Specter Salk Design & Discovery team: Krishna Vadodaria & Jessica Holland

Email: lycanthropetextiles@gmail.com

Instagram: ohthewerewolf

I was one of lucky thirteen Mesa College fashion students chosen to take part in this amazing event. The Salk Design & Discovery event allows us designers to showcase and interpret the work of Salk Intitute scientists.

The study of human pluripotent stem cell derived astrocytes

Getting paired up with my first choice of scientists was a dream come true. The color palette is very "me" and the shapes and textures in Krishna's photo screamed out felting, a technique I was excited to try out for the first time.

It started with a hand drawn garment sketch.

With my garment, I wanted to create something that would showcase Krishna's research while also staying true to how I design. I wanted to make wearable art, something that the audience could see themselves wearing.

Then redrawn in Illustrator. I wanted to showcase Krishna's work in a wearable art piece. I knew exactly which textile technique to use: nuno felting

Nuno felting: a fabric technique developed by fiber artist Polly Sterling. Nuno felting bonds loose fiber into a sheer fabric to create a lightweight felt.

Merino wool fibers paired with silk chiffon. Our color palette for Specter.
The first mood board

My first visit to the Salk Institute

Never having done nuno felting before, many weeks of practice were needed. I needed to go from complete beginner to intermediate in only a few months. A daunting task. With nuno felting you need to start out with an oversized piece to allow for the shrinkage that happens.

The first try at nuno felting. Laying out the fibers and working them into a small neck scarf took approximately 3 hours.

The first completed test piece

Pleased with my first try at nuno felting I spent many more days practicing and measuring shrinkage. Once I got comfortable it was time to test out ways to get added texture

Textures added by placing cottons, silks and throwsters waste on top of wool fibers.
First video shoot. I will admit that I am more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.

Explaining the nuno felting process to Krishna

Patternmaking time: I used a combination of styleCAD (computer patternmaking software) and hand done drafting for the nuno felted pieces

After tweaking the muslin and then the pattern, it was time to create the final garment. With the help of one of my professors, Stacey East, I was able to easily blow up my nuno felted pattern pieces to 40% to allow for shrinkage.

Felting the skirt pieces. The skirt and the bodice took an accumulated 10 hours to felt over two days.

Bodice pieces drying in the sun

The felted bodice pieces prior to sewing

Blood, sweat and tears all went into the sewing of the dress. Both literally and figuratively.

The bodice pieces turned out perfect and everything I could ask for with my limited time of felting. The skirt....not so much. Once sewn together and placed on top of my dress foundation I was horrified to see that it looked like a costume; the opposite of what I wanted. It was heavy looking and not as ethereal as the look I was going for. Upset, I set it aside and contacted the only person who's advice I always take with sewing, my aunt.

With no time, or energy, left to re-do the skirt portion my aunt suggested the saving grace of my project: a bodice extension instead of a fully nuno felted skirt.

The dress being fitted on my model

The final dress will walk the runway at the Salk Instiute's Design & Discovery event on October 4th

For more information on the event please visit: http://designdiscovery.salk.edu

My contact email: lycanthropetextiles@gmail.com

The final product
Created By
Jessica Holland

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