Feature Friday: Laura McFarlane

Alyssa7Alyssa3Alyssa4Alyssa5Alyssa6
Photography: Nathanael Patriquin Model: Alyssa Yvette Corset: Laura McFarlane Surface Design: Dee Wilkie


How long does it typically take to make a corset?
A traditional corset can take about 40 or more hours depending on how much embellishment is desired, and hand sewing there is to be done. A traditional corset can also have ‘laminating’ which means that two inside layers of the corset are sewn together with several vertical lines of stitching for added structure. A fashion corset on the other hand can take closer to 10 to 20 hours of work because they often have more machine sewing and lamination is not neccessarily needed. The corset is not intended to be as structured, and is more for show than utility.

How much fabric is needed?
There are usually three to four layers of fabric in a corset, the outer ‘fashion fabric layer’, two layers of fabric into which the bones will be inserted, and sometimes another inner layer to add thickness and strength to the fashion fabric if it is a light fabric like silk or cotton. All together 2 to 3 meters of fabric can go into a typical corset.

Where did you learn to make them?
I graduated from the Fashion Design program at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in 2014. In the fashion program there is a course all about corsetry which teaches how to properly create a pattern, how to fit it properly, and how to sew a traditional style of corset.

What do you love most about making corsets?
I am a costumer, and have always loved the history of clothing, and undergarments and corsetry have evolved so much, but the historic look of corsets has been

What is the most frustrating part about making a corset?
It takes a lot of time to make one complete corset, and I will admit that I can get a little impatient. Usually I do a lot of hand stitching at the beginning and of end my corsets, and it is amazing how fast an evening can disappear when you’re hand stitching pieces together, or stitching down your edges.

What kind of details and embellishments can be added to a corset?
Piping the seams of a corset is a common embellishment, and can help to strengthen your seams. There is also a type of stitching embellishment called ‘flossing’ which is a technique of stitching at the top and/pr bottom of the bone channels. The stitching can be purely for decoration, but it is also used to better anchor the bones in place, and to add strength to the fabric which will make it less likely for the bones to eventually poke through the fabric over time. As modern fashion corsets go however, anything from lace to fringe, buttons, stubs and more can go into a corset.

When did corsets start in history and how are they used/worn today?
The corset was first introduced into fashion in the 16th century in Italy. They were worn to create a smooth tight cone shape to the torso, and to push the breasts up. Over hundreds of years many

different shape and technique changes occurred, including the addition of boning, which were commonly made from whalebone but are now either plastic or metal.

Today some people do still use corsets as a shaping undergarment, but now fashion corsets are much more popular and are worn as/or over clothing. Current costuming trends are also making corseting much more popular, such as Steampunk, which is inspired by the technology and aesthetic of the 19th century.

To check out more of Laura’s designs, check out her facebook page here.

Advertisements

DEFINE

Copy of dark-largeDEFINE is a collaboration between a photographer (Lance Kenneth Blakney), a clothing company (Wear Your Label), and a surface designer (Dee Wilkie – The Art Project) who all have one thing in common – They want to end the stigma and start the conversation around mental health by showing a raw and personal side to the struggles of real people.

Role Models were cast from across Eastern Canada; from Toronto to Fredericton to Halifax. From over 200 submissions we narrowed it down to one brave person to represent each of the nine categories.

What was the Art Projects’ role in DEFINE?  WYL has something called the bracelet project which unites fighters, survivors, and supporters.  Each colour symbolizes a different mental health challenge, and 10% of profits help fund their giving initiatives. Dee hand dyed silk in coordinating colours, and then helped style the silk in ways that demonstrate the feelings surrounding different mental health struggles.

After months of planning, interviewing, and shooting, here is the final result.  http://www.define-project.com/

D.W.

Designing My Silk For Red Dress

13082596_10153746315794247_8313130370290596295_n
Our beautiful model: Marilyn Luscombe

 

13087837_10153746315789247_6848491884100093968_n
Fashion Designer Adrienne Goodine with our model!

