The Art of Craft - Uniformity and Luxury: The Mao Jacket
USC School of Architecture | Spring 2014
Professor Lee Olvera
Objective. To design and construct a Mao jacket based on a specifically prescribed pattern in every detail.
Parameters. A maximum of two materials is allowed and integrated as a unified system joined by a hand-controlled process. The jacket must be wearable, thus the material properties of constructability, flexibility, portability, and durability were to be considered.
Inspiration. (1) Weaving techniques; (2) Dual-material jackets; (3) Hood element - interpreted to be a political statement.
Color. In choosing the color to develop the jacket, a driving force was to make the overall look reflect an associated material (true blue: denim; black: wool, leather, etc.). Ultimately, silver was chosen as it gave the appeal of metal.
Process. I began by testing out different materials with the intention of finding one that allowed both flexibility and sturdiness. Curling ribbon proved to be lightweight and extremely versatile. After various experiments, I chose to go forward with crochet as the ribbon took on a different property, sturdy like chain links, and a weave, where the material mimicked a structural look. I developed a variation of a double crochet stitch and a basic weave pattern based on moments of movement on the jacket as I wanted optimal comfort when worn. Crochet was used in places where seams connected to different panels.
Woven chest piece pattern
Detail of upper left chest pocket
Detail of seam - sleeve to jacket body connection