This project is a series of design illustrations developed for a conceptual collection based on an excerpt from "Memories of Ninety Years" by Mrs. E. M. Ward describing the jumble of humanity at the Great Exhibition of 1851. My research explored social class and dress, immigration, cultural & monetary exchange, historical decoration and modifications over time. 
Research on early U.S. immigrants resulted in a moodboard tapestry-backed series of watercolor portraits with hand-dyed threads and printed textiles.
Initial visual research and design experimentation using images documenting the Great Exhibition and immigrant documentation, followed by over 100 drawings.
First hand research: Draping and drawings based on early documentation of Ellis Island immigrants. Over a hundred observational and design sketches led up to the final designs.
Conceptual Detail Development: Pick-pocket-friendly pockets (unzip at base), also serve as a status symbol of not needing items kept in pockets... a bourgeois display of being able to afford loss.
Conceptual Textile Development: Similarly, a hand-made coin organza, flaunting status in a striaghtforward, transparent, elegant way. International coinage could further suggest wealth while also mocking under-developed economies. Both play with the idea of socio-economic status and how that relates to fashion.
I developed a series of textiles based on my visual research, which was largely based on currency design and historical decorative patterns from around the world.
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