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"Expression": design and development

Expression: design and development

Why do I design plus size clothing?

Being someone who wears plus size clothing, and has for most of my life, its difficult to find items that really represent me. So often, plus size clothing is just popular styles simplified down to something that may interest a broad market. Until recently, that system made sense. The plus size market had consisted of only a handful of stores. Within the last few years great strides have been made in wider selections for plus sizes and embracing body positivity. Plus size stores are finding their style markets and beginning to provide for unique tastes that are fashionable and new. This line is a few styles that I would like to add to the growing selection.


Target Market

This line is designed for contemporary teens and young women. It would most likely appeal to consumers shopping at stores such as ASOS, Torrid, Boohoo and Forever 21 for casual wear and night life clothing. These looks could be everyday wear or easily elevated to somewhat fancier occasions. The continuing intersection of athletic and casual wear is really strong in this line.


Aurora Fashion Show: Expression by Mylisa Krueger

"Expression" was designed to make the wearer feel  bold, awe inspiring, captivating, and unapologetically feminine.  While building this line, I took inspiration from two brands that I highly admire for their work with plus sizes and straight sizes, ASOS and Boohoo. These companies create styles that are unique, trendy, bold, and eye catching. Unlike many common clothing stores, these companies carry their style characteristics from its straight sizes to its extended sizes in their Plus & Curve lines. This shows that it is possible for other companies that focus on straight sizes to make larger size ranges, so plus size women will be able to express themselves in the same variety and boldness as any other woman.


Development

To start the process, I chose 5 categories, dresses, shirts, jackets, pants, and skirts/shorts, to evaluate the overall colors and themes presented by these two companies along with new trends for SS/17. After analyzing the current data, I created 7-10 designs per category. I selected 4 four designs that looked promising and began to build my looks. 


The Color Theme

The colors in this line are awe inspiring, feminine, and bold. I was inspired by colors that come to mind with the words "dream state". 


The Look Theme

The most prominent feature for these looks is unapologetically feminine bold. I was inspire by "over-the-top", sheer and irridecnt materials, oversized ruffles, saturated, dusky colors, and feminine silhouettes. 

Final Technical Flats and Color Ways


Look 1: 

For this look, I wanted my model to feel strong, feminine, and fierce. She needed functional leg wear, with four full sized pockets, a flattering and bold top, and, of course, a punk jacket with a feminine edge. 

The Jacket

A slightly fitted grey jean jacket with reversed collar, cuffs, and hem starts this outfit off strong. The deep plackets allow the sleeves to be rolled up and tabs at the waistband give the option for a more fitted look when the jacket is worn open. The final detail is a wrap-around wide lace frill.

*To learn more about the process, click each image and hover for caption. *

The Top and Bralette

A deep back and front squared V give an enticing flirt under the strong jacket. A lattice front gives a little extra design pop and keeps the V neck on the shoulders while still allowing a deep V style. 

The Leggings

This look had to have functional leggings that were equally stylized. The leggings feature four internal full sized pockets, two in front and two in back. The final design includes style lines that flatter the leg. Knee accents give a unique detail. 

The Final Look


Look 2: 

The dress and Bralette 

This look is designed for a casual summer evening where you appear, effortlessly, a step above. The dress is maxi length, with a deep squared V neck, halter style straps, and a gathered bottom ruffle with a front slit. The dress says elegant and the bralette says effortless leaving you captivating to all around you. 


Look 3:

The bodysuit in this look is what started this collection. At the time I started designing this line, I couldn't find a flirty and intimidating bodysuit for my "feeling good" days. I wanted to make something that played with balancing cutouts and coverage. The skirt for this look had to have an iridescent sheen to play off of the matte jersey bodysuit. It also needed to be full and choppy.

 

The Bodysuit

The bodysuit has a mock turtle neck and long sleeves. This covering design is contrasted by joint-like cut outs at the elbows and chest. 

The Skirt

The skirt for this look is full and choppy. The wide waistband and full shape gives an exaggerated hourglass silhouette. 


Final Thoughts

This entire process was absolutely amazing. Getting to see my models feeling good and loving their looks was so rewarding. I learned so much about fit, developing concepts, patterning, sizing, and time management from this show. I am happy to say that I was awarded the Judges Choice Award at the Aurora Fashion Show. On judging day, I was complimented on my attention to fit, exceptional work with knits, and unique designs. I am so excited to start working on my next line and hope to double my looks for next year.