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Design Research Design Development Final Design Decisions

Dominique Katina Anne Taylor Fashion Design & Development TAY10285934 PORTFOLIO

Competition between women for luxury goods. Endeavours to change the amount of waste produced by the fashion industry and to slow fashion down. A desire to make fashion more unique.


The combined consumer

The British consumer desires clean , tailored items that flatter the body and slim the waist line. They are industry professionals “Women now want pieces that work as hard as they do; that means clothing that can go from day to night, and from work to weekend,� says Sarah Harris, fashion features writer at British Vogue. Consumers based in the middle east are predominantly looking for brand names and eye-catching fashion. However if the media is hyping about a designer then they are likely to buy most of the collection regardless of size or style. They enjoy the glitter of evening wear and the logo of a well known brand. Most are not working women and therefore make a statement about social standing by their choice of cafe and shopping location, even travelling to do so. The clothing they wear while doing these activities speaks a lot about the class of the woman and her family. Asian consumers are not concerned with the western body image, the more unique the garment the more it interests them. In addition to liking minimal Wabi Sabi style of clothing, the maximist, almost hip hop culture of style is key in the young generations’ choices. The Asian consumer targeted for Dominique Taylor would be a professional interested in the brands development and concept as an evolving product, boasting multifunction.




Middle Eastern

27% Asian

Initial colour & texture boards



Collection Concept

The Dominique Taylor brands concept is to have two interchangeable collections: ‘Core Collection’ and Chiaroscuro Collection’. They will be released simultaneously. The ‘Core’ collection consists of tailored staple pieces designed for the office and professional women who work and care about fashion. The seasonal trend collection, of which the first is called ‘Chiaroscuro’ focuses on the leather laser cut trend, based on research of shadow art. For the brand to be successful in the high-end of luxury, it must offer the consumer bespoke garments that are made to measure, alterations, tailoring and size modification options.

“32.6 million adults in the UK, deem

superior quality and craftsmanship as the defining elements of luxury brands.

(Meadows, 2009:71)

Critical Path

Workwear and Womenswear

Traditional female jobs and uniforms

In History one of the most respected and predominantly female jobs is Nursing. These uniforms have developed over the last centuries to become the most practical, functional and comfortable attire possible while doing this job.

Manual labour has never been fashionable for women, however during times of war and depression, when the male population was taken away, every member of the family had to find work to survive. As well as that, women were fighting for equal rights and proving their abilities past the household chores, factory and manual labour. This is all part of the womens’ development in history. It is however not the uniform of a modern, professional power woman, and does not scream success.

Flight attendants traditionally had to qualify for the job with model-like looks, height and ability. A ‘sexy’ job that required uniforms that represent the airlines professionalism and attractiveness.

Power suits and modern daywear

The phrase power dressing was first brought to the public’s attention in the mid 1970’s by John T. Molloy. A good wardrobe, he argued in his Dress for Success books, doesn’t necessarily turbocharge your career—but a poor one invariably will sink it. Typically, the power suit had two matching pieces—initially, just skirts on the bottom, but later trousers were advised. 1990 - Vogue declares the era of power dressing has come to an end. Today 2013 - When women dress for work they have endless possibilities of high fashion, high style options that are made to move from office to street. The rules of workwear have warped and with it the mentality of the young workforce and their office fashion. Workwear and fashion can now be synonymous, however, one must be appropriately attired to carry out the work without hindrance from one’s chosen attire.

Add on pieces that connect with hook and eyes to both shirt and trousers.

The Core Attachment

Fitted Leather Jacket with buttons for add on attachments

Add on Trouser panels

The development and research of the collections multifaceted features, how the two collections can be interchangeable and the method in which they are fastened to each other.

Cape that attaches with buttons and layering

Coat that layers with Bolero jacket either under or over the paired garment.

Dress attachments through wrap garment and magnetic attachment.

Add on Coat pieces

Add on Jacket pieces

Add on Dress pieces

The preferred look of the collections, is clean and minimal. For this purpose hidden fastenings, magnets and layering are the best choices.

Magnetic Fastenings

Magnetic Tape After extensive testing of different fastenings for the innovative collections being made, the magnetic tape combined with individual stronger magnets and hook and bars is the choice solution. Physics, gravity and consumers need of a guaranty of product reliability means that this combination, if done well, can be a breakthrough solution, in the way two collections can come together and be combined to realise the design concept.

The T2106 steam seam sealing tape made by Ardmel is a heavy duty tape that will seal the magnets to fabric , eliminating the need for stitching on shell fabric, allowing for a cleaner finish to the garments. This test shows that at 230 degrees centigrade the tape is well sealed on wool fabric.

Test with T2106 seam sealing tape on leather. At 330 Degrees the tape seals to the fabric.

Other fastenings

The bag fastening magnets and cuff link attachment will be used where the use of visible fastenings is unavoidable These individual magnets are far stronger than the magnets in the magnetic tape and will be used for fastenings. i.e. instead of a hook and bar or button.

Test with T2106 seam sealing tape on cotton with magnets trapped between fabric and tape. This method works well when magnets are cut down, however on right side creates puckering from tape glue. Therefore use of tape will be limited to when it is absolutely necessary.

Test of full width magnets being edge stitched to fabric. Virtually invisible; This technique will be the most efficient where it is possible to do.

Collection starting point

Body with Magnetic Tape

Magnetic Tape

Body Styles / Connecting Core Collection/ Add on Chiaroscuro Collection / Combined

The Theory behind the Magnetic body is to have all the layers of the garments magnetically connect and layer up on to it. The garments will also have magnets and allow for the next layer of accessories to attach to the shell. Each layer therefore will have magnets that connect to the layer below and the layer above.

Core collection development

Above are illustrations and sampling of the magnetic leather cuff that would connect to the shell layer of the outfits. The magnets in this instance are strong enough to hold the cuff and allow it to stay connected.

Magnetic testing for a jacket and placement examples of the magnetic tape for optimum options of connectable attachments.

Using the vertical magnetic line to connect the peplum to the jacket as a cape. It holds and doesn’t not fall off during movement.

