Ryan Joelson - "Rough-hewn"

When faced with the challenge of designing a collection around the theme of Raw, I decided to look into the raw components which build up the extravagant garments women adorn their bodies with over their lifetime. This inspired Rough-hewn which means: to shape roughly without finishing. It is through the raw manipulation of fabric in my collection that I will demonstrate alternative potentials for synthetic textiles to be made into something spectacular.

While working within a tight student budget I am challenged to develop innovative surface treatments in order to give inexpensive polyester fabrics a luxurious appearance. This fascination with raw materials actually began some time ago when I began heat treating polyester fabrics in order to develop new techniques for surface design.

In Rough-hewn I will create sculptural petals by cutting shot taffeta on the bias which I will then heat treat with a soldering iron on the to allow a rough yet delicate finish. This technique has proved to be invaluable in my applique development as I have gained the ability to obtain a much sharper visual unburdened by an excess of threads. I will then heat treat the whole petal which makes the feather pucker allowing i to freely stand away from the garment. These finishes will also be contrasted by various frayed fabrics used throughout the collection.

I have also experimented with all over heat treatment in other ways to create a rough base texture for the human form. By quilting multiple layers of polyester fabrics together which vary in colour and weight, then slashing them apart between the stitch lines before applying an allover heat treatment, I have managed to get a very dynamic texture. The top most layers of the fabric are the first to curl back towards the quilting lines. The second layer pulls up slightly revealing the next layer which separates only slightly revealing very little of the foundation fabric. By experimenting with quilting patterns, slash lines, and exposure to heat, the visual possibilities are endless with this surface design technique.

Heat treating fabrics has also allowed me to experiment with pleating fabrics in interesting ways.
While applying heat and twisting the fabric in different ways I am able to achieve an organic yet sharp pleat on light fabrics such as dupioni silk. This has lent itself well to developing more types of overall base textures and appliques for my surgace design while maintaining a rough textural visual.

A combination of pigments and dyes will also be used to create a more intricate visual.
I will use pigments to create high contrast components to the embellishments and dyes to create ombres on some parts of my designs for fluidity within the collection's pallet.

Rough-hewn focuses on not only unconventional manipulations of raw materials, but elaborately combining these techniques in a demonstration of delicate texture, authentic unity, and contemporary couture while shaping the human form.



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