 

13124703_10153746315809247_1271570251185477085_n
Detail shot!!  (Adrienne LOVES bows and cute details.)


Sometime in March.

I don’t know about you, but  when I have an important project to do, or something that will take a lot of work, I procrastinate.  WHY do I do this!?

This year Adrienne Goodine asked me to design and dye silk for her red dress for the annual Red Dress Fashion Show which is a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  I knew that tie dyed silk would not stand out amongst the rest of the other gorgeous hand made dresses.  So I decided to hand paint three meters of yardage with my signature roses.  WHY DID I THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA!?  It’s not.  Setting up the frame to stretch out my silk takes forever!!  Not to mention I have to find a space to do this first. UGH!  Now that I am writing this I have answered my own question as to why I am procrastinating dying this fabric…

March. 21st
Update!  I cleared a spot in my living room and finally started dying my silk (hooray!) now for the bad news…the news that always seems to follow when you’re me and you’re a surface designer.  There is always an obstacle to over come, always a barrier to break down, always a problem to fix.  My “scarlet red” dye is looking more pink than red.  WHHHHYYYY!?  I have painted one and a half meters of silk THREE TIMES now, and it finally looks somewhat red.  I am worried about what it is going to look like once I rinse and wash it out.  Oh well, another problem for another day really. lol

March. 25th
Silk is painted, steamed, rinsed and washed!!!  It turned out red (hooray!)

April. 3rd
As well as the red roses, I have to dye a piece of silk that is solid red.  Guess what…I ran out of dye!

Sometime in April
Thankfully I finally finished dyeing all of the silk and it turned out RED, thank gosh!  I will post more pictures soon on my instagram or facebook account, but I would love to know what everyone thinks about how the dress turned out!

“My head says, “who cares?” but then my heart whispers, “You do, stupid…””

D.W.

Dee Wilkie – The Art Project, Does Jamaica: Michelle Duncan

13091935_10153734515764247_513699814014535573_n13051645_10153734515754247_4740963698089289813_n

13091999_10153734515784247_596632386537235521_n
Tank top: Dainty Hooligan, Michelle Duncan, Dee Wilkie.  Shorts: Eclipse.  Heels: Spring.

Have you ever ordered something that looks super cute online and then when it finally gets to you it just doesn’t look quite right?  Maybe it’s still nice enough that you keep it and wear it occasionally, but it doesn’t look as good as you had hoped.  Or you get it and the size is wrong, or the fabric isn’t what you thought it would be or it just isn’t what you wanted.  I think most girls are probably organized enough that they would just send these garments back and get a new size or their money back, but to me that just seems like a headache.

While getting ready for my trip down south, I realized my wardrobe was in major need of some sprucing up.  I have a million racer back tanks and hoodies, but nothing that would look cute with heels.  My friend Sara introduced me to this super cute online store called Dainty Hooligan.  They have SO MANY CUTE CLOTHES!!!  I especially love their tank tops and dresses.  So I ordered two dresses, a tank top, (and of course the essential “sticky bra”.)  The dresses came in and fit like a glove.  The tank top on the other hand just wasn’t quite right.  I LOVED the back of it and didn’t want to send it back, but the chest area was…not flattering to say the least.

THANKFULLY I have some pretty great fashion friends.  I messaged Michelle Duncan, one of my most trusted fashion designers here in Fredericton and she reconstructed my tank with my own screen printed silk.  It turned out to be one of my favourite tops on my trip!  Basically all Michelle did was take apart the tank top and add a new front with my custom made silk and VIOLLA!  I got to keep the super cool back AND I now only have two boobs when I wear the top and not four.  It was a win win really.

If you would like to see more of Michelles’ work and to get a sneak peak of her new up and coming line, click here.

“Before something great happens, everything falls apart.” – Anon

D.W.

