Masters Diploma: Mongolia – Culture of Tradition and Modernity As Inspiration For A Womenswear Collection
In 2006 I graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Berlin with a Masters Degree in Fashion Design and Technology having written my dissertation on fashion, women, history, social topics in Mongolia and using this as inspiration for a womenswear collection.
After researching, writing for 9 months and traveling to Mongolia in January 2006 I am very happy with the result and want to share it.
If you understand german, here is an extract from my dissertation that was published by the Institute of Foreign Affairs in connection with the mongolian fashion exhibition in 2007.
I found the mongolians very resourceful with the little they have, very fond of colour, very open and very practical. It was delightful to visit friends in Mongolia even though the temperatures were usually around -10 to -15 degrees and often at night around -30 degrees. It gave me a very good feel for Mongolia after researching for so long (I had casually started researching about 5 years earlier…). I even stayed out in a western style block hut in the country and got to see the great and refreshing emptiness of the counryside (I was quite sick of the buzz of “civilisation” at the time).
I stayed in Ulaanbataar the capital of mongolia in an apartment but I kind of wish now I had an opportunity to stay in a traditional ger ( I saw one from the inside and they even had a cat!). I bought lots of fabrics and traditional mongolian buttons (a bit like cufflinks), most of which are still safely stored in boxes…
The collection is inspired by the women of mongolia and the bright colours of traditional costumes. It´s only a small collections, 5 outfits as is custom in masters degrees. I made a portfolio which I presented at the final exam (see mood boards, line up and technical drawing below) and after being quizzed by my professors presented the collection on stage as a fashion show.
I took the surface and landscapes as inspiration for my knitwear and textile manipulation and was particularily fond of using the technique of knitweave on the knitting machine. I used fine and canvas cotton, denim, wool and silk threads and yarns, as well as sequins, ruffles, embroidery and cut edges that frayed with thread ends hanging loose. The silhouette is loose fitting to allow lots of movements for riding (the trousers), travel, and working also for going out with characteristics of the traditional costume like extra long sleeves. All shoes were sewn by me.
Mood Boards with textile samples:
Technical Drawings with samples:
Pictures from Mongolia will come in a later post.