Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Project 3: Research

This project looks like it will be a lot of fun. Our final piece has to sit on the body in an unusual way and/or be big and bold. Catwalk pieces are ment to be different from everyday wear.

I've based my project on the Elizabethan era because it interests me the most. The big dresses, the jewellery, the architecture, ship architecture.... Theres just so many patterns aswell. Elizabeth was a good leader from what I have read and the film I saw (as research ;) ) She brought back art, music and drama. She also had a colour code for everyone as a law e.g. only royalty were allowed to wear purple. Bad way for people to be judged I must admit. If you were seen wearing a wrong colour you would get imprisoned! Its fascinating learning about the past because it came before our time and is what shaped us now.

For the last two projects I've had a few ideas in mind before I even hit the research. I wanted to get out of that so this time I've had a clear mind and I have no clue what I'm going to be
designing! Will have to see where it takes me.

Doing eching today, so should be good :)


  1. Looks like you should be able to use some of the skills you develped in Design Studies for this - loads of info out there on those times.
    One thing: you said "royalty were only allowed to wear purple" but did you mean "only royalty were allowed to wear purple"?

    There's a social reason for this which we'll sort of cover in one of the lectures this semester, but part of the reason was also the cost.

    The process for dyeing cloth that colour was not only difficult, and the materials very rare, but the practice was protected by the guilds that existed at the time. They were basically like trades unions and anyone practicing dyeing who wasn't approved by the dyers guilds could be fined heavily. The laws were quite strict and related to trade. So we have a financial barrier to wearing particular colours, and a protectionist approach to the manufacture of textiles, metal, jewellery etc etc.

    Remember too that we were almost constantly at war (I say "we" - this is England I'm talking about! But blockades of Scotland by the English would have had an effect here) so that made things like dye, cloth, metals and spices even more expensive, as did the huge risks in importing things, and the time it took.
    Nutmeg, for example, something we take for granted, was so expensive it was used as a currency. It's a fascinating period.
    I recommend Blackadder II for all you need to know ;-)

  2. Wow thanks for that Jonathan!

    I briefly looked at the colour laws so obviously didn't know the full story behind them. I never thought about the cost of materials and dyes... I don't know why that never crossed my mind that it may be because of that too.

    We are on to workshops and designs now, but would like to look into the Elizabethan or even Tudor times further as a personal project (perhaps in the summer when I have no other work).

    I will check out Blackadder :)

    (Sorry about my sentance structure...)