Sum of its parts is a capsule collection of Zero-Waste Pattern Cut garments. Each garment is designed strategically to consider using every piece of material cut from the fabric bolt. Improvisation is used as an exploration; a process of 'critical making' to adapt to the constraint of using all of the material and creating no waste. The inspiration for the garments was movement, gestures, improv, modularity and fluidity.
The garments are part of a larger project called Conditions of Wear.
Conditions of Wear investigates opportunities of improv theatre techniques as a generative tool for fashion designers in the early stages of design. This method creates a platform for rapid ideation, iteration and working with Zero-Waste Pattern Cutting to play with risk and shift conventional systems of fashion design practices.
Safe Labels is an exploration of a series of small messages in the right places with the potential for these messages to encourage autonomy and individual empowerment in an era of technological isolation and conspicuous consumption.
Through a series of messages introduced via a process she refers to as “guerrilla labeling” Natalie Tillen subverts the hegemony of mainstream fashion by replacing clothing labels with small statements that encourage the individual to tune out the anonymizing effects of mass culture, and tune in to the self. They were disseminated via “guerrilla labelling” at H&M, spring 2015.
Project statement written by Robin Stethem
XS, XL is a pilot collection of gender-bending garments, with an emphasis on gender binary undergarments. It is a critical design driven by critical making, via clothes hacking and research into semiotics and social reform subcultures.
Through a process of deconstruction, Natalie Tillen abstracts the material, its original symbolism and redesigns new garments; blurring the lines of category and opening up potential for new semiotics to be established.
Revers backpack is a bag of duality; physically reversible for self-expression and meta-physically to aid the user when emotionally charged in social settings.
The instructions, hidden on the inside, provide a calming presence, allowing the user to mediate their introverted or extroverted experience.
14" x 8" x 3" Gore-tex, tulle, mesh and canvas Interchangeable side-strap, roll-top, magnet closure
Revers II, is a revision of the reversible backpack aimed to refine elements of the technical pack, look at contrasting hard and soft materials. Further investigation as means of writing on textiles was done via laser engraving, as a way of engaging the user with their garment to create narratives.
13" x 8" x 3" Buckskin leather, Rip-stop Changeable shoulder straps, roll-top, clip closure
Propria Safety Vest
Propria Safety Vest, a re-design of the industrial safety vest, was lead by a partnership with start-up company LifeBooster, to integrate bio-sensors within high performance apparel in order to predict and prevent workplace accidents.
The vest has a heart rate monitor synced with EL wire that gives live feedback, dynamic semiotics and refined ergonomics.
Designed with Travers Henry, JJ Mah, Kristina Mok and Robin Stethem. Natalie Tillen's role was concept development, product research and proto sample.