Out There – Digital representations

Still from The Chemical Brothers video 'Wide Open ft Beck'
Still from The Chemical Brothers video ‘Wide Open ft Beck’

As we start embarking  on the third* phase of the project (digital representations), we’ve been very curious of what is already out there in terms of technologies and their applications. Liam is great with everything digital, to the point that we promoted him our official digital spokesperson. A few new collaborations might be coming our way, but more on them later. For now, here are a few projects that caught our eyes:

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Couture techniques

Nicolas de Larmessin (c.1710) Habit de Tailleur. Paris: Chez Chiquet, Rue St. Jacq. Diktats
Nicolas de Larmessin (c.1710) Habit de Tailleur. Paris: Chez Chiquet, Rue St. Jacq. Diktats

Happy New Year! After a much deserved break, we are back. To start 2019 with the right foot, Caroline, Alistair and I just crashed a BA Fashion Womenswear class to hear tutor Heather Sproat talk about couture (tailoring) techniques, based on her time working at Dior around 20 years ago. Needless to say, Heather’s class was fascinating, filled with interesting parallels to our project. Here are 5 points we took back with us:

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Research – body in motion (dance)

Isadora Duncan, 1900. © Eadweard Muybridge/Getty Images
Isadora Duncan, 1900. © Eadweard Muybridge/Getty Images

In this instalment of ‘body in motion’, we look at the close relationship between our chosen designers and dance. All our designers had at some point tipped their toes in the world of dance, either through finding inspiration in dancers, dressing them or actively collaborating with companies to produce costumes for performances. It is indeed interesting, if not revealing, that the more we think about the concepts of body/movement/performance, the more intertwined our designers and their creations become with the idea of a body in motion. Continue reading “Research – body in motion (dance)”

Reflections

Rickard Lindqvist, On the Logic of Pattern Cutting: foundational cuts and approximations of the body, Borås, 2013.
Rickard Lindqvist, On the Logic of Pattern Cutting: foundational cuts and approximations of the body, Borås, 2013.

It is not about the pattern, it is all about the body and what the garments does with the body.

Andreas Kronthaler

Charles James – Biography

Charles James by Irving Penn. February 28th, 1948. © The Irving Penn Foundation
Charles James by Irving Penn, February 28th, 1948. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Charles James was an Anglo-American designer renowned for his sculptural creations. From his early days working in architecture, he developed the mathematical and geometric skills that would later inform his design process. He applied carefully placed cuts, seams and under structures to create innovative shapes that were at times independent of the body underneath. Continue reading “Charles James – Biography”

Research – body in motion (runway shows)

 

Balenciaga presentation, Paris 1954. © 2002 Mark Shaw
Balenciaga presentation, Paris 1954. © 2002 Mark Shaw

The first fittings for the Charles James toile marked a pivotal moment within the project, it officially moved us from stage one (archival research and dress selection) to stage two (making process). In the research context, it also moved us to the next stage, that is thinking of the garments in relation to the body and movement. When Kitty, our fit model, first walked the Charles James toile across the corridor of the MA Fashion studio, she allowed us to identify not only the flaws in the toile that needed to be addressed, but also the importance of movement in achieving the right effect. Kitty is used to walking the current  runway walk, with fast and strong steps coming from the hips (click on the link below).

Charles James, fitting fast

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Research – shoes

French shoes, ca. 1922. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
French shoes, ca. 1922. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This pictorial shoe research was conducted to inform the height of the 3D avatars (‘bodies’) that will wear the digital visualisations. It aimed to identify what kind of shoes were worn with the chosen dresses, looking at both photographs of models/clients wearing our designers’ creations (not necessarily the chosen ones) and contemporary shoes in the online databases of the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The selected shoes range from 3 years prior to 3 years post the creation date of our chosen dresses. For instance, the Charles James dress dates 1945, so we looked at shoes ranging from 1942 to 1948. This allowance reflected the slower changes in footwear styles, mostly in the early 20th century.

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VR180

 

Filmed using Google’s new VR180 technology, this video forms part of the projects experimentation with new digital technologies, knitting together two single channel videos to create a 3D image.

Liam Leslie

3D Imaging

3D rendering of Vionnet dress from 1935. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
3D rendering of Vionnet dress from 1935. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

Created using 3D imaging software combined with an iPhone camera, this virtual model was created within the museum archive.  Utilising emergent technologies as a means of quickly capturing a 3-dimensional visualisation in the archive space.  Continue reading “3D Imaging”

Work in progress – toiles

Liam Leslie in action. Image by Isabella Coraça for Exploding Fashion.
Liam Leslie in action. Image by Isabella Coraça for Exploding Fashion.

During the summer, when Central Saint Martins was relatively quiet (albeit for a few short courses) Patrick and Esme were on full speed working on the toiles. They managed to create 7 in total – 3 for Charles James, 2 for Halston and 2 for Comme des Garçons.

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Halston – Sarong Dress

‘The Strapless’ in Women’s Wear Daily, August 1976

Unlike our other chosen dresses, Halston’s sarong dress (in all its variations) was widely featured in the press. Here are some of its appearances, as they were found so far. Thank you to the staff in The Museum at FIT for sharing them with us during our New York visit in April 2018.

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Vionnet – Copyright photographs

Madeleine Vionnet was passionately against plagiarism, adopting a number of clever measures to protect her work. In 1919 she started taking copyright photographs (front, side and back) for each garment she produced. Later these evolved into a single snap simultaneously showing all three views through the clever positioning of mirrors. Each garment was also christened with its own unique name and number, and labelled with Vionnet’s signature and fingerprint.