 

Top 5 Reasons To Work With A Surface Designer

“What is a Surface Designer!?” You ask.  Well, the best way I can describe it is this.  You know the patterns on tissue boxes, fabric, shower curtains and wallpaper?  A Surface Designer is the person who creates those patterns.  It is our job to create the artwork that goes onto products.  My specialty lies in textiles.  I like to create patterns and artwork for fabric and then use that fabric to turn into beautiful things with other designers (or by myself).  I primarily work with silk, but I can work with other fabric as well such as cotton or velvet.

  1.  Surface Designers are constantly studying color and motif trends.  We know what the latest trends are, and what people are attracted to.
  2. Speaking of color…if you are a surface designer, you have probably taken at LEAST one course in color theory in your life.  We not only know what colors are popular and most likely to sell, but we also know what colors look great together, and what clashes.
  3. Buying fabric from a big box store can make it difficult to find just what your looking for.  Surface Designers can make something totally customizable for you!  Looking for that perfect shade of red, or just a different pattern/motife that you can’t find in stores?!  We are the people to call!
  4. Working with costume fabric takes your brand from “drab to fab!”  Having fabric made specially for you makes your project even more luxurious than if you bought your fabric from a big box store.
  5. Two heads are better than one.  Everyone has a different set of skills and talents.  Working with another designer just increases the quality and knowledge behind your work, and people will see that.

If you are interested in learning more, or placing an order through me, please contact me here.

“The right product in the wrong color won’t sell.”

D.W.

S E V E N

201511_gluttony_8890
GLUTTONY – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Jessica Hughes Hair: Mike Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Fashion Design: Aly Keeley Silk Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201510_lust_6317
LUST – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Kayley Reed Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Fashion Design: Michelle Duncan Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201510_envy_8483
ENVY – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Sophie H-L Fashion Design: Michelle Duncan Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201511_wrath_8739
WRATH – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Gillian Glover Fibre Artist: Aly Keeley Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Silk Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201509_sloth_6142
SLOTH – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Athenais Testi Hair: Michael Drost Fashion Design: Adrienne Goodine Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201512_greed_8932
GREED – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Jake Clark Hair/MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
201512_pride_8953
PRIDE – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model/Fashion Designer: Bronwen Robbins Hair/MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie

“SEVEN” was an idea I came up with almost a year ago when, one night, I started to get really envious of other people who were making their dreams come true and really “making it” in terms of their craft.  I didn’t just want to sit in my living room feeling jealous, so I decided I would make a piece on jealousy and envy as a productive outlet. Then I started getting more and more ideas and thought, “hey, why don’t I do a series on the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, lust, greed)!?” I messaged one of my favourite local Photographers, Lance Kenneth Blakney, right away and told him about my idea. He was totally onboard and as enthusiastic as I was.

Of course I couldn’t do a project this scale on my own 😉  So I recruited a group of local fashion designers, hair stylists,makeup artists and models (read more about them here).  We did a professional full grade photoshoot for each look (the process stretched out over five months) and then finished it off with a gallery showing at the George Fry Gallery and a feature on CBC!

“Turn lemons into lemonade.”

D.W.

 

Everything Is Just Beachy

11884682_864312853645308_4329105614004761276_o

11960129_864318873644706_4527598388449331507_n

11990607_864313013645292_4235842846491182561_n

Blue Silk Dress
Photography: Dale Preston http://www.prestonphotography.com Surface Designer: Dee Wikie. Fashion designer : Adrienne Goodine Model: Athenais Testi

On this snowy day in Fredericton New Brunswick, let’s all take a minute to remember why we choose to stay on the east coast.

“Dream higher than the sky and deeper than the ocean.” – unknown

D.W.

 

#fashion #surfacedesign #inspiration #summer #beach #ocean #model #handdyed #eastcoast #designers #Canada #dress #croptop  #maxidress #blog #ootd #stylediaries