Design Research-Dissertation!

People always throw questions like "Is there research for apparel design?" or "Oh, you don't need to write a dissertation, just make some garments, right?" At such moments, I thought I must do something to show people what I do and how I do research on creative apparel design.

This project is to explore the use of nuno felting as a technique to replace darts (for garment shaping to the human body) on heavier weight fabrics to create wearable art pieces. It is also my first time collaborating with my father on a textile surface design project. My father, Dafang Zhang, is a well-known artist who specializes in Xie Yi flower and birds in China. His series of Chinese Xie Yi paintings (Chinese wisteria, Bamboo, and Lotus) inspired me to create this wearable art collection for my dissertation.

Here are the first round quick sketches for three mini collections. Three ensembles are created for each collection (nine pieces total). The Wearable art pieces will be created using a variety of textile surface design techniques such as nuno felting, needle felting, hand beading, and silk painting. A new design process model specific for wearable art design will be proposed based on the design processes of three collections and documentary materials recorded.