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Textiles (MA)

Nikolina Boldero

I am a textile and fashion designer based in London. Prior to studying at The Royal College of Art I completed a BA in Textile Design at Chelsea UAL.  I then took a year out in between my studies to work for fashion designers in Denmark and Paris.

I am drawn to the relationship between textiles and the body. My design process is led by extensive research; commonly looking at archival collections, through to sampling and material investigation and manipulation. I like to be surprised and led by the textiles, leaving an avenue for imperfection. My specialism lies in knitwear and embroidery where I use knitting as an expansion to my initial embroidered and mixed media samples.

Over the past year, the focus of my work pivots around knitting due to its ability to naturally curve, stretch and change accordingly to the body. I am fortunate to have grown up surrounded by my mother’s creativity as a womenswear designer. She taught me essential skills such as pattern cutting and draping, allowing me to be able to interpret my textiles in a fashion context.

During my MA I received sponsorship from The Coats Foundation Trust and Shi-Kwan Yarn Company. The yarns were used in my final collection of knitted garments.

This images shows me on the dubied machine threading up yarns.

Living archive – art of dressing.

Key themes: imperfection, fragility, notion/ritual of dress.

Within my practice I explore the ritual and notion of dress. I feel that within the current society, especially with regards to ready-to-wear there has been increased demand to design fashion to enable a quick and easy process to getting dressed. As a result, there is less of a connection between the textile - garment and the wearer.

With my project, I aim to challenge society through taking inspiration from the 1800s Victorian women’s layering of underwear garments; Shift/Chemise, petticoats, Bustles and engageantes to promote a ‘slower’ act of dressing.

Through the creation of fragile and detailed textiles which can be made up and taken apart, the wearer is able to feel more connected to the clothing they are putting on. They are immersed into the act of dressing through layering, extensive amounts of buttoning and tying.

My collection highlights craftsmanship through the use of labour-intensive techniques. Detailing is a significant feature of my collection; a series of hand covered buttons using knitted samples, and elements of hand sewn construction. I have left some edges raw, with fraying seams to reflect on the beauty of the 'imperfect'.

Another important aspect of my work is the conceptualisation of time in relation to how textiles are and have been made; honouring the use of modern but also traditional techniques and processes. I have used a variety of different equipment to complete the pieces for my collection; majority using the 'Dubied' industrial machine, but also incorporating elements of digital knit – Shima Seiki. All knitted panels were shaped on the machine to reduce the time of cutting and sewing.

Look 1 - knitted lace garment with button detailing.
Image of model in blue lace knitted garment with long suspender skirt kneeling on the floor.
close up detail of knitted blue lace top - sleeves and buttons.
Look 2 - sheer skirt and top with knitted suspender skirt and garters.
Look 2 - model putting on lace knitted cardigan.
Look 2 - close up of knitted lace cardigan.
Look 3 - model wearing knitted top; prior to getting dressed. Knitted strands hanging down ready to be tied.
Look 3 - model pulling up garment over her legs. Showing interaction with garment.
Look 3 - Model wrapping knitted ties around her arm, fastening to the sleeves.
Image of model with knitted strand in her hand, ready to tie around the leg.
Model dressed in all of Look 3, hemline unbuttoned, model attaching knitted sleeve tie to the buttons on the skirt.
Sublimation print sample, thread imprint
Sublimation print sample, with natural creases and embroidery detailing
Images of research - broken nets, and lace like structures
Research images - showing Victorian lingerie and underwear
covering buttons with my own knitted samples
A couple of my knit samples using inlay technique, monofilament yarn and mercerised cotton.
This shoes one of my samples using the inlay technique - layer of burgundy tulle behind.
Hanging garment pieces - suspender skirt with knitted stocking sleeves.
Blue lace sample - very fragile appearance, combination of inlay with lace technique.
Windings of final selection of materials and colours.
Front pattern piece for blue lace knitted top. Layered over purple tulle and brown stockings.
Scan of stocking sleeves with attachable knitted ties - lace covered buttons using my knits.
A couple of photos of the lace black knitted straps and the knitted hemline with handmade blue loops.
Drawings of final knitted lace top for Look 1.
Final drawings fro look 1 - Long suspender skirt with blue lace knitted top. Swatch sample on the left for reference.
Drawings for Look 2 - fine knitted cardigan and tulle two piece.
Drawings for Look 3 - knitted peplum top and matching skirt set.

Coats Foundation Trust