Featuring Final Year Fashion Design Student Sofi Lever

Tell us about your collection

My Graduate Collection titled “The New Primitive” is a contemporary womenswear collection, focusing on innovative textile techniques and intricate detailing. I drew my initial inspiration from George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, I was influenced by the concept of higher authorities watching and tracking movement of others, and how aspects of Orwell’s vision can be seen in modern society. I wanted to question the idea of whether we are becoming a complete surveilled state; and whether the result of the new digital age will cause our identities to be tracked and coded by binary codes instead of the qualities that make us human.

I was influenced by a variety of contemporary artists such as Nam June Paik, Stan Vanderbeek and Addie Wagenknecht who use themes of surveillance and digital technology in their work. I was particularly influenced by sociological artist Hervé Fischer’s exhibition in Paris, whereby he responded to a variety of digital and binary codes through his paintings. The quote “a return to painting is needed to withstand the dissolving flow of bytes by freeze framing. Like primitive man, I paint icons of the emerging digital age” was my initial inspiration behind my wish to reflect and develop the idea of having to respond to digital codes in an almost primitive nature.  I wanted to react to digital sources in a more organic way, by the use of traditional techniques such as, hand weaving and hand stitching. I tried to combine these traditional methods with innovative and digitally enhanced techniques to create a juxtaposition and give my collection a contemporary edge.

What were the highs and lows through creating your collection?

Initially I found the thought of starting my Final Major Project quite overwhelming, as everything I had learnt over the last 3 years of University had always led to this point. I was nervous at the possibility of not being proud of the work I produced, and worried about whether I would be able to deal with the pressure of creating a final collection.  Therefore, the first few weeks of FMP were probably the hardest in terms of feeling confident in the theme I had chosen. I struggled with finding a colour story that was interesting and reflected in my research imagery. However, once I was happy with this I was able to generate my ideas and textile samples quickly and started to see the beginnings of my collection take shape. As with any project there were things that went wrong at times during my FMP, often in terms of construction as I was determined to try to finish my garments as professionally as possible. I therefore had to problem solve and trial many finishing techniques which proved challenging along with having to deal with various time pressures and deadlines. However, the high points were definitely catching sight of my collection coming together and ultimately noticing how each outfit worked with the next. Some of the techniques I had chosen took me many days to produce, so seeing these slowly taking shape into a garment was really exciting. The main high point was definitely seeing my collection on the catwalk at the London show.

What have you learnt from creating it?

I think the main thing that I’ve learnt is that if you push yourself and work as hard as you possibly can you may well be successful in producing garments that would have seemed too overwhelming or challenging at first. I eventually succeeded in creating a collection with a variety of textile techniques such as hand weaving, pleating, hand stitching, digital printing and laser cutting all of which were a challenge and seemed daunting at first. However when you step back and just focus on each task individually it’s surprising what you can manage to produce within the time frame.

Any advice for students filling in your footsteps?

Push yourself and stay true to your brand identity! Your final collection is the last thing you will create at University so it’s important to be proud of what you have produced and be excited and confident about showcasing it to industry post graduation. Going that extra mile is most definitely worth it in terms of standing out among the hundreds of design graduates! For me, that meant dedicating time to create innovative techniques and textiles and spending time organising a photoshoot and fashion film that best showcased my collection and related to my overall concept and theme. I feel that the little extra touches such as a strong portfolio and a fashion film will really help when it comes to being noticed when applying for jobs as it shows that I have put thought into every aspect of the design process. Choosing a concept that you feel hugely passionate about and excited to research is very important, as, it makes the design process so much more enjoyable. Lastly, try to manage your time well and stick to the various deadlines and time pressures as this will help you keep on top of the large work load. Final Collection is the biggest challenge but also the most exciting one, enjoy it as it’s all over far too quickly!

Featuring Final Year Fashion Design Student Abigail Skrentny

Taking inspiration from her childhood in Vancouver, final year Fashion Design Student Abigail Skrentny is able to create a collection that really shows her understanding of the freedom of childhood.

Interview by Lewis Evans

In her graduate collection, Abi studies the contrast of the ‘prep’ girl against suburban American ‘freedom’ based partly on the story of her father who grew up in suburban Chicago before moving to an English boarding School.

Further inspiration comes from films like The Florida Projectwhich explore the idea of childhood freedom and captures the essence and resilience of being a child. Abi explains that its not childhood she attempting to get across but the idea of not caring about what people think of you and doing ‘it’ anyway. Abi decided to use a minimal colour scheme of rich purple, strong green and a mixed range of pinks, partly, based on childhood pictures of snowsuits.

Abi explained that she’s inspired by real people, she prefers a quiet story compared to an extraordinary story, to some seeming boring but to her really standing out. Abi’s design process includes gathering a huge amount of her research and continuously drawing as she keeps changing and developing her ideas until she designs something that she’s proud of.