Continue reading “Vionnet – Copyright photographs”

Madeleine Vionnet – Biography

Madeleine Vionnet by Thérèse Bonnet, ca 1925. Librairie Diktats.
Madeleine Vionnet by Thérèse Bonnet, ca 1925. Librairie Diktats.

‘When a woman smiles, her dress must smile also’

Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975) was part of a group of creative women who transformed fashion in the early 20th century. That she preferred to identify herself as a dressmaker rather than a designer is a testament to her commitment to the craft. She sought to bring about a cohesion between body and dress, starting her design process on a half-scale mannequin and working with the features of the fabric to value the natural contours of the body. Continue reading “Madeleine Vionnet – Biography”

Balenciaga – Original toile

Part of Balenciaga toile from 1965, Palais Galliera. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Part of Balenciaga toile from 1965, Palais Galliera. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Part of Balenciaga toile from 1965, Palais Galliera. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Part of Balenciaga toile from 1965, Palais Galliera. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

 

Liam Leslie

Comme des Garçons 1970

Comme des Garçons dress from 1970, in the collection of Bunka Fashion College. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Comme des Garçons dress from 1970, in the collection of Bunka Fashion College. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Comme des Garçons dress from 1970, in the collection of Bunka Fashion College. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Comme des Garçons dress from 1970, in the collection of Bunka Fashion College. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

Liam Leslie

Accessibility Statement

Our commitment and legal obligations

We commit to ensuring the communications we produce are clear and accessible to the widest range of people.

We recognise our obligations under The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 and the Equality Act 2010.

Web standards and technologies

We have developed the website so that it works on the widest number of devices and web browsers as possible. 

  • This site is responsive which means the layout changes automatically depending on the device your are using to view it.
  • Content on this site reflows and can be viewed up to 400% without the need to scroll horizontally.
  • This site features also a “Skip to contnt” link which allows keyboard users to skip the menu items in the header. 

We recognise the features described above are not enough to make this site accessible and acknowledge more work is needed in order to provide an accessible experience to all of our users.

This website uses HTML 5 (HyperText Mark-up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to render content. We have also used other technologies including JavaScript on certain areas of the website.

The site was built on WordPress and it uses a customised version of the twentyseventeen WordPress theme. Find out about the accessibility of the WordPress platform.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Known limitations

It has not been possible to ensure that the website meets WCAG 2.1 (AA) at the current time because:

  • Many images are missing alternative (alt) text and in many cases where images do have alt text, the alt text is not descriptive. We have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content (Level A). 
    • In some cases the text used for image captions has also been used as alt text and is not descriptive.
    • Linked images are missing alt text.
    • Decorative images are missing null alt text. 
  • Video content featured on this site does not have captions or audio description. We have not met WCAGSuccess Criterion 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) (Level A) nor have we met WCAG Success Criterion 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded).
  • Video content on this site that was published before 23 September 2020 is not required to be accessible as stipulated in the Regulations. 
  • The colour contrast of some of the content on this site does not meet the minimum contrast requirement of 4.5:1 for normal text. We have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Level A).
    • Links do not have enough contrast on hover/focus (2.96:1)
    • Next/previous links on article pages don’t have sufficient contrast (4:1)
  • Pages have the same title tag (“Exploding Fashion”) therefore page titles are not unique. We have not met WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.2 Page Titled. Additionally, the URLs of the pages on the site aren’t descriptive and don’t relate to the content on the page.
  • The focus order of the website is not logical. For example, Mobile menu is last in the focus order. We have not met WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.3 Focus Order (Level A).
  • The mobile menu is missing ARIA markup to convey expanded/collapsed state. We have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible (Level AA).
  • The heading structure on many pages is not logical or complete. We have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 2.4.6. Headings and Labels (Level AA).
  • The search bar on the Explore landing page has an unlabled form control with a title and a <noscript> element. Scripted content and the <noscript> content may not be accessible. We have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (Level A).
  • Video content is hosted on Vimeo and embedded on the website using iFrames. These video iFrames have no title attributes therefore we have not fully met WCAG Success Criterion 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value (Level A).

Testing

This website was tested for accessibility in July 2020. A basic accessibility audit was performed in-house by UAL staff. The following pages were tested:

We used manual testing as well as the following automated accessibility tools:

  • WAVE from WebAIM
  • Siteimprove Accessibility Checker

We are working to meet the compliance as specified in The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 by the September 2020 deadline. 

Content on Google Arts & Culture

On this site we link to content that has been curated on the Google Arts & Culture platform. The platform and the content it contains is available to view from a web browser and on a smartphone app. Although we upload content to the Google Arts & Culture platform, we cannot guarantee that the content or platform itself is entirely accessible. If you cannot access the content on Google Arts & Culture, please contact us and we will endeavor to get you the content you need in a format that is accessible to you.

Contact us

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you are not able to access a service or content on the website, or if you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please contact us. Please include details of the content you need and the required format. We will then work with the team who own the service/content to get you what you need. Please contact

Alistair O’Neill

Project Co-Investigator

Central Saint Martins / University of the Arts London

a.o-neill@csm.arts.ac.uk

Issues and complaints

To report an issue with the website or to make a complaint, please contact 

Alistair O’Neill

Project Co-Investigator

Central Saint Martins / University of the Arts London

a.o-neill@csm.arts.ac.uk

We aim to provide you with an initial response within 48 hours and will provide clear information about how we will deal with your enquiry.

If you feel we have not answered your complaint satisfactorily, please contact us again. We will escalate your complaint to Stephan Barrett who will work with the team who provides the service/content to get you a response.

Stephan Barrett

Research Management and Administration (RMA)

University of the Arts

s.f.barrett@arts.ac.uk

This statement was prepared on 28 September 2020.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your

complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)