In depth research, consisting of 1890's French Cycling posters, original victorian cycling patterns, examining the figure silhouettes, fabrics and styles of the time, along with an 8000 word dissertation has determined the outcome of my entire collection.
Looking at trend forecasting, with the work of Lidewij Edelkoort and online resources such as WGSN was helpful in designing my collection. I also took inspiration from everything that makes me who I am, with a sketchbook on self marketing, discovering who I am, I was able to focus on branding myself so that my work is a strong reflection of what I am about, therefore making my collection 'real'.
With my love of cycling, traditional fabrics, vintage fashion and history, I came up with this collection. Research tells me that from the Victorian gentleman to todays Hipster, the dandy is still going extremely strong. There are also female Dandies.
Women who attend events such as Eroica, Goodwood and the Tweed Runs, they deserve to be able to wear something that makes them not only LOOK amazing, but also feel comfortable too, and have modern day functionality. I combined two pre collections together (one aesthetic, one functional) and kept working on ideas and designs.
To create this collection that could be comfortable, functional, contemporary and 'dandy'.. I had to add modern hidden elements taken from the research i had explored from todays cycling wear. Adding chamois, reversibility, convertable elements and stretch to an otherwise taillored suit ensured comfort and style together.
My research also consisted of practically making patterns, and then trying it out myself, to ensure it was correct. Several toiles were created, and redone again and again and benig worn on a vintage bicycle to ensure they moved correctly and the purpose they were created for was achieved. Trips to London to study cyclists, and talking to vintage cyclists really helped. They wanted accessories, they wanted clothing that wasnt day glow, they wanted to be seen, but feel good and look cool.
Taking everything into account..CyberDandy is what I have come up with.
I decided to go with British tweed. There are many functional reasons for using Tweed for my sportswear..
The fabrics I have been using for my cycling clothes today would probably seem strange to some..however check out the reasons why tweed is in fact amazing for sportswear..!!
Tweed is a fabulous choice for sports. It's the original fabric used way back in the Victorian era and George Mallory even wore tweed when climbing Mount Everest. Today, despite all of the new technical fabrics it is still a viable choice.
It is breathable.
It wicks moisture away from the skin and disperses outwards.
It is sustainable and natural.
It regulates body temperature. (Keeps you warm when it's cold..and keeps you cool when it's hot).
Naturally water repellant.
Helps minimise unpleasant odours.
Naturally anti allergenic.
Also it allows for movement.
Combined with technical Lycra Polyester tops for ease of movement, this all worked very well. The Poly Lycra feels fantastic against the skin.