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!
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!
Current WSA printed textile student, Lucy Harris, is finishing her 6 week placement at The Print Club in Dalston, London. As well as providing screen printing facilities and workshops, the space commissions and sells screen prints from a large array of artists and designers. Lucy has been helping both in the workshops and behind the scenes of the gallery space and shop.
When Lucy returns to WSA in October she will be moving into her final year on the printed textile course. Her work has a strong illustrative style embracing both advanced figurative drawing and bold geometrics. Below are some of her wallpaper designs for the Camac competition referencing Pop Art, contemporary pop culture and methods of collage.
Soon to be graduates Meghan Lewis and Jasmine Dack have spent time creating, organising and designing the pop up shop for the degree show! With the help of Jess Smith from weave on the admin and money side. Come down and have a look: the shop will be open throughout the degree show. Located: on the upper floor of West Side, WSA Campus next to the library.
Cash only! Card and postcards from 50p to £3 both handmade and printed! Hand made hats, socks and bags from £18 – £35 and £50!, Bunting from £20 and much much much more!
Press article from the Winchester Fashion Show 2014 last week:
It was a day of monochrome prints, stark lines, bold colours and even tartan at this year’s Winchester School of Art graduate fashion show.Models strut confidently in the futuristic designs created by the final year students to mark the end of their education but the start of their careers.
There were even some hints of the sixties swinging back into fashion entwining floral prints with asymmetric lines. Crop tops, oversized coats and overstated eyeliner could be seen from numerous designers while others mixed pastel princess-inspired dresses with snazzy glitter-infused leggings and tops.
Programme leader and organiser Cecilia Langemar said the students showed natural talent commending them for their hard work. “The show went very well,” she said. “The students produced a range of interesting, creative and ambitious outfits. It was a showcase of what they’d been working on for the last 12 weeks, which included 49 students in all, specialising in fashion design. The models were amazing and very professional.
“Year on year we’ve gone from strength to strength and the students have gained employability at a range of manufacturers around the world including the likes of Topshop and Burberry. Some of them have even been shortlisted for the graduate fashion week in London,” Ms Langemar added.
“Overall we have been very impressed with the level of difficulty and the techniques and the mix of hand-made fabrics produced. They have been hugely ambitious in some cases and there’s been a great deal of hard work and late nights.”
Article by: By Lauren Howard, Reporter