Sunday, 13 January 2013

Extended Major Project: Ready, set.....GO!

 A Good Place to Start
So, I am finally here, at the pinnacle of my degree education. Everything I have done over the last three and a half years has been about getting to this place. My last practical unit, will cover from now, all the way up until the end of May and it is all about taking all my experiences over this time and amalgamating them into my most technically advanced, and creative pieces of work yet.

For me this will be two pieces of work, that draw on my previous knowledge and strength.

The first will be the interpretation and construction of a given ballet design- a plate tutu, which will lead on from last years SDP unit where I made a romantic tutu. I can also harness the knowledge and skills I picked up during the two weeks I spent in the women's workroom at the Royal Opera House, making costume for the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera.

The second will be the design and construction of an advanced corset dress. This will be a representation of all I have come to learn about corsetry and its construction, since making my fist corset in my first year. It has been a huge passion of mine and an avenue I intend on pursuing once I have graduated. I have spent some time developing an aesthetic, that represents my 'brand', and this corset will be an embodiment of that. I have created previous pieces that have inspired my idea for this piece, and whilst I have a good idea in my head about how this piece will look; its colours, silhouette and materials, I will be fully engaging with the design process (something from which my portfolio will benefit) to make sure this piece is at a standard with what AUCB costume expects.

There are lots of things that I would like to muse over, on both of these projects, but that will come in time. Although I have not yet completed my learning agreement or work plan, I know that the corsetry will not really begin until the second half of this unit, as for now I will be concentrating on the ballet costume. So I am going to hold off on that for a while and as such wont be talking about it in my blog yet. So I will kick off with the ballet...

Work Experience at The Royal Opera House
On the back of making the romantic tutu last term, I applied to go and work in the women s ballet and opera workroom at the Royal Opera House (ROH). I was very lucky to be accepted and spent two weeks there just before Christmas just gone.
It was an amazing experience, and a chance for me to see how industry works for such a large organisation within the arts. I also got to help make costumes for new ballets and operas and even got to see famous prima ballerinas dance in costumes that I had a part in making- no matter how small.
It was also interesting to discover that in fact I really did not enjoy commuting, and I found London hard- even just for those short weeks.
Nevertheless, I learnt a lot about the construction of the costumes that will, without a doubt enhance how I make the upcoming tutu. Here are a few photos of my time there and some of the costumes I helped out on (with the exception of the white and red chemise and the three sets of knickers, which I constructed for first fitting):

(I think I should make it quite clear here that I had permission to take these photos and that my part in their construction was fairly minimal; tacking, sewing down decoration, swing catches on ballets skirts etc.)

I have also been trying to finish the green romantic tutu that I started during the Summer, directly after finishing the white tutu. This was to solidify what I had learnt and a chance to try out different fabrics and techniques. After a bit of a lapse, I am determined to see it finished, before I get too stuck into this next project as, namely I need the photos for my portfolio; I have a model and intent to have it shot professionally, in the woods.

Coming back to the decoration after my work experience has proven to be a good thing. It means I can apply, ideas and techniques I saw in action at the ROH and produce a better piece of work.

So now that I have caught up with myself I will write a separate post about the ballet costume I am going to be creating for EMP, where I can look at the design and what my thoughts are so far.

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