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!
Three-week design project introducing basic pattern cutting, construction and deconstruction/reconstruction in order to learn the process of make and the importance of analysing and understanding garment silhouettes, shapes, details, seams and finishes.
All shirts are made from reclaimed or vintage fabrics and garments.
Shirt by Joshua Woods
Shirt by Poppy Cordon
Shirt by Eleanor Swan
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.
Woven and Knitted textile design students all report having a truly inspirational and engaging experience at Spinexpo, Paris. Presenting their work, networking and supporting the Spinexpo team were just few things the students experienced. Here’s an edited selection of what the student’s thought.
Contributions from Amy Halley, Emily Johnson, Amy Osgood, Amber Davis and Aimee Dye
Spinexpo Paris, known for featuring cutting edge technologies and having the highest technical expertise, was a great way for us to exhibit our work professionally, understand how a show of this scale works and to see how designers work with spinners to showcase yarns and their versatility. It was also an extremely valuable experience to speak to different companies including yarn producers and garment manufacturers. For example, from Wanziman Hong Kong Limited we learnt about an interesting new technology which imitates woven patterns into knitted fabric to create a unique material which has qualities of both knit and weave.
Yarn suppliers also exhibited new technologies, combinations of fibres and innovations including eco-friendly products, tape yarns, metallic textures, woollen yarns and paper qualities; the sheer volume of possibilities was eye opening.
Each stand was exciting and enticing, each seller had many potential buyers viewing their sample racks. It is perhaps easiest to envisage the buyers as children visiting a sweet shop for the first time; completely animated and engrossed in the products.
The Spinexpo team were extremely kind and encouraging to us. They made us feel a part of the family and become involved in every aspect of the show. A most wonderful experience, which has been invaluable.
WSA final year Knitwear for Fashion student Hannah Brabon has been featured on Not Just a Label as part of their Black Sheep round up, highlighting new creative talents.
You can read the full article here https://www.notjustalabel.com/designer/hannah-brabon
This semester London and Shanghai based design studio F-W-S came in to work with the second year Printed Textiles students. The brief required the students to develop design ideas quickly and creatively using the print workshop as a place to generate ideas rather than just as a place to produced finished designs.
Tali Furman, creative director, and Alex Poyner, designer and WSA alumni, came in to give an all-day workshop at the beginning of the brief. The students then had to independently develop a large selection of design ideas and resolved outcomes for critical review, working in the ethos of the studio.
At critical review Tali Furman joined academic staff and to give feedback and select students for potential summer internships. At the end of the project Tali invited 4 students for interview – Cassie MacDonald, Aleks Lund, Vivian Ge and Paulina Nieduzak.