overview: my initial intention when i begun making the cloak was to attach the lilac satin around the whole "top half" of the jacket to create a simple maxi jacket/cloak structure and then embellish the denim with appliqué and cut though. This was slightly inspired by princess jasmine from my bloody chamber research, as a means to eliminate the traditional portrayal of a damsel in distress female by turning a male's jacket into a surreal fairytale cloak with a rough masculine character amongst the ever empowering feminine characteristics amidst fluid fabric, pleats, gathers, pastel colours, appliqué and sparkle. So altogether, it can embody female empowerment.
changes: However, once i started pinning the satin onto the denim, I played around with the shape, drooping the back of the satin to make it look backless and thought that the cloak looked much more prom-like, elegant/feminine and different/surreal for a cloak - going against the norms. If anything, this design aesthetic helps emphasise feminine empowerment because the wearer of the cloak would wear it with the purpose of portraying her pride in her character and gender by standing out and looking very feminine indeed. I love that the denim still adds that masculine niche, portraying the transition from fully traditional masculine jacket, to a fairytale cloak.
changes: Also, another change I made during the process of creating this cloak is the pleats. At first they were gathers, but then I changed them to pleats because the pleats help create a stronger aesthetic regarding the fluidity of the satin. This definite improved the look of the garment, adding to the feminine appearance. However, the pleats on it's own just didn't look right, it really bothered me that it looked too simple and quite odd. Which is when I experimented with the pleats and thought that smocking would completely enhance the shape and aesthetic of the garments. The diamonds/geometric lines emphasises both the female and masculine influences. I am extremely happy with the result of the smocking, inspired by Victorian gowns as a means to enhance the female figure. Also, by sewing on the beads also makes the garment look detailed and adds feminine character and elegance.
changes: Another significant change I made was the embroidery. At first, I was going to sew on the floral applique on the front half of the denim then cut through the plain bits of denim left. However, after pinning the applique on, it occurred to me how boring, repetitive and unattractive the garment looked with just the applique. I then referred back to my research on Chanel couture and thought that the crucial thing to do was to intricately embellish it with embroidery. This would enhance the sophistication of femininity, character and the beauty of empowerment. Although, the embroidery took many hours, patience and mistakes, the result looks stunning and 100 times much better than it would've looked with the applique. I really enjoyed doing embroidery for the first time and experimenting with it.
next time: If I could improve this garment, I would experiment more with the embroider by creating different shapes and patterns with the beads and using a wider variety of them. Also, I would embroider more of the garment: the back of the top half denim, more of the frond and also the arms. This would make the garment look even more detailed, delicate and unique: representing an empowered female. I'd also add more smocking onto the pleats and perhaps add more satin to exaggerate the fluid pleats. I'd also finish off the finishings by hemming the skirt and attaching the winged arms to the dress. Also, I'd go over my hand stitching so that the sewing and embellishments were more sevcure. But overall, I am really happy with the results.