Welcome to the world of Michelle Victoria McGrath and A Little Bit of Couture.
My intention is for you to have a glimpse of what inspires me and how I translate it into my designs.
My first design at University was inspired by Mongolian culture. I looked at the warriors such as Gengis Khan, including their armour and traditional attire. Queen Amidala's costume from the Star Wars movies was inspired by the Queen of Mongolian traditional dress.
The layering of different fabrics combined with the contrasting textures had an impact on my design process. The fabrics I used were Linen and soft metallic leather. I used the metallic leather to bind the layers of the linen jacket. My aim was to create a strong female design.
The leather was from a fantastic UK based company called GH Leathers and the Linen was donated by a Belarus company to our University.
I began looking at the inside of pocket watches and sketching the shapes created covering the cogs. I loved the intricate beauty of the mechanics and knew I had to include this as part of the design.
The silhouette of the skirt came from a metal structure I saw on the bottom of a table leg, my inspiration can come from anywhere. I love pushing the boundaries of fashion and collaborating with different disciplines. For this design, I collaborated with an amazing metal company in Wales called Ad hoc designs; http://www.adhocdesigns.co.uk/index.htm
After discussing my vision and showing my designs, they helped me create the helmet above. I constructed the leather helmet and attached the metal pieces, making it into one headpiece. I also used an amazing laser cutting company in Wales called Lasers Are Us to cut the leather cogs for the skirt, shrug and helmet.
I had two types of leather, very fine and a thick shoe leather. In order for the cogs to keep in place I used extra large eyelets.
It has been used in various photoshoots including The French magazine "Advanced Creation Photoshop", Digital Photographer Magazine and the design won a Lady Gaga Gaga competition winning 2 tickets to her concert in Cardiff.