Using the horizontal line to connect the peplum to the waist of the jacket. This is also a good use of magnets and connection as the peplum did not fall off during movement and testing.

Having tested the magnets on these garments I have decided that only small add ons should be attached by magnets and another method of making the collection versatile should be explored

Using the magnets on a curve did not work as well as when on a straight line. The sleeve attachment and illustrated tops use the magnets to connect larger sections of the shell layer. These sections are more affected by movement, and show that the magnets do not work on heavier, curved areas. This would mean that the body and magnet layers idea would not work, a new solution would need to be found.

Attachable shoulder being tested by placing under

Magnetic Tape:

and over the garment to see if strength of magnets is changed. Neither method is viable.

Multifunctional fashion

Research shows that the consumer of a multi- functional garment will wear it in one style 95% of the time with a variant style the other 5%. -Drapers Luxury Report

Having decided that magnets are not reliable enough to make the whole collection magnetic, I started researching other ways to make the two collections versatile.

Multi functional garments and their perceived faults: -Design in original form is the garments main purpose/best application -Sale is made due to innovation not style -Quality is often poor -Mostly linked with technology and sportswear

Examples of the multi-functional garments that are made at the higher end of the high street market level. Should the Core garments have multi functional elements they will be small and rely on styling ability. Garments with high multi-function ability like the above Ioanna Kourbella 250 way cardigan, will not be a viable option for the collections that Dominique Taylor is making. Multi function is often made with textiles containing elastane for greater movement and manipulation of shape. Elastane and Jersey fabrics would be unsuitable for the proposed Core collection.


The trick to the Day-to-Night ensemble is layering, and accessorising. To create the two collections of Dominique Taylor that are desired and interchangeable they should utilise layering in the shell garments.

Having decided that magnets are not reliable enough to make the whole collection magnetic, I started researching other ways to make the two collections versitile.

Layering is a current trend that many publications are doing editorials on. They tend to focus on simplistic layering of a coat or added scarf, taking this trend to another dimension will give the brand a unique selling point. It would also broaden the quality and use factors of the garment. Although not multifuntional, multi-use garments would be in high demand.

The Core Collection Would Consist Of:


The Core Collection

THE MOOD OF THE CORE COLLECTION: The core collection needs to be a mixture of modern day wear suitable for work and socialising. Its based around the ‘office attire’



THE CORE COLLECTION OBJECTIVE: Creating the ultimate female figure, by use of a unique silhouette and on-point design features. Design Features Include: Nipped in Waist Round Neck Line Shoulder Details Contrast Sleeves Elongating Trousers


Creating a fastening system that allows for the Chiaroscuro collection to attach and detach from the Core collection. To simplify the busy lifestyle of the consumer with purpose based design such as posture enhancing jackets and figure slimming skirts. Creating a collection that is suited to London weather with cross over pieces from Winter to Spring and Summer to Autumn (minimising consumption) Creating a collection that is cohesive in a way that allows for all garments to be layered from smallest to largest, as well as every product working with every other product in the range, making it an interchangeable collection also reducing consumption and waste. CONTRAST LAYERING CUT-AWAY DETAIL











The Chiaroscuro Collection

The Chiaroscuro Collection Would Consist Of:



THE MOOD OF THE Chiaroscuro COLLECTION: The Chiaroscuro collection needs to be made up of pieces that are designed to work with the Core collection, that transform the appearance of a style. To be able to accomplish this simply with very little effort, time and inconvenience to the consumer. THE Chiaroscuro COLLECTION OBJECTIVE: Taking the day time garments into an evening look using this season’s trends and design features. Trend & Design Features Include: Laser cut details Leather accessories Added Accessories Simple, hidden fastenings


To simplify the busy lifestyle of the consumer with purpose based design such as touchscreen gloves. Creating a fastening system that allows for the Chiaroscuro collection to attach and detach from the Core collection easily. CUT OUT PATTERNS

Creating a collection that is suited to London city lifestyle of socialising, pieces that attach to create a more interesting night-time look (minimising consumption) Creating a collection that is cohesive in a way that allows for all garments to be layered from smallest to largest, as well as every product working with every other product in the range, making it an interchangeable collection which reduces consumption and waste.









Neck: Elongated = No collars / Round neck/ Vneck Shoulders: Strong= Square/Rounded/Extended Back: Straight= Fitted/Paneled/Low Nape of Neck Arms: Skinny = Contrast sleeves/ Two part sleeve/ Extralong sleeve/ Oversized Waist: Sculpted =Waist band /Body con/ Spanks

Body Analysis

Thighs: Hourglass = Pencil Skirts/ Fitted trousers/ Off the Body Silhouette

Legs: Elongated & Bare = Short Skirts/ Cigarette & Straight leg Trousers/Cropped &Tightened Trouser Hem/ Fitted Crutch

All garments in the two collections are going to be purpose lead. Some of the garments can be layered, others have attachable and detachable features, some of them may have basic multi-function characteristics. All of them however, will have a purpose for being designed the way they are. A purpose that the consumer will know and understand, through the advertising, marketing and online website explanations for each item.

The Core and Chiaroscuro collection will be focusing on body shape and how the garments can accentuate the features that women desire and nullify the ones that they do not.

Initial design Core

Silhouette development

The crater shape has developed from working with paper on the body, trial and errors and published pattern cutting books. Initial shape and proportions of the crater have come from the illustrations of design development, they looked good on elongated models but in reality the proportions were not flattering as can be seen in the images .

Trials of techniques to keep the crater structured have developed new silhouettes and shapes for the skirt. The images to the right is the skirt with no inner structure, just the fabric that is sewn into the thigh panel. However the influence on the silhouette is minor and could use a larger protruding crater.

Using plastic boning in the first sequence to the right shows the medieval like skirt shape developing, almost as if a bustle is being placed.This looks slightly more costume than contemporary and was discarded in the realisation stage of the collection. The second sequence shows a larger crater area supported by heavy fusing on the brown wool. A much nicer proportion as well as shape.

