I wanted to take a special look at news media for this week’s LookBook. I am going to focus on Michelle Boucher, a former SLCC fashion student. Michelle created a dress for her Introduction to Fashion class for her final project a few years ago. The criteria for the project are that the students not sew a single stitch on the garment and it is encouraged that students use creative, out of the ordinary supplies or objects in place of fabric. For Michelle, newspaper was her medium and it was up to her to make is look amazing, and she did. This dress was so well received that the Fashion Institute put it on display in their lobby at the Library Square Campus downtown where it stayed for almost 3 years.
Speaking with Michelle about her project, I gained a great insight as to how she was inspired for this no-sew project. Michelle explained that using newspaper began as a mistake and was only supposed to be a mock-up of her final piece. She chose to block the project out with newspaper because it was great for draping, pattern making and went around the curves of the fashion form fairly easy. Michelle was open to changes and new ideas and was more than please with the results of her newspaper dress except for one stipulation; she had used the obituaries for the entire skirt and wanted to use another section of the paper.
Making the second dress went smoothly for Michelle. She said it was hours of work to create her first version and work on her final piece took less than an hour. When the Fashion Institute asked if they could keep the dress and use it as a display, she was overjoyed and so proud that her design was to be used. She went further to say that her design was the only one in her class of that size; most students created accessories like bags and shoes. The idea of a “big reveal” by taking her dress out of a big plastic bag made her uncomfortable and she was not used to presentation and the attention or criticism her work was subjected to.
Looking deeper into the inspiration for her project, and current career, I asked Michelle what value newspaper was to her. She said that the tactile quality of a paper is very important to her. She works as a stylist and tells me that tearing advertisements out of magazines or newspapers are very crucial to her line of work. She went on to say that she can pull inspiration from online media, but there is too much information and can be overwhelming unless you know a specific image or ad that is being searched for. Michelle like that online media is more accessible, but says you can’t beat the glossy look of a magazine page being held in her hand.