Kirry Toose
My formal training as a Dress Designer, qualifying at the National Art School has laid a very strong foundation for the development of creative machine work.
I spent many years as a designer in the 'Rag Trade', with such companies as Savvy (Jill Fitzimmon), Willikers and George Spiros. Other valuable experience has been gained through working with the Elizabethan Theatre Trust and the Opera.

The ability to draft patterns, plus the extra skills gained through courses in millinery, fine needlework, silk screen and photographic printing, numerous fibre and textile workshops have broadened my teaching horizons. Regular articles for magazines and television, plus involvement with numerous textile associations, keep me up to date with new trends, products and ideas.

In my personal approach to design, the use of 'line' is of utmost importance, with the Art Nouveau and Art-Deco periods being a strong influence in my work.

'Midnight' Art to Wear
Applique is the most obvious way of transferring ideas onto the garment for me, the tidy structure of this form of machining, then allows me to build up on this foundation with the many other multi-layering techniques.

I have been a tutor at Kuringai Art Centre for lO years, plus had the pleasure in tutoring in many other workshops around Australia eg. McGregor Winter School, Grafton, South Australia and in 2002, also Forum at Mittagong.

'Briar Rose'
Design Development and Techniques
Treating the fabric as a canvas, I tend to develop the design from background to foreground;layering across, fabrics and threads in varying sizes, textures and tones to bring to realization theideas in my mind.

The garment is designed, sketched and pattern then constructed, fittings and adjustments areconstantly made on the dressmaker's dummy in calico. I then can gain a truer perspective in thepositioning of colours, lines and shapes. The biggest influence on my work is the Art Noveauperiod. Art Deco (with its stylization) and the book illustrators of that period.

Being a fashion illustrator, I seem to have developed a trademark in painting faces onto thegarment, with the arrangement of motifs, shapes and textures to hint at the body and clothing shape.Line, pattern and rhythm are important visual aspects of my design development, not forgetting theutter pleasure in researching the chosen topic or theme. Function, comfort and wearability arepriorities; the finishing touches and fabric suitability are foremost in my mind.

Printing, using blocks, lino, stenciling and silk-screening, are usually the first stage in the layeringprocess. Applique is the main technique in the design development; this is the most enjoyable partof machining. Also.this method of applying colour or other machine-textured pieces is veryappropriate for clothing. These appliqued pieces can be constructed by cutting and re-constructingother fabrics and fibres; water-soluble fabrics can be used at any stage, either developing amachine-made fabric or towards the end, as motifs. The use of the sewing machine is usuallylimited to straight stitch and zig-zag stitching, the variation is with the lengths and widths.

Klimt inspired abstract shape silk coat
Couching, using the many new yarns available, beading and the use of found treasures, are all partof the final layering and embellishment process. The choice of linings, pipings, buttons and trimsbring my garment to its conclusion; these are treated as an integral part of the story I am trying toproject through the garment.

A Personal Note on Teaching -
I have been teaching Wearable Art for over 10 years now, with the many years experience as adesigner and patternmaker. I have the experience to create interesting, yet challengingcurriculae. An added bonus to Art to Wear Workshops, is the ability to provide my ownpatterns, graded to any size, and demonstrating pattern adjustments and fittings.

Postcard 'Deco to Techno'

Jeweled Neckpiece

Organza Neckpiece
During workshops the students are provided withpractical demonstrations, comprehensive notes, illustrations and samples, with research projects.

Lily Mask
My aim is to discover and develop each student's creativity, to inspire and enthuse.

Teaching is a passion - - -

To top of page and links