The calico sleeves show how the same principle as used on the skirt can be used for a sleeve head. These toiles however have a very short fold on the crater, to little effect of the silhouette. The fourth image is where the crater and the brown leather panel inside have been cut on the bias. This actually twisted the crater and did not give the form that was intended. The fourth image demonstrates how when cut on the straight grain the crater shape is maintained and secured.

Securing the structure of the crater onto the garment is made esier by sewing the head of the inner crater panel to the shoulder of the bodice along with the outer crater sleeve head. However, the crater is still not structured enough.

Silhouette development

These three inside out sleeve heads show the canvassing of the sleeve head, together with the inner panel being secured to the shoulder seam. Done correctly this secures the structure and the longevity of the garment.

Securing the crater on the skirt was slightly more challenging than the sleeve head as the room for canvas and how much bulk the canvas adds to the garment had to be taken into consideration. The first image shows how hand sewing the crater shut is not an option as the invisible stitching is still obvious when worn, and pulled tight across the mannequins body. However a thin layer of canvas and invisible hand tacks strategically placed along the crater secures the structure well.

Initial design Core

The jacket sleeve is an important part of the silhouette as the collection requires something unique. This crater, and the triangular shoulder both create a structured squared silhouette that has a defined shadow.

This rounded and puffed shoulder is not the look that the collection is going for. It is too ornate and has an air of medieval costume about it, however the bodice’s style lines create a much better fit for a jacket in comparison to the above options.

These sleeves are interesting in that they look like raglan sleeves but because of the bottom seam have much more movement.

The panels on the garments were to be magnetic but after testing and the issues that arrose with movement, they would be better off being stitched. Possibly top stitched in the way that leather is.

The jacket with a central sleeve panel shows the assembly order being important to the flawless finish of a garment. Understanding the way in which the item must be put together is just as important as the choice of fabric and style of the garment.

The sleeves on the tops, shirts and jackets as mentioned are important to the design of the collection. An important factor in sleeves for tops is that they must fit under the jackets. This style although an interesting silhouette is not practical for fitting under other garments.

Initial design Core

The skirt is also a major player in the working womans’ wardrobe and deserves to have great thought and design put into it.

This skirt although altering the silhouette does not necessarily flatter or contour the form.

The jacket is a key piece to the collection, it should be fitted to emphasise the female form, with style lines that contour the shape.

The jacket with a cross over front, creates an alternative line for the eyes to follow. However, the breakpoint at the waist widens the waistline and does the opposite of countouring.

From the initial three designs the final skirt with the hip panel is the most flattering to the female form. This design also offers more options for development of the perfect contouring skirt.

I developed the above skirt from illustrations, sampling the proportions and seam placements. It does not do anything for the figure.

Following the previous disaster was the form-hugging panelled skirt. Much more desirable in terms of style but needs to have fabric consideration for the hip panels.

To make sure these features are not overlooked it will be important to analyse the garment and design outer layers accordingly. Curved cut out areas are more difficult as the fabric ends up on the bias grain. The shape however is a nice detail to carry through the collection creating consistency. Issues with cut out garments could be in layering. The details and USP of the garment may be lost due to it being covered up.

The chosen style of Coat represents a garment that flatters an displays high thought process into the designing of the garment. The use of double jetted pockets keeps the

chosen style

Coat Development

These coats all work with the design ethos of the Core collection. having the waist belt means that it can be pulled in to emphasise the waist and the length shows that it will be warm and protect from the London weather. Details that differentiate the styles are those of the pockets, shoulderline, sleeve details, kick flap positioning and length. Depending on the attachable Chiaroscuro products there would need to be considered placement of magnetics and hook and bars.

silhouette streamlined, the collar allowing for details of what is worn underneath to be displayed and shaped around the neck to give protection.

The most important feature of this coat is that it has no sleeves. Unlike menswear, womesns-wear often does not allow room for highly structured shoulders on jackets to fit inside a coats sleeve. By removing the sleeves of the coat, all of the suggested jackets can be worn, without discomfort or compromise of the ‘look’.

It would be fastened only with magnets, magnets in the waist band attaching the Chiaroscuro collection. The sleeves would be fitted and have a zip that extends past the elbow so that movement will not be inhibited for the wearer. The style lines are important as they will contour the front and the back. As its a short jacket I believe that darts are more appropriate than princess seams as they do not draw attention to the front bodice or its shortened length when worn solo.

Jacket Development

chosen style

The feature of this jacket is its ability to be worn as a bolero or crop jacket.

Weather conditions often make one want to wrap up, hence the cross over body. The shape of the cross over is important as this will draw attention to the bust. The chosen style is fastened seamlessly so that the garment looks almost as though it has no opening, cocooning the consumer inside. I also considered what it would be worn with and decided that making a jacket that would fit over the crater skirts and trousers by having cut out hip panels with an extended ‘hip-guard’. This would be a unique design element and encourage the sale of at least one other item of clothing in the range.

chosen style

Jacket Development

This jackets shape was developed from the needs of the typical London professional working and living the the centre of town.

chosen style

This Jacket is edgier than the other two and developed in the collection because it offers the consumer the cut away trend. As it is dificult to find garments to wear under such jackets, I will have to develop a top that works with it. The sleeve attachment will be the challenge for the chosen style as it is not connected at the back to anything. Instead of binding as in the images below the garment will look much more thought out and expensive if it is lined properly. The connection to the Chiaroscuro collection will also have to be well thought out for this item as there is less fabric and places for the add on attachments to be made.

chosen style

Skirt Design Development

The consumer requires a skirt that is both smart for work and stylish enough for social occasions. The hip extension of the skirt flatters the waist as well as hiding natural bloating that occurs when a waist band sits on the stomach. The design makes sure that through the extension the fabric does not sit closely on the skin restricting the wearer while still providing an hourglass shape. Each skirt would have magnets in the waist band making sure that the Chiaroscuro collections pieces attach to it, helping to convert it into a high fashion garment. As tested on the crater development it is best if the skirt is cut on the straight grain. From sampling the crater in different ways to keep it structured, the use of canvas and hand tacks should be used. This being a bespoke technique would not be viable for high volume production but as the collection is aimed at high net income earners, making the garment with the best quality is the priority when going to manufacture.

