Melitta Baumeister is a german fashion designer based in New York City. She recently received a MFA degree in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons and her graduation collection has been shown at New York Fashion Week. Baumeister focuses on new materiality, while her work merges fashion, objects, sculpture and installation. (WAP)
“Applying techniques from sculpture, architecture, and fine art, materiality becomes the conceptual core of my process. Casting a garment in one continuous layer of silicone questions conventional methods, which focuses on the development of the garment. This specific technique entails a shift of shape-defining factors. Shape is no longer determined through the interplay of fabric and pattern, but by the mold into which it is cast. The mold becomes the blueprint of a form and captures the essence of a garment without itself being the thing it emulates. The mold with its capability for endless repetition, then becomes a metaphor for the repetitiveness of the fashion industry itself.”
——- Tumblr Le Deleeuw
This is a designer that I discover in Tumblr today, she’s very talented and her garment just like what mentioned before is very architecure look. See from the first beginning of the MA course, I set my goal as to combine art and architecture in fashion industry, and try to make something unique without lossing myself. My concept appeared in my final pieces too, it used the famous art work and colour as inspiration, following the trend investigation and fitted fabric, and comes out with many times of experiments.
The first thing attracted to me of Melitta’s design is the pure white colour. It is very beautiful and chic to use all white, it might look easy but really think about it, how to make one colour appear in different shape, form and yet still diversity is kinda difficult. Although my final project has submitted, but it doesn’t stop me from learning more about my idea and design in fashion industry, especially learning from other talented designers.
Melitta’s personal website
When making my final pieces, I found a very useful tool called tape maker, a lot of people probably known about this, but for making decorate part of the garment it worked really well for me. The sample I posted is one of the proof, if I iron the black leather line all by hand, it’s gonna take a long time, and very hard to make a perfect clean look neither.
How to use this tape maker is really easy, just need to cut the fabric that fits the input, then put the fabric into the tape maker, it comes out by the other end, and then I just needs to iron it, a perfect tape will be made. Buying tape from fabric shop is kind of deary, especially when you need a lot of em, at first time I only need a few meters to test about the sample and it still cost me 8 pounds for 3 meters. Also to buy tape is very limited, you can’t always get the fabric or print that you wanted. So the best economic and fitted way to have tapes is to make it by ourselves.
For making fit jacket, the good way to achieve is to draw paper pattern by ourselves. because unless the mannequin is made exactly like your body shape, paper pattern is the most economic way to do. Thanks to the technique of drawing that I’ve learnt few years ago, I managed to make some well fitness garment pieces by making paper patterns.
Although the paper pattern pictures are all in Chinese ( because I draw these when I was still in China doing Fashion design BA ) but the principle is the same, size of the clothes can see on the right : like 175/94A . The thick black line is for cutting line but should be added for at least 1cm of sewing space.
This is a technique that helps me a lot when I’m doing MA course, because as a student I can’t affort to buy my own mannequin and the other mannequins at school are all got different sizes ( for different brand they make the same size differently). The outcome was very good and it only needed a little bit of changing when doing the final pieces
When I first start designing, there’re so many problems appearing at the same time. The best way for me to deal with it, is to create a mind map in this small design notebook. Some quick drawing of what I need to do, or what’s in my mind, then those magical yellow post-it paper with different steps of research, design and making process. I have to say this helps me a lot, especially when I’m doing something that I’m not quite familiar with, I always forget about the numbers or some details like in this case – the pockets sizes, position or the colour combinition.
When first designing the pockets, I tried to work out how to make loads of them instead of thinking the usage of each one of it. Reading some report from Scottevest gives me inspiration of putting a list of the stuff that I assuming the customers will carry with them ( like in the picture, women always carry small make ups, stuff for their hair, that’s the main difference for men’s need) Then I start to have a clear mind of how to arrange all those pockets. like back pocket won’t be used when the jacket is being wore, it works more as a decoration with different print on it, the sleeve pockets is very clear for phone uses. etc.
Have a clear mind when designing is very important, any detail should be perfect, if there’s any mistake even if it’s a slightly error, it could ruin the whole thing easily. Thanks for my little design notebook, I saved a lot of time by not to correct stupid mistakes.
Ive been working about the background poster for porfolio during the last few days, this is the hard bit for me when creating the portfolio because I’ve done all the writting and picture taking. Gladly it came out on time, of course the background colour is completely related to my project colour inspiration, I make three different combination to make it more interesting.