Gracie’s suit was heavily inspired by her Indian heritage. Taking fabric, embroidery and colour inspiration from Indian wedding wear and visits to Asian fabric shops in Bradford. From this she developed a high appreciation for attention to detail and the use of beautiful trims to highlight suit features. Gracie saw the link between Indian suits and the Napoleonic jacket, noticing the silhouette and collar shape similarities. With this in mind, she wanted to design her own suit set, taking reference from the two styles. With her textile upbringing, Gracie paid particular attention to the printed and embellished fabric she came across while completing research.
When designing her suit, Gracie wanted to focus on the shape of her collar and cuffs after seeing the importance of this in her research. She toiled several military inspired high neck collars, from this she began to develop the collars to a more curved shape. Seeing the similarities between her sampled collars and the shape of a lotus flower, she began to create an outline of her desired shape from this. Resulting in created a double layered matching collar and cuff set. For the silhouette of the jacket, Gracie took reference from the classic shell shape of the Napoleonic jacket. The trousers took silhouette reference from traditional harem pants, worn as part of a men’s wedding suit in India.
Through toiling, Gracie began to define the features of her suit. Changing her collar and cuffs to meet at the centre front and middle of the sleeves. She inserted panels into the back of her jacket, inspired by the style of the Napoleonic jacket. She wanted the trousers to take silhouette reference from harem pants but continue to have a classic tailored look to them.
The finalised design for the suit contrasted midnight blue velvet with a grey check worsted wool cloth donated by Alfred Brown mills from their dead stock fabric rolls. The inside of the jacket was lined with pink patterned lining to continue the Indian reference across the suit. Gracie sourced a set of original metal military buttons to line the button stand of the jacket and the trouser leg. Gold beading was decorated across the edge of the collar and cuffs to highlight their unique shape. After coming across so many beautiful embellished fabrics, Gracie decided to design and hand embellish her own design on velvet and use this in panels across the jacket. Noticing the use of cord braiding on the Napoleonic jacket, Gracie went on to use cord to embellish her velvet in order to create her final link for Napoleon goes to India.