chosen style

Like the longer skirt this one has the same shape and style. It is more of a fun and cute skirt, more appropriate for evening than work, but has the possibility to have an extension attached to make it more modest or dress it up. The images above are more of the crater developing by the use of interfacing and wadding, The shape that works the best though is still the one that uses canvas and bespoke techniques to keep its shape. Ultimately the most important aspect is that the price and quality ratio make sense to the consumer.

chosen styles

Trousers Development

The Pantaloon trouser is inspired by the Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo, A high trend item that is always a staple in the professional womans wardrobe. Having trousers that elongate the legs is one of the most flattering items a woman can wear when worn well. The trouser hem must skim the ground when worn with heels creating a trompe l’oeil effect that the legs extend far beyond the norm. This is also helped by a high waist and verticle line either created by the silhouette of a crease down the centre front of each trouser leg. The pockets can also either help to elongate or emphasise the curve of the body by their shape. The choice between wide leg and straight leg was a difficult one as both are stylish and elegant. However, when taking in the overall look of the collection, a straight leg with a cuff that pulls the trousers leg in slightly is the best choice.

chosen styles These trousers are also high waisted. Aimed at perfecting the figure by elongating legs and flattering the hips. The crater shape on the trousers needs developing so that it flatters the bottom and does not enlarge it. The cuff link trousers and tie cuff trousers are both meant to hug the legs until the knee and then drop straight until they are gathered again above the shoes. The ties can also be used to shorten the trousers to a desired length and the cuff link cuff extended to give the trousers an equestrian appearance. These small details give the consumer a larger choice in style and therefore makes these items more valuable in the everyday wardrobe.

Initially I thought that it should be connected to a pair of trousers at the side seam but in the development stage chose to make it a separate piece that can connect to any of the trousers being realised; again offering the consumer choice of style and look through multi- functionalism.

chosen styles

Trousers Development

This garment is a cross over piece between the Chiaroscuro collection and the Core.

flattering in the testing stages of the garment, proportions and style lines were very important, as some cut off the length of the body, some were too masculine and others did not look good under the jacket. I chose the high neck as it is the opposite of the V-neck, the cut out side panels, sit under the jackets empty side, and the waist band would magnetically connect to the jackets waist band. It would be made of the same fabrics. By having a small measurement

chosen styles

from neck to shoulder line, more of the dĂŠcolletage and shoulder blades are exposed making it more feminine and form flattering.

Top Development

I wanted a design that would add to the design of the jacket not just be a carbon copy without sleeves, In order to make it aesthetically appealing and

chosen styles

Shirt Development

The shirts to be developed must be unique and highly fashionable, this is because the competitors listed in the concept development make very high quality tailored shirts. However, they are traditional and less likely to stray from the conventional shapes and styles. These shirts however must display a good understanding of body shape and how best to contour the female form. The chosen styles of shirts show off less conventionally sexy areas of the body that can be demure or highly erotic when styled. This gives the consumer options of how they like to be perceived as well as acknowledging current trends

made to be strong enough to keep the garment closed even in movement. The cuffs would have a flat cuff slit making sure that the garment is also minimal in style showing no fastenings on the exterior and keeping the silhouette feminine by choosing the areas it hugs the form and where it allows ease.

chosen styles

Both shirts would have magnetic button stands that were

These tops initially were going to have magnetic panels that connected to the sleeve and chest panels. However, through testing it became apparent that magnets would not work where high quantities of movement was needed (sleeves). An alternative for the finished garment, to keep the tops as high quality and unique as the other pieces is to have leather panelling where the current black silk fabric sits on the toiles. The tops are designed for colder weather and therefore would probably be worn under another item, which is often difficult with raglan sleeves. These tops though have an underarm seam so that the style lines do not

chosen styles

chosen styles

Top Development

hinder the function of the wearer.

Initial design Chiaroscuro

Initial design Chiaroscuro

The Chiaroscuro collection is meant to be a lot more conceptual with interesting silhouettes and off the body details.

A sample collar that has two variants in the way it may be worn. It also has snap buttons so that it can attach to garments that have the matching snap positions.

Peplums are a current trend that are both practical and suitable to carry to and from a place of work to attach to a look and make it more of a fashion statement. The magnets toiled on the peplum hold well and stay on the skirt without dropping.

Attachable collars are often jewelled or paired with one garment. The style that the Chiaroscuro collection is developing can be worn with all of the Core collections garments and add to the look. In keeping with the minimalist agenda of the whole brand the collars can be fastened using cuff link backed jewellery or brooches.

Magnetics tested on collars and although they hold they are placed on a curve meaning the tape buckles at extreme curve in body and no longer connects to outer shell. This being an issue the bottom circle was placed on toiles to hold on to the shoulders of wearer.

Initial design Chiaroscuro

This cape encapsulates the arms next to the body, meaning it would not be practical at work but adds an element of intrigue to the silhouette.

Using wrapping of the garment can be an interesting way to get new shapes out of a product, especially if it means that it can be multi- functional.

The neck wrap which like a scarf can be used to cover the neck and keep warm could be made in various fabrics to be an additional garment that connects to the jackets.

The wrap cape toiled in fake leather shows potential for a unique overgarment. For fitting purposes the darts will have to be taken out of the paper pattern rather than have the dart stitch lines on the finished product.

This cape sits on the shoulders and would have magnets at the hem for the add on peplum to attach to.

Initial design Chiaroscuro

Developing add on shoulders to alter the silhouette, working on paper to begin with and eliminating the back of sleeve seam by having a seam on the shoulder line instead.

Testing the above paper patterns in fake leather. The sleeve head worked well with the shoulder seam however getting the silhouette correct was a challenge. I added a contrast strip to the top of the shoulder to help with keeping the shoulders on and shaping the shoulders on to the body, then narrowed the arm to better shape the form.

These add on shoulders are far too costume like, and although alter the silhouette are more comical than fashionable.

