This is the story of how I came up with my interpretation of a shift dress, as part of a collaboration with seam, we had discussed several options, but this one had possibilities that excited everyone.

As a starting point I play around with definitions and word associations, I liked the idea of makeshift “get along or contrive” as it associated with make do and mend, and the idea of a patchwork/quilted shift dress, using fabrics with personal meaning from the 60’s to the present day as a way of showing the 50 year celebration of the shift.

I researched 1960’s designers especially Andre Courreges, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin and their “space age” collections. I liked the idea of referencing a projected future shift dress –now.

I developed the idea of fabric with personal memories into using visual memories of people, places and items from my childhood, exploring the concept of memories that have meaning, I came up with a design that used the pairs memory game. Taking Paco Rabanne’s metal plate dress as inspiration, and the clear PVC used by Andre Courreges, I originally intended to trap images between two layers of clear PVC, however I wanted the game of memory pairs to be playable as well as wearable (almost!)

For colours I spent a lot of time looking at 1960’s Missoni and Pucci, as well as looking at 1960’s interior design and even a 1960’s formica catalogue…

I collect all the images on Pinterest, you are welcome to find me – Tabitha Stewart – and look at some of the images that have inspired me and the ideas I have for showing my visual memories you are also welcome to suggest your own, including images or links if you would like.