Skirt & Head Dress

As I already mentioned, the most time consuming part of my final design was creating the dress. The estimating time of creating it from start to the end is about 8 full days (and some of them were 12 hours at college days, where we had to run out before getting locked in). The reason it took so long was I think the fact that it's all hand sewn, but also at the beginning I didn't have a set plan of how exactly I will be creating it, and I lost quite some time trying different ways.

Here is some more step by step photos of creating. All of them were taken during workshops.

At this point, sewing the frills on was completed and all I had to do is secure the feathers on.
I did buy a lot of feathers and at the beginning I thought to use many, but after seeing the dress once completed, I changed my mind a bit and only used a few feathers here and there. I didn't want to cover all the work I just put into it, plus I liked it more like that.


                                                                             Close up of the dress without any feathers

My next step was creating the head dress. For this I used a metal hairband (eBay) and garden wire, moulded onto it. I covered this construction in pink ribbon and sewn all the edges together. I than used different feathers on the ends of the wire and sewn in little crystals.  

Chloe modelling my piece for me

Chloe modelling my piece for me

My head piece before adding the gems on.

Martyna x

Development Of Final Design

For my costume I've decided to create a piece, that would resemble a peacock's tail.
I wanted it to be big and flowing, yet not heavy, so that it's still easy to wear for my model.
Deciding on the materials I am going to use, I thought of frills, tulle, netting, ribbons and feathers.
I ordered it via ebay. I also went to B&Q to pick up some sticks, wires, glues and pliers.
Soon after I was ready to start.

"Peacock's Tail" - Making the piece

Base of my dress was crinoline (bought on ebay), cut in half and stabilised with bamboo sticks, hand sewn into the edges of the dress. I needed the piece to be stiff enough so that it won't loose the shape, but also light enough to be picked up.

This bit of creating the dress took roughly about 5 hours, spread between the 7th and 13th of May 2015.

                                                                                                                         It's up!

                                                                                            Me & the needle during workshops

My next step was to cover the dress first in coloured netting and than in material on top, so that later on it will be easier for me to sew into this instead of my crinoline directly, to avoid ripping the crinoline material. All the sewing from this point was done using an invisible thread.

After the dress was covered in material, I started sewing in the tulle. I wanted it to look like frills so I cut up straight pieces, scrunched them up and put them together in different variations of colours, creating bunches of frills. The
pieces to go on top of the skirt were mostly blue and green with a little bit of purple, pink and white. As I was sewing
in the rows nearer the bottom, the colours changed to pinks, purples with a little bit of light blue and white. I wanted
the transition in colour to be a very subtle and well blended one, so there was a lot of thought put into how I chose
the colours in each bunch.

The sewing process was a really time consuming task- everything done by hand to make sure it's definitely stable.
To prove it during one of the workshops, Jacob put the skirt on and tried how strong it feels white twerking. Safe to say the dress passed the exam! :D Also, it was good to see how it looks up- I could see some of the frills falling straight down so I needed to secure them with invisible thread.

Martyna x

Design Presentation

On Wednesday (13.05.2015) each of the students were presenting chosen designs. We were talking about our origins of ideas and inspirations, research, planning and budget. It was interesting to see everyone's different visions about the art themes, that were given to us. I loved some of the designs and the fact that this project really strongly represents the personal style of each individual. All of the designs are so different, with a great story behind it. I can not wait to see them life on the day of the show!

Here is my presentation.
(Keep clicking on the picture).

Did you know that purple peacocks exist?!
I certainly did not until I've done my research! :)

Martyna x

Selecting the theme

I have been in two minds for many days- I could not decide on my final theme.
It was down to two concepts: dark, mysterious and gothic or lively, colourful and vibrant.

I know, quite an opposite!

To help me choose, I decided to create another set of mood boards on Pinterest, just so that I could feel the tone and atmosphere of what I was eventually planning to design.

Now I was pretty much already set on this type of theme,
when all of a sudden I spotted these two pictures:

For some reason, looking at these photos got me thinking about vibrant colours and next
thing I know is I had this "light bulb" moment when I decided to do...


So to back up my idea, I have done yet another mood board.

When I saw all the colours and textures, I knew I am done. My colour theme was decided and all I had to do now is to
create a costume design, that would incorporate peacock's characteristics. I was quite relieved, because I felt like there
was that pressure about deciding what to do for the final design. I was very happy with what I chosen as I feel like the 
colours is very much my thing. I can't wait now for it to be finalised!

Martyna x

Click here to see more of my mood boards on Pinterest.

Note: all the right to photographs and paintings belong to authors and I only used them for the purpose of my research.

Research Part III - Further Brainstorm

After completing my mind maps, the next step was to further brainstorm artists’ interpretations of
5 themes from my initial research, this time using pictures.

I found that Pinterest was an irreplaceable tool, when searching for different pictures.

Here is selection of the themes I was most considering, when deciding on my final theme:


Art Theme: Death

Link to the full mood board on Pinterest, where the descriptions are more visible.


Zdzisław Beksiński (24 February 1929 – 21 February 2005) was a renowned Polish painter, photographer, and sculptor. Beksiński executed his paintings and drawings either in what he called a ‘Baroque’ or a ‘Gothic’ manner. The first style is dominated by representation, with the best-known examples coming from his fantastic realism period when he painted disturbing images of a surrealistic, nightmarish environment. The second style is more abstract, being dominated by form, and is typified by Beksiński’s later paintings.

Artist: Ewelina Gruszka
Makeup Artist

As a part of her final project for diploma in characterisation in 2011, Ewelina created
makeup for a series of pictures, which were inspired by the work of Beksinski.

Art Theme: Religion

Link to the full mood board on Pinterest, where the descriptions are more visible.

Art Theme: Nature

Link to the full mood board on Pinterest, where the descriptions are more visible.

Art Theme: Fantasy

Link to the full mood board on Pinterest, where the descriptions are more visible.

Art Theme: Portraits

Link to the full mood board on Pinterest, where the descriptions are more visible.


Martyna x

References, 2015, [online]. 2015. [Accessed 09  May  2015]. Available from:, 2015, About Beksinski - Official store - Zdzislaw Beksinski. [online]. 2015. [Accessed 09  May  2015]. Available from:, 2015, Zdzisław Beksiński » The Artistic Blog. [online]. 2015. [Accessed 09  May  2015]. Available from:

Note: all the right to photographs and paintings belong to authors and I only used them for the purpose of my research.