The add on sleeve is an idea that a piece of fabric might be able to be designed in a way that it can be added on to any part of the body with use of magnets or hidden fastenings.

These shoulders are the cleanest design and the most practical in terms of desirability. They offer strong shoulders that the leather can hold without shoulder pads.

This shoulder is also desirable as it offers the extreme rounded shoulder that is often a fashion statement, although it would have to be made from a fused leather or a much heavier hide in order to keep its shape.

Initial design Chiaroscuro

Working with paper patterns to make the cuffs that will connect to all sleeves, cutting them out of pre-laser cut leather and sampling the steam seam sealing tape on the wrong side. The tape is seen through the leather and not an option. The third toile shows the ceramic scissors used to cut the magnets , the tape that has sealed the magnets onto a channel. This channel will then be sewn shut and edge-stitched to the leather.

Testing another cuff style on to a shirt that has magnets sewn into its cuff. The cuff works well, can be attached to the shirt without falling off using the magnets. This style also has binding on the edge, this is so button holes can be sewn through the cuffs and the cuff links can be used as decoration.

Paper alterations to create a cuff that grows off the body, a channel with magnets in it can be sync stitched on to the cuff, then bagged out so that the cuff can be attached to all sleeves. The toile is laser cut leather from my own laser cut design.

Developed from a pre-bought glove pattern these gloves have holed on the underside to allow the wearer to use touch screen gadgets and for the sense of touch to not be hindered. This product is a new addition to the Chiaroscuro collection, the purpose becoming apparent from the consumer research and their needs.

In light of the attachable features of these accessories, the Core collection will have to be modified to allow for the Chiaroscuro collection to be attached to it.

Initial Texture Research

This fabric board has developed from the concept development stage of the research for the collections. Images depict the contrasting textures of soft, warm fabrics and cold, reflective surfaces. Complex textures creating protective barriers to the smooth fragility of life.

Cashmere still being the height of luxury for winter fabrics was extensively researched, the most popular colour for this fabric being camel and skin tone.

Leather can be a luxurious fabric if chosen well, ostrich leather is one of the nicest. These pictures show the texture but do not reflect the final colour choices.

Wool was never a first choice, but this particular textile is softer than cashmere and has a moleskin effect that is unique and very luxurious.

Chiffon and light fabrics were initially going to be used for shirts and creating movement, however after the design development stages, no longer fits in with the direction of the collections.

The python hide is one of the most expensive fabrics, found at Premiere Vision in Paris, took two months to arrive in London. Having decided that the accessories and Chiaroscuro collection would be monochromatic the decision into black leather for laser cutting and mirrored acrylic for the jewellery was a simple one. Final fabrics, colour story

Initial Fabric Research

Having researched fabric for the collection during the concept development project, I then continued the research, focusing on the textures and fabrics that the consumer would desire.

Laser cutting Pattern Research Chiaroscuro Design Development Final Chiaroscuro Design Decisions

Sketch of triangle design.

First laser cut triangle design.

The illustrator file developed from a hand drawn sketch intended for laser cutting. The image to the right is the leather assimile of the above pattern.

Second laser cut triangle design. After reviewing the previous pattern I decided the cut away section was too vast and needed to be reduced. This pattern was then developed.

Second triangle design laser cut in leather. Even after the design was altered, the laser cutting with such intricate detail was unable to keep its structure and therefore had to be discarded as an option to use on the Chiaroscuro collection.

I chose these three images and Del Kathryn Barton’s work in general to inform the laser cutting designs direction and narrative. The laser cutting designs are meant to juxtapose the Core collection and represent a multi- facetted story in the intricacies of the pattern design. These pieces of art have no beginning or end, one is struck with the colour, detail and abnormal hermaphrodite beings in the image, that are at one with and enveloped by nature. They question what is woman? And what is being? And how is a modern woman to survive without being slightly masculine in her outlook, if not nature towards life? This question of womanity can be applied not only to the Chiaroscuro collection but to the whole design process and underlying message of the two collections combined.

The chosen form that will be the centre of the laser cutting pattern is designed to encompass the three consumer groups. She looks at nature while keeping her back straight and neck long, her facial features are not of a clear ethnic background and skin colour will not be discernible on leather. The most prominent example of the consumer group however, is the feeling that she is a superior being.

The engraving in the previous design was rejected after initial tests and this new design was chosen for the final laser cut figure.

Final Illustrator file of figure as a repetitive pattern for laser cutting.

The laser cutting design above shows the brown as the leather the white as the cut through and the black as the engraving sections of the pattern. The geometric shapes both on the head-piece and the surrounding space and lack of leather represent the modern rush of city life and the lack of personal connection between one being and another. The negative space that is the larger sections of the leather on her own body and the birds indicate the desire for calm and nurture inside human beings. Final Illustrator figure file for laser cutting.

Illustrator pattern of figure reflected (repetitive)

The triangle that first appeared in the hand drawn sketch has become part of the brand identity. Therefore I have chosen to combine the Triangle design and the birds from the Figure designs for a portion of the Chiaroscuro laser cut collection.

Triangle-bird pattern

Triangle-bird pattern in cross formation

Triangle-bird pattern in repeat formation

Triangle-bird pattern simplified

Acrylic Jewelry Patterns

When deciding to make my own cuff links and accessories for the photoshoot and Chiaroscuro fastenings, I chose motifs from the laser cutting and concept development research to use. I would need to laser cut them from acrylic in two different colours and use textile glue and jewelery making techniques to create them.

Mirror bird cuff links Neck cuff link bird Bird Brooch

Double cuff link front and side

Mother bird cuff links Cameo Ring

Black bird cuff links Miniature ring

Cameo earrings

Cameo Brooch

Mirror Cameo Brooch

Leuty Cameo Brooch

Cameo stud

Chiaroscuro Collection

Pattern pieces to be laser cut from leather. Cuffs 1/2/3/4 Collars 1/2/3/4 Shoulders 1/2 Capes 1/2 Gloves 1 Peplum 1 Neck piece 1 Skirt Panels SKTDOM2

Look One

Look Two

Look Three

Look Four

Look Five

Look Six



Range Plan

Range Plan

Line Up

Branding Logo Development Marketing

Competitor logo analysis

Most of the competitors of Dominique Taylor have logos and neck labels that are black and white or black on black or have a variety of the two. This suggests that the target market recognises them more easily and responds positively to them and likes the subtle changes in logo and tags that show a thoughtfulness into the best representation of the brand on each individual garment.

