Graduates 2018: Aimee Hawkins: Textiles

This collection has played reference to the female form conceptually to construct an abstract interpretation of a widely used source of visual inspiration.

The Woman disrupts and distorts the female form excelling shape and line; this has been translated through layering of fabrics, abstract prints and a development of processes. The final collection expresses only a subtle nod to the female form in its virtual sense; JW Anderson’s exhibition, Disobedient Bodies, heavily inspired this.

Crop of model

Taking a radical and unorthodox approach, multi-fabric compositions and exaggerated cutting of ‘pattern pieces’ reflect the influence from avant-garde fashion such as Rick Owens and Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garcons. This underpinned much of the design process, allowing the work to develop into a concept where each element was focused strongly on the body, from cutting fabric directly on the mannequin/female figure to combining particular fabrics to achieve certain drapes that adorn or disrupt the body.

Close up of textile designs

The abstract shapes within the prints respond to the influence of Masha Reva, Keith Harring and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to term a few. Hand cut stencils used on open screens allowed the shapes to keep their strong forms, whilst creating bespoke print with both pigment, devore and discharge pastes. Open screen monoprinting, where pastes were pulled through the screen using only a squeegee permitted free and gestural mark making reflecting the more expressive outlook on the female form.

The final styling fits into the high-end market where fashion and art merge this has taken inspiration from designers such as Marine Serre and Ingrid Raftchenko. It is experimental and playful, yet still has a sense of wearability.­­ The concept/collection is seasonless and adaptable this is apparent in both the use of colour and the choice of material where silk satin is juxtaposed by heavy natural wool and light beige and bright green is contrasted with deep reds and black.

Pattern dress

What are your plans following graduation? 


Post graduation I hope to secure a full time Print Designer role in a fashion house or a place on a graduate scheme, I have being researching schemes with the likes of Stella McCartney. Down the line, I also envisage completing my masters following some time in industry.

Green deress

How did you find studying Textiles at Brighton

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time both at the University of Brighton and living in Brighton. The city is vibrant and friendly and there is enough going on without being overwhelming for a student moving 100’s of miles from home for the first time.

During my time at the UOB I have felt well supported by teaching staff who have presented many an opportunity, such as in house live competitions with Topshop, where we worked exclusively with the head of print and her team under a brief written by them. More to this, having the chance to complete a year in industry is implausible. It is great to be able to graduate with invaluable experience and contacts from the industry. This, alongside the business module, prepares students well for final year, which is undeniably tough but also enjoyable and rewarding. There is nothing like this available elsewhere and I will always be grateful for my time at Brighton!

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