I asked Abi “Are you happy with your collection so far?”, she replied with “not yet, I always like to develop and improve my work, it’s the smaller things that I get pleasure from like sewing a perfect seem or figuring how to create something that I found quite difficult. By not being completely satisfied with your work it pushes you to work harder and helps you to overcome challenges”.

Abi’s advice to any other upcoming fashion design student is don’t be afraid of a challenge. By experimenting with different materials and techniques she is able to develop and grow as a designer. By taking her own style and spending some time on strengthening her weaknesses helps her to prepare for a future job within the fashion industry.

 

WSA Fashion and Textiles Students showcase work at PV Designs, Paris

For the second year running Fashion and Textile Design students from both second and third year had their design work exhibited at PV Designs, part of Premiere Vision, Paris – one of the largest international textile trade shows.

 

For 3 days work was viewed by a wide range of industry contacts some returning to our stand from last year to buy again. Students sold work to a variety of clients from established UK high-street retailers to prestigious Italian mills. Students that worked on the stand gained valuable insight into the textiles industry and first hand experience dealing with clients and buyers.

 

Congratulations to all students that had work selected to showcase and those that sold to industry.

 

2018 Fashion and Sustainability Forum

Join the conversation and let’s consider how we can change the future for the better. Don’t wait for someone else to solve the problem – respond to the challenge and become the expert.

This event is open to staff and students of Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton and selected guests and visitors. Tickets are free and the event is all day, so drop in to see one speaker, or stay all day. Availability of seating may be limited at some of the talks.

‘There are three things we touch upon every day that greatly impact the world around us: fuel (energy), food, and fashion. The first two are now wholeheartedly studied and worked upon. It is now fashion’s turn to inform and dazzle us with what is possible, to provide the moral imperative to change every aspect of producing and purchasing our second skin.’ (Paul Hawken)

The MA Fashion Design and Textile Design Interim Exhibition opens on the same day, showcasing our MA students’ work in progress, highlighting non-waste, zero-waste pattern cutting and sustainable design.

Agenda for the day:

11.00 – Start of the forum

11.05 – Julian Payne, Creative Director of De La Rue – and designer of the Jane Austen bank note! Talking about cash.

11.45 – Sarah Klymkiw, educator, researcher and campaigner from TRAID – Can We Fix Our Reationship with Clothes?

12.30 – Zoe Olivia John, lecturer, researcher and co-founder of Engage by Design, presenting her Strategies for Sustainable Fashion and Textile Design.

13.15 – Lunch

14.15 – Sarah Hellen, menswear designer, lecturer and researcher. Talking about her collaborations with local, independent, sustainable businesses in Wales.

15.00 – Katie Jones, knitwear designer mixing playful aesthetics with serious ethics. Talking about the two sides of sustainable fashion that relate to her brand.

15.45 – Catherine Weetman, Director of Re-think Solutions, and author of A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains. Talking about fast fashion and the circular economy.

16.30 – Kate Langham, lecturer and researcher, and formally Creative Director of Interface, recognised as one of the most sustainable businesses worldwide.. Talking about Interface’s global rebranding project and the development of Mission Zero.

17.15 – Charty Durrant, ex fashion editor of Vogue, The Sunday Times, and Fashion Consultant and Ethical Fashion Expert, ending the day with a call to arms, offering some groundbreaking new solutions for fashioning the future.

18.00 – 20.00 Drinks, networking and Private View for the MA Interim Exhibition. All welcome.

#wsa_sustainabilityforum

Work-In-Progress Fashion Show 2018

A selection of mid-year designs created by Year 3 Fashion Design and Knitwear for Fashion Design students.

   

Hannah Franks                                   Abigail Skrentny

   

Anna Bateman                                      Madi Weight

Industry Lecture this Thursday with Rottingdean Bazaar

The C&E Lecture this Thursday 24th November will be given by industry speakers James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks. Since graduating from the MA Fashion Design Course at CSM they have work on collaborative projects and styling under the name Rottingdean Bazaar.

The talk will be 5-6pm in Lecture Theatre A. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Rottingdean Bazaar

 

JOSEPH’s Louise Trotter in Conversation at the V&A

When : Monday 31 October 2016, 19.00 – 20.45

Where :  The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, V&A

2016_07_20_aw16_campaign_02

Moroccan-born Joseph Ettedgui sparked a revolution when he emerged on the London fashion scene in 1972. Subverting the ideas of feminine dressing, he took the woman’s wardrobe and reinvented it through a masculine scope, creating luxury essentials that would slot into the lifestyle of a woman not obsessed with labels or trends, but who is quietly confident in her own style. Join Creative Director Louise Trotter in conversation with the FT’s Fashion Editor Jo Ellison, as she discusses the impact Joseph had on her formative influences and how these filter through into her own vision for the brand today. From showing on schedule at London Fashion Week to global expansion, the JOSEPH brand is embarking on its own revolution.

