From the designer Professor Arlene Handschuch:
“Wind Chime” is a jacket and skirt ensemble for the professional woman that is suitable for day or evening wear. I was invited to create this ensemble as a guest designer for the Queen Sirikit Institute of Sericulture in Bangkok, Thailand. The purpose of the design was to showcase womenswear made from the highest quality Thai silk for an exhibition at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference to promote the new labeling standards and emblems recently developed by Thailand's Agriculture Ministry to authenticate Thai silk and protect it from imitations. The labeling emblems are affixed to the fabric and come in four different colors -- gold, silver, green, and blue -- based on specific silk types and production process.
The fabrics for “Wind Chime” were provided by the QSIS and included three pieces of iridescent lavender silk each in a different hue and intensity. The goal was to incorporate all three fabrics in one cohesive ensemble and to coordinate my design with two colleagues from two other Universities to create a cohesive collection all from the same three fabrics.
My design process began by experimenting with ways to counterbalance the femininity of the lavender colors with an edgier asymmetric design silhouette. My inspiration was a glass wind chime hanging on my porch. Its vertical panes of colored glass, cut with diagonal edges and connected to each other by thin cords, inspired the vertical and diagonal lines and panels of my jacket which represent how the separate pieces of the wind chime connect with each other to make a beautiful and delicate effect.
The initial concept for the design was digitally sketched using Adobe Illustrator which allowed me to experiment with the line locations and angles. The three fabrics were scanned into Illustrator so their colors could be placed into the sections of the garment and moved around to determine their most aesthetic positioning.
Draping and flat pattern techniques were used to create the twenty-one asymmetric pattern pieces on the front, back and sleeve of the jacket. Each diagonal line is a unique angle with no two angles repeated. The closure at center front is formed by a tubular stripe of the fashion fabric knotted and hand stitched to the outside of the garment.