layering polar opposite fabric in harmony. The concept of throwing beautiful into disarray. A use of leather throughout the collection in full garments and in panel detailing gives it a hard edge. Tattooing is a form of body modification; the collection should provoke this finding new and exciting ways of modifying the leather and fabrics. The use of strong, impactful ink images reproduces in elegant fabrics such as lace and silks, or embroidery and beading. Dark colour pallets with subtle cotton candy linings and detail.
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936504_10100471967202975_704247971_n >Olivia Ryan

>Background: My background differs from most in fashion. My interests have always been in social affairs, cultural theory and literature. However, I was fortunate enough to grow up with a group of friends who became artists, designers and musicians. They have kept me interested in creative arts throughout my life and so I thought it was finally time to try getting involved myself. It’s early days so lets see how it goes…

>Job: Political Researcher3rd

>About me: A statistician with a passion for aesthetics.

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As a country girl I have always been interested in the natural world. The starting point of my inspiration was a set of x-rayed flowers I spotted in a science review. Despite their fragile appearance the flowers have a complex set of supportive structures developed by nature to give them strength. The intricacy and elegance of the design is fascinating. To push the idea forward I started exploring creatures below water such as anemone that are similarly fragile looking but offer an electric colour that can’t be found above ground. Translating these into fashion is possible through the use of translucent materials such as chiffon or soft plastics. The raincoats and shoe collections have been selected as some examples of how I see this concept working in practice.
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The boards above have been assembled by Ralph Pink in Photoshop, from the images submitted by the entrants, via their personal Pinterest account.

 

 

 

How to develop a theme or mood board

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>INTRODUCTION:

The Fashion industry moves incredibly fast in comparison to other creative industries and it is this ever changing state of flux that drives each designer to continually try to reinvent themselves and their work each season. That means that designers are continually looking out for new sources of inspiration to keep themselves present and contemporary. This inspiration can take many forms and is a personal journey of exploration for each designer. So, in this sense, inspiration and research are simply forms of personal creative investigation, which is unique to the designer. Good design really can’t happen without them – they are the building blocks of your creative potential.

All good research or inspiration begins with a theme or concept. This could be something that you have been thinking about for a while, or perhaps it suddenly springs up from nowhere. A muse, film, piece of music, exhibition or numerous images can kick start your creative mind into formulating your theme. A theme can be personal, abstract or more literal and will form the starting point of your research. It will also create a more manageable and cohesive collection. This does not limit your creative expression, as themes can be altered and developed over time – but having a theme initially gives you focus.

Alexander McQueen’s inspiration for his Atlantis S/S 2010 collection, I believe, was inspired by the magical and mysterious world of exotic insects, Darwin’s inconceivable animal hybrids and the lost race or civilisation of Atlantis. This is a basic mood board that we envisaged for his collection. (diagram on the right)

>HOW DO I START MY OWN?

Let’s start by creating your theme…. If you have no idea what your theme will comprise, simply go out or get online and find things that inspire you. You will naturally be attracted to concepts that hold some kind of excitement or interest for you specifically, so have some fun and be ambitious. A theme can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Sometimes, it is a case of simply picking words out of a hat: 1960’s – SPACE – FAUNA. At this point, we really have no idea what that collection might look like. Which is why we must begin to research… what do each of those words actually mean and how might you apply them to clothing? So, start to find and pull together images, photos and artefacts – literally anything you can get your hands on based around your search criteria. This process can take some time so be patient and really explore your theme.

Once you have your imagery, start to organise your images into four categories:

SILHOUETTE – This category usually refers to the cut or overall shape of your garments. It might be a specific garment or style or shape that fits with your theme or possibly a genre – you’ll know when you see it.

COLOUR – Self explanatory really! You will naturally be attracted to images that stand out and inspire you when it comes to colour.

DETAIL – This category often comprises images, swatches or samples that focus on stitch, embellishment, print etc. It is the crux of your collection and needs to be developed heavily to create unique and exciting ideas.

