The Wallpaper Dress project

TED member Mel Bowles has been working on a very interesting collaborative design project exploring themes of customisation, emotional attachment and local design/production.
In The Wallpaper Dress, Mel has worked with collaborator Sarah Dennis, who had found a sample of old block-printed wallpaper at a car boot sale. Mel scanned the sample and put the design into repeat using Photoshop, which she then digitally printed onto cloth here at Chelsea on our Mimaki printer. The fabric was then made up into a simple vintage-inspired dress and some of the motifs were hand-embroidered to add a handmade element. The entire process took place in an area of 4.5 miles in South London and utilised local skills and services.
The process enabled Sarah to be part of the entire journey from the initial discovery of the print, to the reworking, printing, and making of the garment. This a wonderful example of a co-design fashion production process where the customer and designer work together on making a garment that the customer will truly value and cherish.