United By Blue Contest - Problem Solving - Spring 2014

  • This project was inspired by the clothing company, United By Blue.  It is a local company in Philadelphia whose focus is on the environment and sustainability.  Their concept is that every living organism on the Earth is united by their need of water, and so the company collects trash from rivers and other waterways in the area.  For this project United By Blue gave each student 5 yards of organic chambray to manipulate and use to create an original design.  From there we were to design 3 A/W '15 looks.  I spent a lot of my time researching the company and their philosophy and aesthetic before jumping in to create my garment. I gathered images and quotes from the company's Tumblr and Pinterest sites to get a feel for what they were looking for and was able to come up with my color palette.  I was also taken by the number of images containing circular images, from coffee cups, to tree rings, to oranges and pies, to dishes, toeven the company's logo, and so on.  The image that capured my mind the most was the image of the uneven, stacked dishes, and this is where I drew the most inspiration for my color palette and design.  
  • For my design I chose a simple silhouette because the company focuses on simple comfort. I cut out newspaper clippings from a local eco-friendly magazine and paper mached it to the bodice of my dress, then painted over it.  I also reused some leftover painted cardboard that I had from a previous project and layered that on, then wound twine and picked apart organic wool yarn to create the textured top.  I then created a print of layered circles for the base of the dress, and also layered yarn over that.  For my print I also painted different environment-conscious words and phrases over the circles because I was very taken by the quotes and graphic tees that are one of the main staples of United By Blue. I didn't want the words to be completely clear because I wanted to keep it a print and because I really liked the vintage, stamped sort of feel that their graphic tees possess.  Finally, the straps are the yarn and twine braided together, and there is a full exposed zipper down the back.  
  • For my collection I knew I wanted to incorporate the chunky, ochre yarn that I used in my project, and in keeping with the idea of comfort I made a large sweater, then added a twist with chambray cuffs, collar, and waistband for the third look.  I also knew I wanted to use a typeface print, and so that sweater is layered over a simple, printed, cotton dress.  The second look also uses the yarn for a more tightly knit sweater attached to printed cotton shirt.  The pants in this look are the printed chambray from my design, and are loose fitted but with tighter ankles for ease of comfort fitting in to boots.  Finally, my first look is a simple printed chambray dress with a high-low hem and loose, cotton sleeves, with contrasting cuffs and neckline placket.  the top of the dress is a different chambray print, with faded text to incorporate the graphic aspect as well.  This is layered over thick knit tights.  All three looks are paired with simple ankle booties.