It has always been an interest of mine to incorporate new ways of working by reusing and upcycling fabric as well as deconstruction. For my collection I decided to experiment with the idea of reusing clothing I find in vintage shops, or old clothes that are being disposed of, and taking the garments apart and reworking them, giving them a new lease of life.
I think now more than ever we need to be conscious as designers to work sustainably. That is why I decided to experiment with sustainable fabrics and giving old clothing a new form. I think that as we become more aware of the fashion industry and its butterfly effect we are starting to change the way that we dress. The ‘make do and mend’ ethic is a great way of holding onto a garment for longer. I also thought it would be a good way to show people that it is possible to repurpose the things they already own without having to buy new garments.
At the start of my research I was heavily influenced by Arte Povera which was an Italian art movement from the late 1960s in which artists experimented with a range of unconventional and untraditional everyday materials they found surrounding them. I am fascinated by the way artists were able to create beautiful works of art out of the most mundane objects, giving them a new connotation.
I was also captivated by the work of the artist Michael Mapes, who collects different everyday objects putting them together to create faces. I especially like how he uses plastic to conceal and encase photographs of faces which he took apart and then rearranged like a puzzle.
This piece of art was made from stocks of used clothing for recycling and an old shoe. I love the way he used various contrasting fabrics encasing a pile of bricks, making something mundane look beautiful. This is something I enjoy about the way I work, the concept that something old and forgotten can be made new once more.
The idea of a creative contrast between beauty and chaos particularly interests me, as does the concept of mixing luxury fabrics such as silks and chiffons with casual fabrics such as shirting and denims. Throughout my years of study, my design philosophy has always been to layer contrasting garments together, whether it be various shirts or old scarves; I like to choose fabrics that are not usually paired together. I have always been a tactile person and mixing fabrics of different textures and feels together has been a running theme in my work.