Featuring Final Year Printed Textiles Student Cassie MacDonald

Tell us about your collection

‘We See Creature Folk’ is a body of work which explores and illustrates several narratives through print and pattern. These stories portray social justice messages and are told through the creation of creatures and locations. Inspired heavily by both primitive and folk art; the collection supports the idea of something being created with a purpose but also being appreciated as art itself as well as having a very handcrafted feel. ‘We See Creature Folk’ is primarily aimed at children, however, each design’s purpose is multi-functioning through all ages, genders, and final functions and purpose. The printed textile collection spans further than just a fashion range aiming to work as a lifestyle range with endless possibilities for its reproduction in various products such as: ceramics, storybooks, badges, masks, costumes, mobiles and wall hangings. The relationship between shape, form, colour and figurative illustrations moulded this collection, working as an exploration of how illustration and pattern intertwine.

What were the highs and lows through creating your collection?

A really exciting moment during the creation of this collection was the inception of my concept – it was an idea that really meant something to me and something I was passionate about. That extra bit of researching meant I had an idea that I could really go for it with and I didn’t need to worry about tiring of my idea.

Something that was difficult throughout FMP was keeping going and not running out of puff, especially when it feels like you’re running out of time with so much to do. However, even though it’s a cliché, it all does come together in the end!

Another high from my project was shooting all of my fabrics for my Look book, it was so nice after all those months of working on the designs to see everything coming to life. It was also really fun to get creative with shoot ideas.

Any advice for students following in your footsteps?

Try to get at least one internship whilst at university! It does wonders for your confidence and the more you have when you leave the easier it will be to find a job as you’ll have invaluable experience!

Also, just continue working through – even though you may want to slow down or give up in a project. You only get to do it once so you may as well make the most of being at uni’ and having all the feedback – that is probably the thing I’m going to miss the most! With that in mind take as much work to your tutors as you can during tutorials. The more you have the more they can help you!

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!

Knitwear for Fashion alumni Victoria Jones featured on Not Just A Label’s ‘Black Sheep’

Graduate knitwear designer Victoria Jones has been showcased as part of Not Just A Label’s ‘Black Sheep’ feature. NJAL selects designers they feel are “especially innovative, pioneering and striking in their work.”

Victoria Jones NJAL feature

Her final womenswear collection Psychedelic Furs is focused around the question of ‘What is bad taste?’ Directed around 1970s playful interiors, the seventies is often described as the decade taste forgot. Victoria plays on the idea of ugliness and how individuals perceive it. William Eggleston, Larry Sultan and Stephen Shore are among the American photographers she took inspiration from as well as old home interior design books by Terrance Conrad.

From the imagery she has drawn on colour, texture and pattern and directed them into knits, using mohair and furry yarn to create interesting knitwear evocative of shag pile rugs and contrasting checks. Dying her own yarn and fabric has enabled her to create a vibrant contemporary colour palette that is balanced across the collection.

Read more here

Featuring Printed Textile Design Graduate Tongtong Wang

Tongtong Wang has recently completed the Printed Textiles pathway at WSA after joining us in Year 2 from Dalian, China. Her final collection has been much admired for it’s fun prints for Interiors. At the Degree Show she was awarded the Nancy Balfour Award for excellence.

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Her collection focussed on “how to enjoy life and make ourselves better”, emphasising on sports and leisure activities and healthy eating. Her collection was intended to be amusing utilising her illustrative style combined with her fun abstract patterns. She was greatly influenced by the work of two photographers Muriel Bordier and Dean Bradshaw.

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Tongtong hopes for a future career designing for interiors, utilising all she has learnt at WSA. Her work will be at New Designers next week alongside 15 other selected graduates from Textile Design.

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Fashion Graduate Christine Xu selected by Not Just A Label’s ‘Black Sheep’

Current Fashion Design graduate Christine Xu has been featured in Not Just A Label’s ‘Black Sheep’ feature, focussing on ‘the designers revolutionising the industry and forging their own path’. 

NJAL Black Sheep - Christine Xu

Christine has just completed her final year at WSA producing Menswear Collection ‘Back to Future’, a futuristic, hybrid collection of tailored sportswear using Kraftwerk as her muse. Techno music energised the whole collection, inspiring her fabric combinations, digital prints and silhouettes.

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Christine is starting the Menswear MA at University of Westminster this September. She also won the WSA Fashion Direction Award at the London Press show.

Christine intends to improve her own design style in fabric combination, pattern cutting and garment silhouettes on the two year MA course. “My focus and great passion is in using technical and modern  materials in order to manipulate the fabric and combine it with high quality tailoring. I feel I have a point of view and a distinctive vision for mixing sportswear and traditional tailoring.” After postgraduate study Christine hopes to realise her dream of directing her own Menswear designer brand.

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Read the full article here https://www.notjustalabel.com/designer/christine-xu

Highlights from the WSA New Designers stand

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From top to bottom: Featuring the work of Alex Poyner and Kat Walker, Annabelle Jennings, Chloe Rutherford, Grace Fincham and Charlie Magnay, Sarah Street and Ellice Soloman.

16 students from Printed Textiles, Knitwear for Fashion and Woven Textiles were selected to showcase their work at the London event last week.

Printed Textiles Graduate Annabelle Jennings featured on Arts Thread as a New Designers highlight

Recent graduate, Annabelle Jennings work is featured on the Arts Thread blog as part of their print report at New Designers. Annabelle was showcasing her Printed Textile Collection inspired by women’s roles during the First and Second World Wars.

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You can see the article here http://www.artsthread.com/blog/new-designers-15-textiles-print/

 

WSA 2015 Graduate Fashion Show now online

WSA Graduate Collections featured on Vogue

WSA Graduate Collections on Vogue

http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/autumn-winter-2015/ready-to-wear/winchester-school-of-art

WSA London Fashion Show – This Thursday!

Join us for our London Fashion Show this Thursday 28th May, showcasing 20 selected Womenswear, Menswear and Knitwear graduates catwalk collection’s and portfolio’s.

WSA London Show Invite

Please note the amended address – The Yard, 89 & 1/2 Worship Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 2BF.