These brands do not put the place of manufacture or origin of brand location under the logo. This could be because where the brand was founded is inconcequential, the brand is already a global success or because in modern times a quality garment does not have to come from one of the traditional four fashion capitals.

Dominique Taylor is not yet a global company, and therefore will be placing London under the logo for both place of manufacture and to identify with the long-standing reputation as a fashion capital and reliable quality of British manufacturers and fashion houses. It is also more economical, ecological and less consumerist than printing an additional label.

Competitors Logo Research These two competitors have slightly different approaches to the former brands in logo choices. When Mccartney needs to diversify the logo a background colour is added where as Saint Laurent changed the name of the company but wanted to keep the same logo and in the process of doing so had interim logos. Saint Laurent started to place Paris under the logo on promotional advertising and event marketing. This has been good PR while in the transition of company name.

I like the simplicity of the competitors logos. They appear modern and clean. By having a logo that is coherent with the competitors it would mean that the consumer can automatically visually link the Dominique Taylor brand with these brands and expect similar quality and pricing. This would also push the company to uphold these values and its own mission statement.

Logo & Branding experiments

I have this desire to combine my hand writing and a font for the branding as this will incorporate my personality into the brand as well as the suggestion that the garments have a significant amount of bespoke work done on them, which is the truth. The garments will have been hand finished.

+ This is the chosen logo for the Core Collection: with the tablet I was able to use my own writing for the ‘D’ and ‘T’ these letters also happen to look like a needle and thread.

The logo modified for the Chiaroscuro collection: It is more elaborate and doesn’t have the minimalist ideals of the Core collection. As it is the first of the attachable collections, the logo will only be used for one season. The next collection that can attached to the ongoing core collection will have its own design specific logo.

Competitors advertisments

Stella McCartney

Maximist advertising, has a story line

Minimalist , simplistic garment shots

In full colour

Saint Laurent

Opulent sets

Selling a lifestyle, Music Rockstar Campaign

Always black and white

Selling celebrity

Competitors advertisments

Tom Ford

Clean background and detailed clothing that pinpoints focus In full colour

Constant use of sexual double-entendres

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann does not advertise the brand with marketing but relies on loyal customers and work of mouth.

Look Book Cover Image from runway show

Haider Ackermann has a fierce following and is used season after season in the best editorials on the internet and prominent magazines.

Dominique Taylor

The Dominique Taylor Brand is going to be online and in department stores, for this reason the advertising will be aimed at online bloggers, shoppers and fashion e-magazine subscribers. As a young brand the PR and stylist network will have to be utilised fully to get editorials, and as much coverage as possible.

Advertising photoshoot props

I have considered what type of props one would use for the combined collections of Core and Chiaroscuro and looking at the design and the use of silhouettes and sharp lines. In considering the laser cut collection and the way the light would fall through it, I would like to use a geometric shape that the model can use and work with.

This set was designed by a student at CSM as a set prop, it doesn’t let in as much light as I would have liked but it is a geometric shape and available for me to shoot with at no cost.

Style of photography

Look Book Photography

Grey scale and minimum colour Mastery of Chiaroscuro (tonal variations) City landscape and studio backgrounds

Editorial Photography

The Laroache Brothers are masters of their unique style where the models and the garments emerge from the background. Mostly in black and white, the colours that do appear are either exaggerated or subtle and not a feature.

After work down time Edging up the workwear

Editorial story-line

Work tasks

The look of Office

Get ready in the morning

The editorial for Dominique Taylor would be a progression of the average cycle of a Friday for a consumer who works in fashion/ industry professional and how their workwear can develop into an edgy after work outfit and even further into a glitzy middle of the night frock. Should a person come across them at any one point they would not know that this was the same outfit that the day started or will end in.

Last one sitting

One drink too many

Going out

DT Magazine advertisments



DT Magazine advertisments



DT online blog advertising

Exclusive interview with Designer Dominique Taylor reviels the inspiration and motivation behind her first collection and how sucess has gone to her head


Alfa woman

Dominique Taylor AW14

power women dressing for her

Blogs that are likely seen and followed by the identified target consumer.

DT online department stores



New comer Dominique Taylor hits shelves and is here to stay.

Fashion Newby has tailoring down to a T. Two magnetic collections are connecting workwear with the modern lifestyle. DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

Identified as the online retailers the consumer would visit for e-commerce in fashion and home-wear.

Competitors Swing Tags

Round Corners central circular hole for string.

The most common information on the tags are: Product name Style number Fabric Item of garment Size

Luxury Brands swing tags and the style in which they are displayed.

Yves Salomon and many other labels have a range of swing tags depending on the product on which they are being placed. This is something to keep in mind for the Chiaroscuro collection.

Some more detailed swing tags have the garment care information and product details that may give the consumer better understanding of the quality and life-span of the garment.

The Preen tag is more detailed than the others and is embossed to give it a personalised feel.




Due to technicalities and funding issues the final swing tags are to be made with no laser cutting. However, two styles have been chosen, one for the Core and one for the Chiaroscuro collections. Room for the product information and bar code stickers has been made on the back of the swing tags.


These swing tags are designed to be laser cut and would be used for both the Core collection and the Chiaroscuro collection

Swing Tag Development

Alternative shape hole for cord

Front Back

ominique aylor

The swing tags would have information such as product style number, Size of garment and Price of garment. In addition to this information there will be a normal barcode on all products. The Chiaroscuro collections swing tags will also have a leather product statement on them as well as a QR barcode that the consumer can scan on their smart phones to get additional product information.

