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.
Carys Whitehouse, who is currently in her final year at WSA and specialising in Woven Textiles, tells us about her pre-collection project ‘Sensory Perception’ focussing on the unique and subjective nature of our sensory experiences. The project is centred around Carys’ own Synaesthesia – a phenomenon where certain sensory processing areas in the brain are more linked in some people than others, resulting in two or more senses being processed in tandem, for example, the ability to see sounds.
‘Having recently realised that my ability to process sound as colour, texture and pattern was not a universal sensory experience but a type of Synaesthesia, I decided to create fabrics which visually represent the experience of Synaesthesia, and what different sounds and feelings look like to me.’
Carys also developed a collection of digital prints alongside her handwoven samples; her drawing style influenced by traditional Victorian ink and pen illustration.
For this collection Carys used custom-dyed yarns, creating a personal palette, in order to represent the unique nature of synesthetic experiences. Through a desire to use more sustainable and animal-cruelty-free yarn alternatives, this entire collection is free from silk, and uses 80% natural plant-based fibres.
Kat Walker is currently in her final year at WSA studying on the Printed Textiles pathway, she tells us about her last collection.
“This collection of starfish prints was created for our dream client brief. I decided to design for Meadham Kirchhoff as I was really inspired by their ethos of ‘fun, riot and rebellion’ and wanted to capture that spirit in my own work.
I wanted these prints to be a burst of happiness and positivity, so I took my inspiration for imagery from starfish. Their ability to regenerate limbs worked as a metaphor for regenerating yourself into something more positive in times of sadness or negativity. I was also really influenced by David Bowie’s reinvention as Ziggy Stardust and 1970s glam rock, using bright clashing colours, sequins and glitter to create a fun collection of prints to make you smile.”
Another great day on the #wsa stand at #GFW. Press have taken a keen interest and Judges have been in the stand today.
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