UNKNOWN – This category should comprise images that you love but still haven’t been able to categorise yet, they’ll either fit later or be removed completely. It’s a buffer zone.

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>THE WALL:

BRIEF-FIN_09Once you have organised your images, find a clean blank wall and start to pin your categories to it. Your theme will now start to take shape. You can remove or replace your imagery as you see fit. Some categories might need further exploration and development. The wall is a constantly evolving space! This is an exciting time in the development of your ideas so don’t force it too much. If an idea isn’t working or doesn’t fit put it in your UNKNOWN CATEGORY.

Once you feel you have a working cohesive set of ideas that fit your theme, start to refine it. Use the most iconic images that really speak volumes about your theme. Place these images on a series of A3 boards or pin them in your Pinterest account. Write some text to explain and outline the core ideas in your theme and send it in to us! We will then judge each entrant on the merits of their inspiration and depth of ideas. The winning mood board will form the basis for the next couture collection which we will then pattern cut, grade and turn into the next series of patterns in our couture archive.

This document is simply an aid to help you get started – you can create a theme any way you wish. Every designer has their own specific way of coming up with ideas so just get started and enjoy it. It normally develops by itself and is a real pleasure to be involved in. Your ideas will naturally start to appear, merge and evolve into something really fantastic. You do not have to constrain yourselves to commercial garments. This is couture! Which means you can go crazy! So go nuts and show us your awesome ideas!

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COMPETITION – SEND US YOUR INSPIRATION!

>Calling all fashionista’s, enthusiasts, undergraduates and designers…We want your Mood Boards for our next Couture collection!

2013 has been such a fantastic year for Ralphpink-patterns and we’ve received a great response from everyone who has purchased our patterns. To celebrate, we are looking to develop yet more couture patterns and get you guys involved in the whole process. So from today we are starting an exciting new project, to create some really inspired and ambitious patterns. So what does it involve?The aim to produce a capsule collection of six to eight couture patterns that combine luxury with cutting edge design. This collection of patterns will solidify your key abilities and detail new, exciting techniques to help further your skills in couture construction. However – and this is the exciting part – we want you to get involved. This is your chance to conceive the initial concept for our next collection of couture patterns.

The project will span 3-4 months and will occur 3 times a year.

All design projects stem from a written brief or collection of ideas and images. Using this as an initial framework, a process of research and development is undertaken until all the ideas are moulded into a cohesive and considered collection of designs. We want you to be the source of that inspiration. We are looking for a series of images, text or media, in any format – whether it be photo’s, music, films, artifacts or pieces from exhibitions that have inspired you – arranged on a minimum of two A3 pages. Then you can either send them in to us, or post us links to your Pinterest pages. We will then judge each entrant on the merits of their inspiration and depth of ideas. The winning mood board will then form the basis for the next couture collection which we will then pattern cut, grade and turn into the next series of patterns in our couture archive.

The project starts today: Monday November 18th and closes on Monday December 9th. So get your ideas in fast! 

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So what do you get in return?BRIEF-BUTTON2

>The winning entry

> Two free existing patterns
> Your own profile article on Ralphpink-patterns.com including an interview so you can explain the details about your inspiration boards
> A link to your website or similar social media page
> The completed collection of couture patterns, for you to use as you wishzquote

>The Runners up

Five runners up will receive:
> One free existing pattern or product pack from our site
> Your mood board displayed on our blog
> A link to your website or similar social media page

>No limits!

There are literally no limits to what we can create at Ralphpink-patterns! This is a couture collection and the more exciting the better. Let’s create some patterns that simply aren’t available on the web…. or even on the Catwalk!

So get creative and go crazy! We hope everyone will get involved and step up to the challenge – we can’t wait to see your ideas and suggestions!

To find out more about this competition please READ or DOWNLOAD our detailed brief. If you are unsure about any part of this competition please feel free to post on our Facebook page.