May 17, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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2012 has been a fruitful year for design graduates and denim design talents. The latest grad to be highlighted on the DDD is Kate Alice Falcus, with her concept driven castings of classic denim silhouettes.
The debut collection of Kingston University womenswear graduate Kate Alice Falcus focuses on the exploration of molding and casting techniques to create optical illusions of traditional womenswear items. Inspired by artists such as Rachel Whiteread and Amba Molly, Kate takes particular interest in the concept of creating mold systems based on human cell division.
A challenging yet innovative approach, Kate sets about translating the idea through Plaster of Paris molds of classic garments like jeans, denim jacket, trench coat, and white shirt. Using the concept of negative space, the inside of the casts provide an inverted view of the garment. Indented lapels and three-dimensional patch pockets form among the juxtaposition of the concave and convex creating a new DNA of what stood before. Kate’s constant experimentation of the pattern cutting process and dexterous fabric handling allow her to erect and deflate recognisable shapes and details, leaving only a clue of what once was a functioning detail.
What was most challenging about making the moulds and castings of the garments?
It was a real challenge to capture all of the small details of the garments with plaster of paris bandages. I knew that it was these small details that would be the reference points to recognising that the casts were taken from classic garments. The main problem was capturing the key aspects of the garment like the keyhole buttonholes on the trench storm flaps or the exact peak of the lapel. I stepped back and realised that by whitewashing over some of the finer aspects of the garments, it reflected the evolution process that was referenced in Amba Molly’s work from where I had taken my inspiration originally. Naturally, features would be lost and gained throughout the process. After many casts, vacuum formed shapes began forming, which ultimately dictated the aesthetic of the collection.
Describe your aesthetic.
I would describe my aesthetic as being ultra contemporary interpretations of classic, recognisable pieces, created through new processes and innovative pattern cutting. I enjoy challenging the silhouette, creating shadows and depth to garments, utilising traditional fabrics such as denim to ground the designs in real clothes by giving them references.
What are your plans next?
Currently working for Karen Millen and learning a lot! In my free time I am also developing my graduate collection 3D concept into more practical details and garments. I am looking into ways of incorporating these ideas into real wearable, washable, easy clothes. I plan to begin by creating a small range of detachable collar designs developed from the 3 dimensional technique in my collection, and experiment with ways in which it can be worn everyday.
Visit Kate’s website to view her portfolio and find out more about her collection.
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