Vintage Inspired Cycle Wear

Its always great to view what other designers across the oceans are designing especially when their inspirations somewhat align with your own. Meet Donna King, A Designer from Cornwall that has created a striking collection of Vintage-styled cycle wear with a modern twist. Mother of two Donna King took her inspiration for the cycling fashion of the late 1800s for her eye-catching range, Cyber-Dandy. As part of her final project for her Performance Sportswear Design degree, the 39-year-old Falmouth University student has created a bright and bold collection of women’s cycling clothing that combines style with modern science and functionality.
She describes the clothes as “eccentric Victorian silhouette-inspired cycle-wear, with functionality at heart” and says the concept came from her love of cycling fashion history.
“With a focus on the late 1800s, I decided to concentrate on French posters that were very popular at this time,” she says.
Donna, who lives in St Austell, was particularly inspired by a poster designed by the French artist Ferdinand Misti-Mifliez advertising Clément Cycles, a French bike manufacturer. The striking poster depicts a Victorian woman stood next to her bicycle.
“I loved the way the poster expressed freedom and liberty for women,” Donna says.
“To make my garments a modern appropriation of this, I acquired permission to take some modern brightly coloured cartoon samples from illustrator Brad Tuttles’ comic images.
“I felt this would add a contemporary as a high contrast to the traditional tweeds that I would be using.”
Donna and her fellow students received a thumbs up from Falmouth University chancellor Dawn French during a fashion show last week.
She began researching for the project by look at the attire worn by participants at high-profile cycling events.
“I started looking at cycling events such as the [London] Tweed Run, Eroica and the Goodwood Festival, taking inspiration from the materials and silhouettes of the clothing worn,” she says.
“But I also took functional and practical elements from modern road cycling clothing and added necessary function to the traditional garments.”
The clothes, which were modelled during a fashion show at Falmouth University last week, are made from British tweed, and heavyweight polyester lycra.
“I decided to use tweed because it is a fantastic fabric for sports,” she says. “It wicks moisture away from the body.”
The range includes waistcoats, trousers, skirts and series of accessories.
“My garments are all interchangeable, with the waistcoat being fully reversible,” Donna says.
“It is also open at the back with skeleton elastic to secure it to the rider. It is light and can be easily taken off whilst sat on the bicycle.
“The trousers, shorts and plus fours are designed for function also, with a part elasticated waistband that allows for movement whilst riding and includes an inner polyester lycra hotpants with padded chamois.
“I made some accessories to match with my range,” she adds.
“This included a helmet cover that resembles a bakerboy peak cap, with a covered button in the center. This cover is elasticated and fits over most bicycle helmets.”
Donna is now setting up her own design business and has already received interest from large cycle wear retailers about her collection.
See more of Donna’s work here.
Donna King Designer

Extract by WBGayle | Posted: June 11, 2016
Cornish designer unveils vintage-inspired cycle wear collection