http://www.joseph-fashion.com

Monday 31 October: 19.00  –  20.00 (talk); 20.00  –  20.45 (refreshments)

£15 (including wine reception)

For more information and to book go here

Made You Look at The Photographers’ Gallery

MADE YOU LOOK / Dandyism and Black Masculinity

15 Jul – 25 Sep 2016 at The Photographers’ Gallery

YoungManInPlaid_Press_Image_by_Jeffrey_Henson_Scales_573c5f3d85728

From studio portraiture to street photography, this exhibition brings together a group of geographically and historically diverse photographers whose imagery explores black masculinity as performance, as play, as invention – in particular through the adoption of a dandy-esque persona.

In the early 21st century, black men are among the most influential trendsetters in fashion, music and global style culture. Yet high visibility for black men is matched by high vulnerability – as illustrated by disproportionate rates of arrest and incarceration for black men in the UK and USA.

Made You Look explores dandyism as radical personal politics, a willed flamboyance that flies in the face of conventional constructions of the black masculine. It proposes that the black ‘dandy’, with his extravagant emphasis on dress foregrounds a hyper-visible identity which counters the heighted vulnerability, the result of a charged history of objectification. In the context of this exhibition, dandyism isn’t simply about sharp dressing but rather, consciously problematising ideas of male identity through dress or deportment that is arresting, provocative, louche, camp and gloriously assertive.

Menswear Styling and Studio Internship

London based, Rose Forde is a Menswear Stylist & Consultant working across editorial, campaign & talent dressing. Rose Forde contributes to several international titles including L’UOMO Vogue, GQ, L’Officiel Hommes, Numero Homme as a Contributing Fashion Editor and also has a roster of high-profile actors and musicians for image management.
The studio is a busy environment and we are a small team so there are many opportunities to learn and grow.
This is an voluntary internship for someone who is looking for experience in this area of styling & fashion or has experience but wants the opportunity to work in smaller team so that greater responsibility on projects can be achieved.
The role will require dedication to each project and the ability to work well in a team.
Independent time keeping and a polite proactive attitude to each job.
Responsibilities will include:
  • pull-ins & returns
  • editing looks
  • studio admin
  • creating fashion & mood boards
  • assisting on shoot days
Rose Forde runs a intern programme that runs for 6 weeks, candidates will be able to complete key tasks and leave with key skills for their CV. The studio team will advise and guide each intern and ensure that time given is valued and rewarded with experience that benefits further career goals. Each intern will leave with a review and points for CV completed by the studio team.
For more details and to apply

Design Assistant Position at YMC

London based brand YMC are recruiting.

DESCRIPTION
We are looking for a highly passionate design graduate to assist the womenswear designer on a full-time basis. The role will require a highly organized individual with a great passion for the brand and an eagerness to learn and develop their creative Das well as their professional skills.
This is a great opportunity to enter the industry and we would hope to find a candidate to become part of the YMC “family”.

ABOUT THE ROLE
We are looking for a highly talented and organized individual to support the womenswear designer. The candidate will be responsible for:
• Work closely with womenswear designer.
• Attend fabric shows with the womenswear designer.
• Enquire about all fabrics.
• Generate style codes and page numbers for the season.
• Make season folders and update these as info changes.
• Create spec sheets for every individual style.
• Research finishing’s and trims for the garments.
• Create linesheets for the season. This includes spec drawings of all garments.
• Communicate with all factories. This includes sending them spec sheets, artwork and fit comments.
• Keep a tight eye on deadlines and chase factories or other departments if things are late.
• Get all info about garments from factories including trims, binding and lining quality.
• Set up new collection in PDM.
• Generate season swatchbook for QA.
• Assist with organizing photoshoots.
• Take pictures of every garment, including detail shots for internal purposes.
• Measure all garments.
• Attend fit meetings with QA and make a note of all changes.
• Organize work space and file everything properly so other departments have easy access to info.
• Work closely with other departments of the business when needed.

REQUIREMENTS
We are looking for a cultured individual with the drive to achieve, strong communication skills, an obsessive attention to detail, a hands on approach and humility to work in a small team where passion is key. The candidate must have the following attributes:
• Extremely organised.
• Fluent in English.
• High competency in Illustrator, Photoshop and Excel is a must.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills.
• The ability to work well alone as well as in a team.
• Extremely passionate.
• Have extensive technical knowledge as well as excellent design aesthetic.
• Great research skills.
• Raw material understanding.
• Good at taking direction and eager to learn.
• “Can do” attitude and proactive.
• Have great respect and good understanding of the brand and their competitors.
• Harmonious and happy.

Please send your cover letter + CV + portfolio via the form here.