Unwanted Materials


Project at A-Level which revolved around using unwanted metals to create burlesque inspired fashionable garments.

For my project, I used my prime interest of recycling too explore how unwanted objects can be transformed into sculptures. I chose to do this by creating fashionable and edgy garments and accessories. I came to this idea, by pursuing a previous 6 week project which I concentrated on the theme of flowers that eventually lead me to creating a dress from wire, and wire wool. I wanted to continue my ideas of creating garments and accessories by using wire; however, I decided to expand on this idea, to then use scrap metals and materials to create my artwork.

I have been influenced by two artists; Gary Harvey and Jane Bowler. I chose these two artists for similar reasons. Harvey has explored the concept of creating fashion with recyclable materials. Jane Bowler uses the same concept as me, by creating fashionable accessories with unwanted materials.

I started this my creating smaller pieces, such as accessories and then eventually i explored creating garments.

I first started with a necklace; which i created with chains ( off a hanging basket) and different oddments, ie screws, keys, bottletops. I took styles from fashionable necklaces at the moment, like the gathered effect, and several layers

From this piece, i created another necklace, however this one is more edgey and couture. With this necklace i also made a bracelet to match. I made this from nails, and cardboard.

Whilst i used nails, i then used the same materials to creat a broach. In this i used a slight amount of wirewool, to take the edge off the hardness of the nails.

Next i created a hair clip, and i got inspiration from peacock feather, however this piece isnt strong as my others. It has a different side compared to my other pieces, it is an more elegance piece, as to my couture edgey pieces. It is made from wire and wire wool.

My final accessory before i started making garments is a pillbox styled hat. I used a top hat as a basis, and used chicken wire to re-create the mesh on the front, and i then used oddments of diferent screws nails, and pieces of metals to create the detail on the side.

My first garment which i created was a nail corset. I created the base of this with paper mache, and then used nails in a symmetrical pattern to create the detailed pattern on the corset.
I took the theme of Burlesque to get designs for my pieces.

model: Emily Baron..

After creating this piece, i designed some 'frilly knickers' to match the corset. I got the style again from the burlesque era, and instead of making the frills on the knickers as you expect to be soft and bouncy, i went against the odds and made it harsh and stern with the nails by creating them with the spikes. I carried the same symetrical pattern from the corset onto the knickers.

My second garment, i created out of binbags. Again it is a two piece garment; top and shorts. I first made a bra like top which i used a heatguyn to melt the bin bag so that it is more maluble, and it created texture to the plastic. I twisted binbags over to one shoulder, and also round the bottom of the bra. I then added nuts, to created a 'studded' effect.
With this i created high waisted shorts to match, made from the same material. With this i used twist binbags again at the edge of the shorts, and used studs again to make it edgey. The back of the shorts, i made them frilly, again using the idea of burlesque.
In the photoshoot, i added fishnet tights, and my hat which i made previously.

model : Kate Emery.

My next garment i made, was another corset but made from nuts. I placed them in different ways to that it would create a form of "seams" and create a figure. I also created straps to make it halterneck. This piece is very strong and edgey.

model: Mia Johnson..

My next garment, is taken inspiration from the tassle dresses which the flapper girls used to wear within the burlesque era. This piece is made from washers. I made a bra first of all, and stuck the washers in a pattern, simalar to how a row of sequins would look. From this bra, i attached strands of washers, to create the tassles, and to make it into some sort of dress.

Model; Natalie Jalil

At this moment in time, i am creating my final pieces for this project. I have decided to create a piece out of nails, because i feel that is the strongest materials which looks the best to create a garment from. I have took inspiration from the film ' burlesque' for my design. I have added straps with spikey nails, and the pattern is different from my previous nail corset. At the bottom of this piece, i have decided to create a sort of 'bussle' made from wire wool and melted plastic.
Aside to this final piece, i have designed a secondary piece that follows the same pattern and material based, but this is a bra and high waisted pants, with a bussle also.

Model Sophie Pugh and Katy Green.

This project merged with my other house hold fashion project landed me an A* at Alevel.
Here is the exhibition i set up for the unwanted materials!

My friend Sophie Feccit, studies photography. Her final major project was based on creating fashion from unexpected materials, and she came across my work. She asked if she could use my pieces to take photographs of and also for me to model them. I instantly agreed because this would be in my favour also because i needed proper photographs of my pieces.

She used some of my pieces from my Final Major project, and my previous cupcake dress. She even used garments i made in sixth form.
I am so happy how they turned out, here below is the photo of the piece from unwanted materials project.