Final Core Collection Front

Final Core Collection Back

The beauty of high-quality leather is that each piece is naturally one-of-a-kind. Natural markings such as scars, brands and other imperfections are not flaws but part of the unique character of each piece. Color and grain texture will naturally vary between items and within an individual piece.

Final Chiaroscuro Collection Front

Final Chiaroscuro Collection Back

Realised Swing Tags

The swing tags were made by they were not up to the standard that was advertised. If used they will lower the quality of branding,and the labels standards will drop in the eye of the consumer. With very little time left I was lucky to be able to get a few swing tags made in the same fabric used for the book binding, hangers and product box.

Nude/light wood: this set has a good variety but the teeth of a metal hanger can damage garments and products, especially if the hanger is not regularly checked.

Oak and wood hangers: Look very opulent and expensive but can dry out and fade in colour.

The velvet hangers are very nice to the touch but do collect lint. They have a good variety however and are second choice for this collection.

This logo woild be placed on the hangers centre front

DT Hanger

Suit Hanger and Coat or Jacket Hanger. The grips on the hanger use a foam and therefore will not damage any garments.

When considering which style of hangers to choose for the collection I came across a whole variety that made it an interesting research project. The choice between white, oak, dark wood, clear plastic, hard plastic, non-slip plastic, padded and velvet flock meant that one must consider the over all aesthetic of the collection and what difference there is between all the styles of hangers. Black rubber covered wood, the ones above were my final choice because of their shape (contoured) with felt and rubber clamps and the same silk touch as the look book and swing tags, meaning that the garments have a better chance of hanging well and looking good on the rails as well as prolonging the life of the garment.

Competitors Bags & Boxes

Product boxes and packaging ideas to make the product personal and more special for the consumer when they receive the package in the mail.

Shopping bags that are quirky and thought provoking

Large paper shopping bags with Logo on front and back.

Product boxes for accessories and shoes

The Lookbook displayed in department stores and in house. The distributed Lookbook would be a more cost efficient version.

The sticker that will be used to close the shopping bags To Scale.

The boutique bags that will be used by consumers and delivered with all internet purchases.

DT Bag & Box

Product Boxes for the Chiaroscuro collection items, so the products do not get distorted in post or while carrying. Not to scale.

Competitors Care Labels

The more languages the bigger the tag has to be.

Too many tags on a garment, metallic thread and thick labels may irritate the skin as well as being wasteful and unproductive.

White tags should not be used when placed on dark fabric like leather that leaks colour.

After much research into various garment bags I chose this one as it is a unique shape, waterproof, accommodates both longer and shorter garments and folds in half for ease of transport.




DT Garment Bag


DT Care label


Design 2: The ‘D+T’ of the logo has been centred, it both looks better and feels better.


Design 1: Centre of logo is first ‘I’ and ‘Y’, this looks odd to the naked eye as the focus in the logo is the ‘D+T’

This garment care label is a generic all encompassing one, it has on it all the symbols and information needed and would be modified according to the garment on which it is placed.

Competitors neck labels

Example of a white tag on a fabric that leaks

Metallic thread can be irritating

Black neck tags on white garments alter the aesthetics of the garment

Coat tags are larger and on the breast pocket inside the coat.

Large tag for the garments that deserve larger labels such as the coats, and Chiaroscuro collection items.



Small tag for back of neck / waist band garments

Having sent off the first design specifications for the garment tags I received these samples back from the manufacturer. It was then that I noticed that the font was in fact incorrect and that the place of manufacturer should be placed on to these labels.

DT Neck Labels


Again the manufacturer has placed the logo as a whole at the centre of the tag, instead of the cross of the ‘D+T’ being the centre .



LONDON Large tag with amended font and place of manufacture displayed

The realised black on black labels did not work at all. Unfortunately the white on black labels text came out very small, especially the London text. I did not have anytime to get them re-made but would not use these woven labels in the future




DT Neck Labels


Small tag with amended font and place of manufacture displayed

Website Development

Intended Website Storyboard

Realised Website

Realised Website

Realised Website

Realised Website

Product Evaluation

Core Collection

The core collection has been an interesting process to tackle. At times I truly felt like I had bit off more than I could chew and was exhausted by the effort to finish all that was needed  for hand in.  Th collection started out as an idea that women needed a way to minimize the amount of garments they had while maximizing the number of outfits they could create from the garments.  the way in which garments were constructed was going to be at the centre point of the collection where all seams would have magnets or hook and eyes and could be connected through this method. However in the realisation stage of the design development it became apparent that this idea although innovative was not a viable way of constructing a garment that would both stay together and be stylish. The collection then because about making a classic professional womans’ wardrobe into something a little bit more than office-wear, something that could be looked upon as high fashion as well as practical. To do this I focused on the silhouette. There is an art to looking sophisticated and elegant that the aristocrats, and well born women of the world seem be able to do as easily as they breath. I wanted to place that essence into a collection. To be able to feel sexy and proud of the way one dresses is empowering, to be able to do it without showing too much skin and making the obvious design choices to make one self feel this way is a technique. If the designer can embody that into a collection it makes it that much easier for the consumer. With this is mind the collection started to take form on paper and in 3D experimentation. I did extensive research into the body shape and what is emphasized by what features of a garment, and started working with these ideas in mind to develop the ‘crater’ shape and the cut out details of the collection. Research in to the consumer, and making a brand that is desired by the target consumer took a lot of time and data collection. As the whole concept of the brand is targeting a niche social group of society it was imperative that the information be on point and correct.    If I could go back and change the fabric choices, that would be my first step. Although the wool is perfect for the consumer, It was not ideal for a university project where deadlines are concerned. When sewing the wool on the same garment with leather it would take 2 weeks to dry clean. In fear of outside circumstances making it difficult for me to hand the garments in on time to university, I could not get them looking as good as they should have done for the hand in date. Most garments that I have made in the past differ from initial design to realised product. However, this collection has turned out remarkably similar to the illustrated initial ideas. I believe this is because I have grown as a designer, pattern cutter and seamstress throughout the previous years and this one. Differences occur from initial design and realised garment in where the fastenings would have been, magnet placement to coincide with Chiaroscuro collection, and the proportions of the crater shape. I believe that the realised garments are the right proportions and have been made to the best of my abilities. 

