Throughout the process I took pictures of my work. I felt it was important to log what I was doing in order to show a visual approach of my thought processes of my project. Photography is an important way of bringing an idea to life. I found this to be an important part of my project.
I decided to upcycle a dress. I bought a long simple, plain black dress. It was symbolic of Coco Chanel's. little black dress which was the beginning of a new fashion age. I took the dress, pulled out the stitches on the sleeves, cut a new neckline, cut and hemmed a new bottom for the dress, added five layers of fringe, added a gold and black overlay and designed the dress at an angle. The dress was made to express not only the 1920's but Gatsby's character himself.
A dress made for Gatsby, the reasons behind the design shown above.
A dress made perfect for the 1920's fashion revolution.
One of the first and most important pieces in my project was getting to know this amazing character F. Scott Fitzgerald had created when he wrote the novel the Great Gatsby. Understanding and learning who Jay Gatsby is can be quite the challenge. Gatsby is a mystery to other characters in the novel and to the reader. Throughout the novel I get to learn many things about who he is and where he came from, but the most important things that I learned from Gatsby is that the way he became a mystery and the fact that he was a mystery was the biggest defining characteristic of who he is. I am completely amazed with the way F. Scott Fitzgerald composed this novel, especially Jay Gatsby's character. I was able to find my own personal connection to Gatsby. I wrote a personal essay connecting Gatsby's mysterious and glamorous way of life to my own life. I named this piece 'Chameleon'. People are always showing different sides of themselves in order to be the best in their surrounding and like a chameleon this becomes a defining characteristic of who they are. They are all these people that they try to be hiding behind the mystery of who they really are or what their original colors are.
1920's Time Period
Why now? Why were women now ready for this time to completely break all the standards society had set for them? Why did this fashion revolution happen THEN?
There are a couple answers to this question. A couple things you can give credit to were the end of world war one, the prohibition, boredom and Coco Chanel. During World War I, many woman got a lot of freedoms such as jobs, shorter skirts, driving cars and cutting hair. After this woman were ready for attention, they were bored during the war.They started wearing a lot of makeup, cutting their hair into a bob and dying it more bold colors such as red. Flashier fashions broke out along with aggressive behavior.
The modern woman is independent, fashionable, self sustaining, sexy, intelligent & unique."
She established the idea that less fabric and more embellishments would make better clothes. She decided to drop the waistline to make symmetry between the waist, hips and butt. One of her first designs known as "the little black dress" became an extremely important idea in fashion history which is still used and worn today by designers and people all over the world. She was born and raised in France. As she got older she married an American man and brought her fashion to America selling clothes in New York. Women were given this new idea of how they could express themselves through their clothes and Coco Chanel gave them hope that through clothes, you could become someone.
During this project I got to do something that I've always wanted to do; design. Not only did I get to design I got to create and think using my own life experiences, research sources, collaboration with learners in Apollo, my Apollo teachers and the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was a completely unique and new experience for me. I fell in love with my project and each aspect of it. I had never sewed a dress before and learning how to do this was amazing. There was many times of frustration and failure which taught me a lot about the process of my project. I got to reflect on my own life as I analyzed Gatsby's and found stronger connections between us then I had intended to find. I also learned a lot about the 1920's which I never knew. I know consider it in my head to be the birth of fashion.