Sketchbook: Graduate collection, ‘Tokeiso’ corsetry

Something I used to do regularly on my old blog was to share my sketchbooks and design processes… Since I left university I rarely create anything visual in the run up to creating lingerie but it struck me that I’d never actually shared much of my graduate collection (and I’m still in disbelief that it was handed in well over a year ago… How time flies!).

This collection was one of my first major attempts at corsetry. Up until this point, I’d only created two ‘proper’ corsets, both of which had questionable patterning and considerable flaws. Although I can now see many mistakes with this collection, I’m still very proud of what I achieved with it and there are still several pieces that I utterly adore (namely a now-cut-down corset body and sheer cupped corset). The inspiration for this collection arose from three major sources: the painterly patterns in orchids, macarons and a couple of luckily discovered bolts of vintage Japanese kimono silk… Without further ado, here is a peak into my sketchbook. It has been curated in photoshop to omit copyrighted imagery but should still give you a fairly good insight into how my design brain works.

Sketchbook (please click on the images for larger views)

I adore the painterly tones in orchid petals and the softness of texture...
I adore the painterly tones in orchid petals and the softness of texture…

Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook 1

The colours of these macarons are so deliciously floral and the scattered accent colours almost painterly...
The colours of these macarons are so deliciously floral and the scattered accent colours almost painterly…

Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook 2Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook 4

There's something wonderful about the fragility and intricacy of bone structures that almost remind me of lace...
There’s something wonderful about the fragility and intricacy of bone structures that almost remind me of lace…
Studies from some of my favourite museums... Intricate pearl jewellery, my favourite corset of all time (Alexander McQueen, crafted by Mr Pearl) and an antique from the Symington collection
Studies from some of my favourite museums… Intricate pearl jewellery, my favourite corset of all time (Alexander McQueen, crafted by Mr Pearl) and an antique from the Symington collection
Somewhat impressionistic studies of antique laces
Somewhat impressionistic studies of antique laces
Sampler of antique corset inspired flossing embroidery
Sampler of antique corset inspired flossing embroidery
Experiments with embellishment: vintage kimono silk, antique lace, beading and crystals. Garish but it steered me in the right direction!
Experiments with embellishment: vintage kimono silk, antique lace, beading and crystals. Garish but it steered me in the right direction!
Scribbles on silk photocopies that led me to my final fabric decisions
Scribbles on silk photocopies that led me to my final fabric

Design development (a brief sample of – there are simply too many pages to share!)

Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook design development 1 Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook design development 2 Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook design development 3 Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook design development 4 Karolina Laskowska graduate collection sketchbook design development 5Illustrations and technical drawingsKarolina Laskowska graduate collection line up

Karolina Laskowska graduate collection orange technical drawings This really is just a snippet of this project… I don’t think I’d ever created such a volume of work in such a short space of time before. There were so many boards of technical drawings, inspiration and mood boards, fabric libraries, technical packs… Not to mention 6 full outfits with obscene amounts of hand sewing embellishment. I am somewhat surprised that I managed to survive this collection!

I’ll end this post with one of my favourite outfits, photographed by my wonderful friend Jenni Hampshire of Sparklewren corsetry, modelled by another wonderful friend Twig. You can see the full collection on the catwalk over on here.

Corset and lingerie by Karolina Laskowska. Modelled by Twig. Photography by Jenni Hampshire.
Corset and lingerie by Karolina Laskowska. Modelled by Twig. Photography by Jenni Hampshire.

What sorts of things do you find inspiring when you design? Does this collection make more sense now that you’ve seen the sketchbook?

 

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4 thoughts on “Sketchbook: Graduate collection, ‘Tokeiso’ corsetry

  1. I love the colours in this collection! I miss sketchbooks too, I recently dug out my A-level art ones which I’d forgotten all about. The catwalk photos you’ve linked to on your old blog are broken by the way.

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