JTDOM 1/2/3 The Jackets in the collection were definitely the focus point during design development. For my consumer, blazers and well tailored jackets are an absolute must. Therefore i wanted to focus on these items to make them the best they could be. I also wanted to make sure the unique styles could be worn with the other garments in the collection and therefore focused designing the looks in accordance with the jacket style. The show piece is the python hide jacket, which has cut out hips that accommodate the crater skirts and trousers. When choosing this fabric at Premiere Vision, I did not anticipate how much hair it would shed, or that its is virtually impossible to get off the cream wool. I have learnt from this experience that I need to test my fabrics further and in different ways in the future, before making international purchases that are un-refundable. Having said that I am very pleased with the outcome of the look of the garment and feel that the fabric is key to this garments success.  

SKTDOM 1/2 These two skirts are very similar, making the mini skirt after having made the pencil skirt felt almost easy. The leather was much softer and simpler to sew in to the hip as well as easier to sculpt the crater as there was less fabric and no laser cutting to deal with. the pencil skirt, has laser cut side panels and had to be mounted to the raw silk before being placed. Unfortunately even though the laser cut leather was repetitively washed and wiped, the leather still left residue and die on the wool fabric. I did get the skirt dry cleaned prior to the photo shoot however and was able to get the leather colour off the cream, making it look brand new. During the photo shoot the, in the changing room the pencil skirt was placed on top of the miniskirt for an estimated 10 minutes, in which time the leathers colour leaked on to the blue leather, transferring the laser cut print on to half of the miniskirts blue panels. I did not have more of this leather, else I would have changed the panels out for hand in. I do not believe that this transfer of die will come out during the dry cleaning process.  

TPDOM 1 This top was an interesting piece to make. To begin with the fastening was only on the top left side of the shoulder and when i got a fit model in to try it on it was very difficult put over her shoulders, it would also disfigure the garment in time. In light of this i had to place another opening which I placed diagonally and then had to place another one at the side seam, ending up with a top that opens at three points on the garment. I would not make the top like this again, but with tight scheduling issues, the garment turned out looking like the illustration of it, so I was pleased. The leather used on this garment and two others is extremely soft and had a tendency to stretch, this happened a few times meaning that i had to trim and add new lining on to the final product. In the future I think that the leather should either be stiffened using a facing or an alternative fabric chosen for a top that is being pulled over shoulders and head.

TRSDOM 1/2/3/4 All the trousers were easy to make once the first one had been toiled, they all use the same block pattern and have the same length, waist band, fastenings, and pockets. I enjoyed working out the details of the cuffs for them, and felt that the small multi-functionalism of the garments was a nice idea that the consumer could utilise.

TRSDOM3.2 This magnetically connecting skirt, which can also be worn by its self worked out really well. I am pleased with its shape and the way it drapes at the back. Initially when made up it was far to floppy around the pockets and did not contour the silhouette well, however in its final sample stage this was corrected and able to be made far more streamlined. At the front the pockets poke out from between two layers of silk, while when worn with the trousers the fly facing can still be seen and is at an intriguing proportion. I like this piece very much, and feel it could be used and styled very well by the target consumer.

SHDOM1 The shirt was an interesting pattern cutting experience that once started frightened me slightly with how I was going to be able to face the cut out sections of the bodice, after talking to Claudette one of the technicians who helped me sample the garment I was happy with the result. The magnets in the button placket work well, and the shirt sits nicely on the body, I was very happy with this garments outcome.

CTDOM1 The coat in my opinion is very well made, The arm holes sit nicely around any of the Jackets sleeves and show the sleeve head details of them. The facing of the coat was perfected by looking at other high end coats and the shape i think would make the consumer feel that all aspects of the garment has been considered and is stitched with quality. I am not entirely happy with the belt on the coat however. I like the length but realise that it looks rather like a bathrobe belt in this fabric. Given the time I would make a belt made out of leather that was slightly wider in width, that sat flatter. As a whole the collections purpose has been met. The garments strengthen the silhouette, elongate the legs, nip in the waist, square the shoulders and when worn do make the wearer stand taller. I would be happy to wear these garments during the day and at night as well as being able to wear almost all garments in the collection interchangeably, minimising the necessity for over consumption.    

Chiaroscuro Collection

The Chiaroscuro collection has been a bit of a nightmare in the sampling stages. When the pattern pieces were scanned in digitally at university and then the laser cutting pattern design placed in to the file, they were saved and sent to the outsourced laser cutters. The laser cutters were able to cut most of the pieces to scale. But when the cuffs and capes were laser cut the proportions were skewed, the seam allowance ignored and some pattern pieces were lost altogether. The capes were also cut out of the wrong leather so were not as structured as the design needed. Unfortunately as the leather was expensive, and time running out I couldn’t afford to laser cut more pieces to replace them. I sampled the collection none the less and was able to salvage the pieces, although the cuffs have come out too small and I would no longer be able to fit the jacket sleeves under them. This makes the magnets in the sleeves of all garments and the magnets on the cuffs  redundant which I am very unhappy about.  The collars, shoulders, neck piece and peplum however I am happy with and think that they have come out well.        I also made a pair of gloves that can we worn while operating touch screen devices. This was not from a pattern that I developed but a pre made glove block I bought in a haberdashery shop. I wanted to create a pair that were functional and unique, however not having made gloves before the realised pair are not made to the standard that I would have liked or that my consumer would demand. If these went to production they would have to be re-developed and sampled by a professional leather accessory manufacturer.  The laser cut leather although a nice idea, leaves residue all over the other fabrics. I followed leather cleaning guides to get rid of it and the advice of professionals to no avail. I do not know if this is because of the leather I chose or that laser cut leather always does this, either way having this collection with a predominantly white Core collection does not work. I would have to seriously re consider wither the leather or the wool if this collection should go to production.

Creative Portfolio of Concept  
Creative Portfolio of Concept  

Design development, final prototype and marketing strategy for Dominique Taylor