1920's Costume at the Costume Archive

I visited the costume archive in Colchester for reference and inspiration for my final major project. The clothing from all the different era's is gorgeous. Its a shame that these pieces are kept in boxes and now shown to the world, however they are so old they need to be protected.

Bolero jacket, with fringe shoulder.

The beaded dresses from the 1920's are my favourite pieces, the detail is impeccable. Glass beads are used on these garments, therefore it makes the piece very heavy. As a result the silk is disintegrating.

Beaded pattern

I love the romance of this dress. The colour and floral pattern makes this very feminine and pretty.

This dress amazed me, the principle of hanging beads is very simple, however it looks amazing when it is hung up, and would look even better on. It has inspired me to make some samples similar to this, however i have been experimenting with longer lines of beading.

This beaded section would look great on the edge of a dress and even though it is from the 1920's it is still fashionable today.

The amount of work that has gone into this beaded dress is amazing. There are hundreds of sequins and beads that make it. The coloured sequins form a art deco style pattern and the black beads are used as the main part of the dress. The fringe beading is a really nice idea, I would like to look into this further and develop for possible sampling further down the line.

The detail is stunning, the sequins are so tiny yet all in place perfectly, and you can see the back of the dress where the sequins are sewn in place. The detail can be seen on the back of the dress
The historic costume archive is a great place to visit for inspiration and establish different methods of working. Its also interesting to see how many 1920's styles are big trends today.

Modern Goddess
She walks in beauty

A marriage between modernity and tradition, the modern goddess. This will be a romantic collection of 6-8 dresses, delicate and feminine with elements of heavy embroidery and intricate embellishment. The collection is for spring summer and the mood will be soft and elegant. It will incorporate various themes such as fairy tales, fantasy, bridal wear and goddess worship. “Goddess- The classical mode” will inspire my designs with consideration to draping and ancient Greece. It will have Victorian details such as beading and lace, romantic colours and have a vintage feel to it.

Romance, Pastels, beading, heavy embellishment
Inspiration wall


A page from my sketchbook, considering the colour palette, and looking into embellishment. I have been collecting a series of vintage brooch's for my collection and have drawn some of them which can be seen in the image below.

Looking at draping and goddess aspects.
I will be considering the way fabric hangs, and the difference between lightweight and heavy fabrics.


"Silver and pastel, It's the first time in my whole career I've done a collection without black or navy. There's not one gold button." - Karl Lagerfeld

I love Chanel's s/s 10 collection. The colour palette is soft and romantic. The jewellery and embroidery define the beauty and elegance of each piece. I have been looking at this collection in relation to my own, inspired by the finishing touches such as chiffon frills and frayed edges.

This romantic collection has aspects of draping, embellishment and frills. In some places, the embroideries looked like smashed glass or molten metal; in others, jewelry itself became part of the structure.
Sophia Kokosalaki

Designer Sophia Kokosalaki injects her Greek heritage in this collection, with aspects of pleating, draping, and a delicate palette of barely-there color.

Chiffon dresses, crinkled silk and draped netting gives the collection femininity with a sexy edge.


Previous Projects

INDIGO 2009,
Collection for S/S 10

Collection of 6 waistbands and neck pieces

with areas of embellishment and embroidery


Alternative fashion week at London Spitalfields market


Inspired by my Scottish heritage, with the consideration of both of my Grandads, i developed a project that was based on memory and emotions. I used old photographs of my grandad and translated them into print ideas. Screen printed leather panels with thistles and photographs on them celebrate the life of my grandad and his Scottish roots.


Adili, now called Ascension are an ethical fashion brand. Their philosophy is to bring the most inspiring selection of fashion and lifestyle products made beautifully, made fairly and wherever possible made from organic materials.

Final Major Project

Inspiration and Colour

The palette will be made up of nudes, neutrals and soft pastels with a few injections of colour such as coral pink and turquoise. Transparent and sheers will play a big part in the makeup of the collection. Chiffons, organza, taffetas, silk and lace will be used to make each garment. I will collect various trimmings for this project and intend to use my visit to Paris in February to source beautiful and interesting fabrics and antique trinkets that may inspire the designs. I will be primarily looking in the flea market in Paris for such things.


My final major project is based on the concept of a marriage between modernity and tradition, the modern goddess. The collection will be romantic, delicate and feminine with elements of heavy embroidery and intricate embellishment. The collection will for spring summer and the mood will be soft and elegant. It will incorporate various themes such as fairy tales, fantasy, bridal wear and goddess worship. It will have Victorian details, romantic colours and have a vintage feel to it. It will be a collection of 4-6 dresses.

The collection will develop and evolve from various influences. Marie Antoinette is a key icon that is influencing my project. Her classic and charming style will be incorporated in my own pieces. The collection will be inspired from vintage clothing and fashion from the 1920’s such as fringing and lace. Processes such as laser cutting, digital printing, soldering and ruffles will be featured throughout the collection.

Exhibitions I have visited such as the Jewellery, the Maharaja and the silver room at the Victoria and Albert museum will inspire my developmental ideas. My own jewellery collection will also inspire drawings and potential shapes of garments.

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, 1891-1938

Victoria and Albert Museum

Gorgeous beading, embellishment, pearls and jewels

The brooches at the V&A are beautiful and historic. I have a varied collection of brooches and will incorporate them in my garments, along with beading and heavy embellished areas.

This project will for fill my passion for romantic and feminine pieces with embroidery and embellishment, it will show my strengths in attention to detail and pattern cutting. The collection will be exhibited at our end of year show and at graduate fashion week and new designers.

The Warner Textile Archive houses one of the country's most important collections of flat textiles. It features the entire range of fabrics produced by Warner and Sons(including Coronation velvet) from the mid 19thC as well as the original paper designs by some of the country's leading designers and artists such as Venessa Bell, Graham Sutherland, Owen Jones and Alec Hunter. The collection includes a historical and international collection of textiles dating back to the 18thC that designers used as inspiration for new designs.
The vast collection at the textile archive is amazing. There is a small beaded collection, which is completley stunning. The detail is perfection, and they are in great condition. This type of intricate beading will inspire my collection.