I have always been interested in this hybrid in menswear between workwear and softened tailoring.
I like to design wearable, classic clothing with innovations appearing within the details and layering. I focus a lot on fabric application and colour combinations – exploring new and different ways of experimenting with surface design. Allowing fabrics to transform and create a unique story of their own.
Inspiration in this aspect as come from work by Siv Stodal with her design ethos of combining contrasting fabric weights and unconventional fabric combinations.
I also like to push the collaboration in my work and utilising local craftsmanship. I feel it is incredibly important to appreciate handcraft and combine different skills into my practise.
My design process is central around my initial sketches and collages, photographing objects and collecting archived imagery from magazines and photo books. I tend to be inspired a lot by photography and social documentation. I love the way one photo can express such a strong mood and image, an idea that I like to translate in my garment design.
Can you tell us about your final collection?
My final year project was based on connecting back to my Suffolk roots; creating a rustic and emotive connection to landscape from Field to Fashion. I wanted to explore this idea of a new casual style by overlapping tailoring and casual wear.
I compared rustic scenery to 80s causal wear, encouraging a very leisure-driven look, with shrugged oversized silhouettes, eccentric openings and drawstring detailing.
This rustic affair developed further through looking at Suffolk Basket weaving, and the patterns created in the designs. This became an influential styling inspiration as it held a sense of handcraft, British heritage and agricultural work; creating a relationship between function and fashion.
Using straw, Jute and linen string I began to manipulate the fabric surfaces to create new unique textile designs . Applying hand-stitched techniques that created a sense of crafted seersucker and rustic checks. This textile feature as well as my development into natural dying became the pivotal feature to my colour palette, displaying earthy hues and tonal ginger layering with the reference on tailoring brought through in the grey wool suiting.
I wanted to create a sense of a rural world where rustic craft and durable labour can merge into tailoring creating a humble aesthetic. .
How did you find studying Fashion at Brighton?
The Fashion with Business course at Brighton has been one of the biggest learning curves for me. From coming in with very little fashion experience and knowledge I feel like I am leaving with an extremely rounded and extensive set of skills that are strongly directed into the industry that I am going into. The course takes so many different forms, from the actual hands on skills of making, to 2D development drawing, to working graphically on layouts and using photography. I feel that it opens up numerous career options within its own sector. I have learnt a huge amount about my own practise through this, acknowledging where my strengths lie and places where improvement and work was needed.
The course also gains a lot through the year in industry. It is an excellent way to gain an insight and create motivation into your future career and life after university. The experience allowed me to understand all the career possibilities within the fashion industry but also, most importantly, taught me a range of important skills and confidence in using them – so you are prepared for industry as well as your final year.
In my year in industry I interned in New York with GAP, and London for Craig Green and E.Tautz.
The course supplies a lot of support through tutors and technicians, and this is extremely crucial in final year.
Overall you get so much out of this course; however, it is hard work. It needs constant dedication, time and money and you must be prepared/ have the support network to do this degree.
I think Brighton is a great place to go to university, it is vibrant and exciting with an eclectic mix of student and creatives. I have loved my time here and could definitely return to live later on.
What are your plans after graduation?
For me the plan is to move to London around August and try and secure myself a job. Over the next few months I will be focusing on the job hunt and re-connecting with companies and people I met over my placement year.