Camilla's first coat

I have been working for the furrier Rebecca Bradley London for the past 3 year. She has been teaching me the required skills needed to be a furrier. 6months ago I applied for a bursary from IFF In order to have the funds to buy my own skins. i intended to use these skins to practice my skills in making a fur coat from scratch.

With the bursary I brought two, dyed, American foxes, a dyed, short- haired raccoon and two dyed sealskins. They were in all shades of two-tone blue and green as they were inspired by my research into underwater creatures.

I wanted the design for my jacket to be feminine and contemporary. I combined my ideas for its wear ability and its silhouette from the inspiration of the winter-sportswear brand ‘Moncler’. the contoured lines and colors where inspired by an image of a deep sea octopus. I felt that these two themes lent themselves well to the versatility and textures of fur.

I wanted to really challenge and expand my skills so i tried to design something that would push the limits of fur as a material as well as develop my level of knowledge of construction.

I mostly enjoyed the stretching stage of construction, as this was something I was quite unfamiliar with. I have a lot of opportunities to sew and construct garments when I’m working however I’m less experienced in stretching.

The stage I found most difficult during construction was when I had to make sure that the fur ran in the direction of the ‘s’ shapes. This meant being very resourceful with my skins, otherwise there would have been a lot of waste or not enough material because of the style of the design.

Rebecca taught me how to make all the pattern pieces symmetrical even though no two skins are ever the same.

I really enjoyed seeing the garment come together. It is very hard to predict how the design will look in fur, as it will have a completely different volume and silhouette.

I think I managed to successfully envision how the combination of different furs would work together. I am very happy with the final piece and I hope to design and make more pieces to turn in into a cohesive collection.