Custom Ribbons for Chesca Bonnevie

Chesca Bonnevie is a friend from Savannah College of Art and Design — she studied Fashion and I studied Illustration, but we were somehow brought together through a mutual friend and pretty quickly discovered that we have a pretty similar obsession with lingerie! We always talked about collaborating sone day, so when she asked if I would design a few repeat patterns for custom ribbons for her senior fashion collection, of course I said yes!

Chesca’s senior collection for SCAD is inspired by art history and the countless injustices across time. Her work takes a look at protest imagery from today and decades past, and asks, “Is this coming from Medieval times?!”

concept board final
Concept Board by Chesca Bonnevie
mood board final
Mood Board by Chesca Bonnevie

Chesca asked me to create a focal ribbon (4″ wide) inspired by Medieval tapestries, along with three smaller accent ribbons (1″, 1/2″ an 1/4″ widths). I knew that I wanted to use the format of a wide ribbon to explore the clash of protesters vs. police. Although there are countless instances of law enforcement and protesters working together to create a safe experience, it’s too often not the case. With this tiny tapestry, I really wanted to draw attention to the widening divide between citizens (who seek justice for crimes committed against them) and those in power who refuse to recognize the ways in which those citizens have been wronged. We’re seeing this now, and we’ve seen it forever.

Sketch - Wide Ribbon2
Sketch for Wide Ribbon

After brainstorming ideas with Chesca, I sent over a few black and white sketches of ideas I had. We talked more, narrowed down the ideas, and she made suggestions and chose her favorite prints.

Sketches for Narrow Ribbons

Originally, I was inspired by tapestries depicting hunting, and I really wanted to have the riot police mounted on horseback with lots of ribbons and feathers decorating the horses. However, when I started the final and actually looked at pictures of horses, I remembered just huge they are! To fit in mounted police, I would have needed to scale the humans down significantly, which just wouldn’t have fit the narrow composition as well. Because of this, I decided to go with riot police on foot, as you’ll see below. I’m glad I did! I love the contrast of the movement and eclecticism in the group of protesters compared with the static ranks of identical riot police.

4 - 3 Ribbon - resized
4″ Ribbon

I’m really happy with how this turned out! It’s hard to see all the details in the full illustration, so I’ve cropped it into chunks below. Which parts are your favorite?







After finishing the focal pattern, I had so much fun creating these accent ribbon patterns! I provided Chesca with several color variations of each, and I love the choices she made. The 1″ ribbon is definitely my favorite. So much so, that I’m considering printing it on washi tape…?

3 - 1 Ribbon
1″ Ribbon
3 - 1 Ribbon copy
1/2″ Ribbon
1 - .25 Ribbon copy
1/4″ Ribbon

This was such a fun collaboration, and I can’t wait to see these ribbons printed and incorporated into the final garments!

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