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  • Writer's pictureSiiri

Design Studies – First Year, Fourth Period


The fourth and last period of this semester was certainly nothing but unforgetable. The corona crises that stared in Europe during March turned into a serious pandemic and therefore made its mark also on our studies. Namenly, all studing was moved from the school buildings into internet and everything was to be done long distance. This means that all the lectures and assignments were done through online meeting tools such as Zoom and Teams.

Thankfully, these tools were around to provide such an amazing oppurtunities for long distance communication and made it possible for me and my classmates to complete all this "Studio Production" period's subjects which were on color and shape, domumentary portfolio as well as patterning and manufactoring footwear. But because we were doing everything on the internet, naturally, we couldn't do any sewing that would be neccessary in order to make shoes. Therefore, that part of the patterning and manufactoring footwear course was replaced with concept desing and the shoes will be made in autumn, when we're back at school buildings.


Color And Shape


Assignment 1: Colors – Teal

The first assignment was on colors. We talked about what colors mean, how they make us feel and how they are tied to different cultural backrounds. Shortly, this assignment taught us about the meaning of color.

We did this assigment in groups and each group member chose her/his own area on which she/he then base her/his work on. I chose the cultural meaning of a color teal which was the color of our group. Other topic or areas which you could based your work on were a personal color memory, a poem or lyric that mentions the color and different textures or elements were the chosen color can be found.

Research on the color teal.


Assignment 2: Mixing color – Green and red

In this assignment we learned about the opposite colors and how to mix them. We also talked about the golden ratio and how to use it in our work.

First we had to choose the opposite colors to work on. I chose green and red. Then I had to paint one row from red to green using only these two colors. After that I chose one color on the row from red to green. I chose the darkest, browny red and then extend that color using white and black on each side of the color so that on the top the color goes ligher and on the bottom darker.

After mixing those opposite colors we also had to make a color board using the mixed colors. I tried to create a pastellic color board.

Lastly, we had to do a moodboard with golden ratio using a picture that has the same kind of colors as the color board.

Assignment 3: Beauty ideals in different cultures – Glamour

The third assignment was about different beauty ideals around the world as well as what is or can be considered ugly.

We learned about glamour, yapha, sundara, to kalon, wabi - sabi and hozho. After hearing a little bit about these beauty ideals we had to choose one and create our own version of the beauty ideal as well as discuss how we feel about cultural appropriation.

I chose to work on glamour and this is what I came up with.

Assignment 4: Composition and shape – Swan

The last assignment in this curse was about composition and shape where we learned about how different elements are placed for example in ads to get the biggest impact out of the ad. We also talked about how different shapes and qualities of the object create contrast, balance and illusions.

So, our job was to choose one object and draw it as many different ways as we can using as many different techniques as possible. I decided to use a swan as my object in this assignment.


A Documentary Portfolio

In the previous period we had designed a footwear collection of three shoes. Therefore, in this period we made a documentary portfolios from the process of designing the collection.

A documentary porfolio can be quite creative. That's why it's important to create an indivudual portfolio with a personal story and meaning. For example, my portfolio is suppose to be like a magazine that tells about my design process that's why I also used my blog's logo because I thought it would make it seem more like a magazine.

Here are a few pages from my portfolio:

If you want to read more about my footwear collection go to the previous post of Discovering Fashion. And in case you want to read all of the posts of Discovering Fashion you can find them in a section called studies on the blog page. Or you can read them through this link as well:


Patterning And Manufacturing Footwear

In this course we created patterns for one of the designs from the spring/summer collection that we designed during the previous period. We were also suppose to make the shoes from our collection using the patterns we made, however, because of the quarantine situation that part will be done next autumn.

Everything starts from the tape copy of the last which are the base for the medium copy (in the picture the yellow colored paper).

Using the medium copy from the last we can draw a new pattern that features all of the patterns needed in the shoe including lining and upper etc.

After producing the patterns manually we also had to draw them digitally and create these explosion pictures of the patterns which features seams and thikness of the yarn ect. on the upper and lining.

Optimal footwear

Optimal footwear was also a part of the patterning and manufactoring footwear course where we learned about the relationship between last and the foot, feet's anatomy, pricing of materials as well as how materials are tested for shoes. Together all of these topics would create "the optimal footwear".

Last and the foot

Here you can see how my feet (pink) and the last (black) fit together. As you can see the last is too big for me in the toe area because there's too much space left in the tip. This is because the last is a size 36 and my usual size is 35.

Doing this assignment I learned that the shape of the last determines the over all shape of the shoe beside the design of course. So, if the shoe doesn't fit you it's propably because the last that it was made of doesn't go well together with you feet.

