work by lara fank

Graduates 2021: Lara Fank: Fashion Design with Business Studies

“I chose to study Fashion at University of Brighton because of the course’s smaller size, the placement yeas, Brighton’s reputation as a sustainable and community focussed city and its close proximity to London.”

Hi Lara, tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“The subject of my graduate collection ‘STAY WITH THE TROUBLE’ are emotional implications of facing the reality of the climate crisis. It aims to communicate the urgency for climate action and to picture grieving processes, which psychologists depict as essential in order to accept the predicament of the climate emergency and adapt to the climate and ecological crisis. ‘Staying with the Trouble’ is a term coined by Donna Haraway describing the hard work of committing to the difficult task of living better in community on a damaged planet.

“The collection consists of modular outerwear pieces, designed following low waste pattern cutting techniques. Their silhouette and pattern construction are informed by protest banners and blockade structures. Both the modular coat and trouser are found in various looks in the collection line up, showing how they can be shortened, extended and styled in multiple different ways. Inspiration for the construction of the multifunctional knitwear pieces has been takes from protest lock-ons. They can be buttoned and layered together or worn on their own in various ways too. Modular clothes are a sustainability solution, as they can be adapted to their wearers’ changing circumstances and environment, allowing one garment to be endlessly reworn as opposed to buying multiple. The modular coat and trouser are waxed, so that messages can be written on the clothes with chalk (and washed off again). The predominantly black colour palate symbolises grief and is also a practical choice. This way clothes can be worn with little care in various conditions.”

“During my studies I have continuously questioned the relevance and purpose of fashion on a dying planet. With my graduate collection I aim to not only imagine ways in which fashion’s harm to the planet can be minimised but also how to utilise fashion’s communicative power to initiate climate mitigation and adaptation. ‘STAY WITH THE TROUBLE’ considers both physical climate adaptation through modular and changeable garments and emotional adaptation, providing wearers with the ability to portray emotions relating to the climate crisis and urgent need for climate action. This way the collection intends to legitimise feeling of climate grief and anxiety, to signify belonging and offer communal emotional support, encouraging collective ideation for action.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton?

“I have thoroughly enjoyed studying in Brighton. The course is incredibly challenging but I have felt very supported by tutors, staff, fellow students and the wider Brighton creative community.”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Fashion Design?

“I have always wanted to study fashion design and given that the fashion industry in a lot larger in the UK than in Germany, where I am from, I decided to move here to the UK. I choose to study Fashion at University of Brighton because of the course’s rather smaller size, the offered placement years, Brighton’s reputation as a sustainable and community focussed city and its close proximity to London.

What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation I want to continue my research on fashion’s role and purpose during this climate and ecological emergency and continue to work alongside fashion activists calling for a Just Transition of the fashion Industry. Eventually, I want to do a MA in a Fashion Sustainability context, possibly the Sustainable Design MA at University if Brighton.”

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Find out about studying Fashion Design with Business Studies BA(Hons) at Brighton.

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