OK I know this blog is predominately about cars but just this once I’m going to write about a frock… It is car connected as it’s this years Goodwood Revival ‘Mario frock’ and I promise there will be lots of pictures of Mario.
Last year I decided to print my own Mario fabric and make a vintage style dress to go with the car, it was so successful I decided to create another one for the 2014 Revival, the idea being that if I do another one next year, I’ll have a unique and personal frock for each day of the Revival.
After some thought I went down the ‘postcard’ route, that sort of ‘wish you were here’ tropical style 50’s design but with a bit of a twist as the postcards would all feature Mario. The first idea was to take pictures of Mario in front of landmarks in the area, sort of ‘Paris, Rome, Madrid’ but replace them with Bognor, Selsey and Pagham but it was difficult to find good locations so the idea evolved into landmarks at Goodwood, the places we drive to as part of the GRTC taxi fleet.
We went down to Goodwood on a fairly sunny Sunday and spent the afternoon driving round the estate taking pictures of Mario at the Circuit, Race Course, Hotel, Kennels etc and this formed the basis of the design. Below are some of the original photos, some of which didn’t make it on to the material design.
I took the images into Photoshop and using some filters to give them a more 50’s illustrative style the pictures were mixed in with palm trees, postmarks and typography on a Mario lime/yellow background. Luckily I’m a graphic/web designer in my daily life and so the fabric design was quite straightforward for me. To produce the final fabric, I use a brilliant company in America called Spoonflower, you upload your designs, use their software to sort out the repeat and then they print the fabric digitally onto your chosen fabric.
I wasn’t very organised this year and ran out of time to get a sample printed, so I had to bite the bullet and go ahead and order the whole 7 yards required. An anxious few weeks went by, before the package arrived and I knew that the colours had printed correctly. Using reprinted vintage Vogue patterns as a base, I made a dress and matching jacket which was finished just in time, not helped by the assistance of our young cat Birkin (named after Sir ‘Tim’ Birkin – we already have an older cat called Bentley).
The dress was a great success, I wore the 2013 model on the Friday and the new one on Saturday and Sunday but with different accessories, it’s amazing how people don’t notice the print at first and then are amazed that it is the car they are riding in!
I really enjoyed designing the fabric and have been wondering if there is any market for producing custom made ‘team’ shirts for historic racers using images of their cars?
Now I just have to come up with another new design for the 2015 model.