Anatomy of the foot

As you can see here in the pictures of feet they have a lot of structures in them and not just bones but also muscels, tendons, fat cushions etc. What's more, feet are an essential part of our bodies when moving and walking. Therefore, when designing footwear is important to consider also the anatomy of the foot so that the shoes are useable and most importantly walkable.

Badly structured shoes are actually really harmful to your foot. They can cause problems with your back as well as knees and damage the arces of the foot by makig them flatten and this way causing pain to the foot. These disorders are especially something that can happen when using high heels because if you don't know how to move right in them your back makes unneccesary curves, your knees are under more preasure and the toe of you foot takes most of the weight of the body on its little area causing the most notisable pain when wearing heels. Also too tight shoes is the cause for various toe problems.

Materials and the price of footwear

In this part we learned what things determine the price of footwear and how much, for example, materials cost in our designs.

So, the price of footwear is a combination of many things but these are generally what costs in a shoe: production, materials, carriage, retail, net profit and other expenses such as rent and electricity etc.

My shoes would cost about 65€ only in materials. So, that is not the final price but a good indicator of what is the fair price for shoes. Therefore, if your shoes were 20€ you ought to ask yourself why are they so cheap. My guess is they're probably made with poor materials and prodused in questionable conditions.

Material testing

Because footwear is such a special kind of item not just any materials fit for use. Therefore, all the materials are tested in different ways to see if they are going to last and be durable on the shoes. This speciality is because materials have to go through a lot from sweat to heat and friction to tension during their production and use of the footwear.

Optimal footwear

So what is optimal footwear? That is a hard question but simply it is a combination of all the things above: How the last fit to your feet, how well anatomy has been taken into consideration, is the shoes priced fairly and are the materials tested to be good for shoes. And lastly all of that comes down to sustainablity and how to fit these things with being as eco-friendly as possible.

Over all, it is nearly impossible to create perfect shoes that are going to fit for everyone's feet, values and hopes. Therefore, it is more important to recognise your own values and make decisions according to them while designing, shopping or recycling.


Concept design

Because of quarantine we couldn't make our shoes during the patterning and manufactoring footwear course. So the manufactoring part of our studies were replaced with concept design where we come up with different ideas and then develop one idea into a demo.

On the whole, there were three assignment in this course: trend assignment, search assignment and a group assignment.

Assignment 1: My own trend – High Housing

The first assignment was to come up with your own trend that is timely in your life right now using trend knowledge as your base from different sources such as WGSN.

My trend was about living at home because, as we all know, quarantine has made our homes more important to us than perhaps ever before. Therefore, I didn't want my trend to be about another minimal, cosy and neutral space because I think we can do better than that. I think homes can be exciting. I think homes can be like little worlds of our own. I think homes can have a little adventure in them.

My trend is about "High Housing – For those who life in style". It's about different rooms that all have a little magical worlds in them and their own silly dress code. Because living doesn't have to be boring and colorless when it can be a fabulous journey through imagination.

I think this trend assignment was my favorite assignment of the year and, therefore, I am also proud of my idea and how I made it happen. So, even if everything else was a mess this was just a joy to do. And it's needles to say that I hope we have more of these trend assignments in the future.

Assignment 2: Research

In the second assignment our job was to search trends now and in the future that are in some way sustainable and eco-friendly from materials and dyes to innovations and upcycling. This research was also done individually but the information was used in the third assignment's group task.

Assignment 3: Concept design in groups

The final assignment of concept design was to gather your group members' research together and from them define three sustainable ideas from which the group would choose one to work on. Then, after choosing the concept idea you start to develop it in groups by coming up with a target group, visualization of the idea and so on.

Our concept was a wedsite that collects sustainable brands and their products into a one place. In the website you can also read about what different brands think about sustainability and what they do in order to be more sustainable. The whole idea was to make it easy for consumers to find and buy more environmentally friendly options that go together with their values without having to spend time on searching products and brands. All in all, we wanted the website to be very open about materials, manufactoring and transport as well as packaging and how brands make a positive impact on the environment.

The idea came about from a problem that we had discovered through conversation and observation. Namenly, a lot of people want to be more sustainable but when purchasing products their not ready to do enough research because a lot of the information about brand's sustainability requires some deep digging and often what you find is not enough. Therefore, we hope that this website, KWYB (know what you buy, buy what you know), could push the fashion industry and brands to become more transparent, open and willing to communicate their ways in the business so that consumers can find trusworthy information easier and quicker.


Thank you so much for reading!



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