Some months ago a friend told me about a design competition held by the Groninger Museum for which you had to design a dress for Barbie inspired by fashion designers Azzedine Alaia or Iris van Herpen, whos collections are exhibited at the museum at the moment. Being a fan of fashion design and loving detailed work, this competition was perfect for me and I decided to submit. As you could read in previous posts (here and here), I went to the museum to see the exhibition and to get inspired. I chose Iris van Herpen as my inspiration. Her designs combine traditional craftmanship and unconventional materials, resulting in beautiful pieces.
For my dress I decided to use a traditional craft that I recently learned, bobbin lace making!
My initial idea was to make lace with metal wire but after trying it, it didn't work out the way I wanted. The metal was too stiff so bending the wires was hard and made the structure too open.
I decided to use normal offwhite thread and combined it with metal wires. I drew an outline of the pattern of the dress and used it as the base of my bobbin lace. In order to create the lace structure that I wanted I had to use 60 bobbins! The most I ever used for one piece. You can imagine that winding and hanging the bobbins was a lot of work.
I used different patters creating closed and open structures and incorporated pieces of wire.
Next I sewed the piece together on the back and shaped the dress around the Barbie. Finally I used a lot of hairspray to fix the threads and hold the dress in place.
Et voila! see here the final result :)