Animation, Fashion and Sustainability

McKelvey, Kathryn (2019) Animation, Fashion and Sustainability. In: Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice, 23rd - 24th January 2019, Bolton, UK.

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This paper presents an experiment, within a PhD project, to create a two-dimensional (2D) fashion design tool using animation techniques. The tool appropriates Adobe After Effects software (incurring low costs) supporting innovation early in the design process: design takes place on the timeline, utilising rotating mood-boards and application of design elements to a fashion figure. The technique requires some prior knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, unlike specialist computer-aided design (CAD) software, which requires much training.

Fast fashion and rapid consumption dominate the fashion industry, in response, some designers adopt a slow fashion philosophy, utilising local craft industries, or integrating vintage garments into their collections, many with innovative approaches to sustainability.

A research through design experiment explored whether the animation tool could support sustainable approaches to fashion. A foundational concept was to re-use and up-cycle by producing design for a limited-edition range. Healthy stocks of men’s white shirts are available in charity shops, allowing the concept to be repeatable on small scales. The shirts would not need to be cut into until ideas were developed. The retained proportions of the deconstructed shirts created realistic design propositions.

A method developed: firstly, to photograph the shirts, deconstructing them in Adobe Photoshop. Fabrics were added to the deconstructed elements when imported into Adobe After Effects, creating new designs on the timeline. Construction and cut were considered. Hand drawn, large-scale prints were then superimposed mixing the hand crafted with the digital process, adding unique selling points.

Reflective practice, in and on action, revealed that the figure and prints do not need to be repeatedly re-drawn. Rotating mood-boards also reminded the designer of their research inspiration. An element of the unpredictable - moving from one transition to another - was also discovered, further advancing design development. Feedback from fashion lecturers and students revealed perceived value for the technique.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: animation, experiment, software, fashion, sustainability
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 15:32
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 10:07

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