Friday, 17 May 2013

MeetMyInspiration - DKNY

Reflecting on my most recent university project for DKNY

I have always viewed DKNY as a sophisticated multi-layered brand which optimizes the true essence of New York and its style. Through thorough research, I have come to view the city in two inspiring lights...from the smart business front and the artistically creative sporty side. These may appear to contrast, but they can also complement. This is the conceptual combination I wanted to represent in my overall look.

I focused on street art to begin my primary research. This view of the sidewalks initially summed-up the city for me...creativity is all around, walking from work to the game, the customer can be whoever they want to be. 

This unleashed a hidden identity for my character muse. She is successful, smart, yet creative and fun-loving, jumping seamlessly from business to after-work activities. Reflecting this through my design development I started to focus of transitional, transforming garments which could ensure one outfit that could fit many situations in one busy day. 

My vintage garment I selected had a contrasting colour detachable collar, which transformed the look instantly, so I looked at techniques and fastenings to ensure smooth transitions. Fitting the Autumn/Winter brief, detachable linings became a key feature as well as removable sleeves and oversized pockets.

By analysing the architectural outlines of the city and the uniformity of Wall Street figures, I picked out a structural collar shape in which I carried through my design development, playing with proportions and locations on the body. This became my main design feature alongside the functional features. 

Through group research we decided to focus on a ‘couples’ style collection, with 6 Womenswear looks paired with 6 Menswear looks, reflecting our combined view of New York City. This way we could also carry key features, which were prominent in both of our research, through the couples, reflected in my Annie Hall inspired androgynous Womenswear to simplistic functional Menswear.

We are the couple that live life fashionably.
From day to night, autumn to winter, we transform our looks from smart to sporty, constantly changing, just like the ballgame.
We like to slam-dunk our ideas around the workplace, bounce them around the walls, observing how they respond.
Shouts from the onlookers, we are experiencing the live game, living in the moment, dreaming for the future.
The rush, the win, the weekend...this is what we live for.
This is our style.

Working with the colour palette, neutral tones with bright flashes were already running through my research, so the concept was worked on by sourcing fabrics and sampling them with flashes of neon pink binding or topstitch, hinting back to my street art origins. 

I sourced a selection of smart fabrics including shirting, cotton satin and felted wool, to combine with sportier feels such as sweatshirt jersey, waterproofing and micro fleece. By using sporty stretch fabrics on traditionally tailored Wall Street inspired garments added a versatile edge, taking my customer smoothly from the boardroom to the basketball court. I designed heavier weight smart outerwear fabrics to be used on simplistic sporty shapes to give them some definition in the city and therefore further the transitional feel.

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