Jude Mander

Jude Mander

COURSE: Fashion 2020


Design for Performance 2020


The Crystal Experiment

A project surrounding the world of Haute Couture and experimental design.

Inspired by natural rock formations, geodes and salt caves.

This final project has been a collaboration between myself, Tony McClure (exhibitions technician at BCU) and Maderian Visuals with an overall aim to curate an exhibition in Birmingham City University showcasing our work together.

When meeting with Tony, it was clear that he knew exactly what I needed to do to make my exhibition a success - be bold, bright and eye-catching. Therefore I really had to go for it and be as experimental as I could. This led me to looking at Haute Couture fashion and Avant Garde design for initial inspiration, but I still felt that it was lacking something. I had always enjoyed surface design - in particular beading, so I looked into different options and found my samples were looking a lot like the insides of geodes, that is where my concept was formed. I wanted to really push the boundaries of surface design in fashion so I looked into ways of crystallising objects and found an artist named Sigalit Landau who submerges personal objects in the Dead Sea for them to become permanently preserved in salt crystals. This is something I wanted to replicate but on a much smaller scale - this was perfect for the garments as well as the exhibition as it's eye-catching and also very interesting.

Maderian Visuals and I were in the pre-production stages of the photo and film shoots when the Covid-19 lockdown was announced. Unfortunately this meant we were unable to do any filming as we couldn't get together with the model in a safe environment. This was incredibly disheartening as I had put so much work into my garments which I wasn't able to finish and there seemed like there would be no end product to show for my time at University especially as there was no longer any exhibition. But I carried on with constructing the corsets at home and did my own photoshoot for my personal use and social medias, when it is safe to do so we will be doing our photoshoots and also filming for a video.