Creative Process: Gaultier Challenge

Me doing the model pose for my Gaultier challenge pieces

I was really inspired by the Jean Paul Gaultier challenge I took part in on Saturday, and I wanted to pull back the curtain a bit and share some of my creative process. This post is a sort of practical application of the 12 Ways to be Inspired by a Fashion Designer post that I wrote about a couple weeks ago.

On my third grade list of what I want to be when I grow up, “model” was listed along with artist, mechanic, and lawyer. I decided I could still be a model, even if its for my own stuff in the backyard, hehe.

My inspiration: Calligraphy Collection, "Vitrail" dress, haute couture spring/summer 2009

“Vitrail” is French for stained glass window, and I love the way the hard lines of black compliment the soft, airiness of the lace in the dress. Gaultier is known for putting things together that do not seemingly work, but he makes them dance beautifully together in a design. That’s how I decided to use gun shells and pearls together for the earrings.

The shape of the lace made a perfect cuff, and I choose pearls and off-white 15's as embellishments.

I rolled out the lace and fell in love with the shape. It was begging to be a cuff. I wanted to back the lace in black to give it a hardness like the inspiration dress. I found the pearls and 15s at Artful Bead, and I’m glad Lindsay was there to help me with chain and other metal components since I don’t work with them much.

The dye didn't take, so the background became the fabric on the right.

So, my white pellon didn’t soak up the black dye like I was hoping, so I used another black fabric I had on hand. I ironed out the lace and hand-stitched it to the black fabric. I trimmed away the excess fabric, and added snaps, pearl embellishments, picot edging.

close-up of my cuff and earrings

The earrings came together as planned, but I found myself wishing I had more chain. They make a pretty jingling sound when I wear them. Next, I want to experiment with different lengths of chain and maybe add some pearls to the ends. I also want to make a fully embroidered soft cuff with the same shape as the lace cuff.

Off to play…

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • avatar Sarah (Saturday Sequins) May 16, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Mandi, you look amazing! I love that shirt. :)

    Great job on the cuff and earrings, too — they’re super cute. I bet that if you showed them to DIY fashion bloggers like Grace of Sequins and Stripes and Erin of Thanks, I Made It, they’d go nuts!

    — Sarah

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth May 17, 2012, 8:27 am

    Thanks, Sarah! I appreciate your kind words :) I’ll check out those blogs, too.

  • avatar Kelly May 17, 2012, 11:15 am

    Lookin’ good, Mandi! Your pieces turned out great!

  • avatar Sophie Sage February 26, 2015, 8:48 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Leave a Comment