With environmental problems caused by the textile industry in mind, upcycling is surely one of the simplest and most effective ways of addressing them, and it is at the heart of my final project. My graduate collection is about bringing waste materials together; it is a celebration of the poetics of colour and stretching the potential of used and unwanted materials.
As a designer, I am all about craftsmanship! And I hope that all my designs communicate craftsmanship in a contemporary light. Within my collection, I have explored traditional knotting and macramé techniques using both conventional and non-conventional waste materials, to create a unique sense of ornamentation, bridging the gap between the functional and decorative.
The initial concept was MULTI-LOCAL, so ideas emerged from my own photo archives of collections from both my European and East Asian travels. Contrasts of Eastern and Western aesthetics are a major part of the inspiration, since both cultural backgrounds are connected to my identity. Identity is central to textiles and I was very inspired by the uniqueness, resilience and unique work of Frida Kahlo’s identity – Making Herself Up hereby became another key theme to my project and is achieved through expressive vivid colour. I wanted my designs to feature transformative colour which brings the craft to life. Because of the limited nature of using deadstock and used materials, each design features a unique selection of colours and waste materials, to express both individuality and unity. My structured fabrics are intended for the high-end couture market, as I wish to create beautiful hand-crafted fabrics which people would want to treasure forever.
Using unconventional materials such as used cables and wires adds structure to my fabrics, as well as an artisanal aesthetic which has been developed through voluminous structures.Embellishment is subtly added to enhance the craftsmanship and texture of the knotted structures.
Materials used within the project came from around the globe; they were intended for various other things and would have ended up in other places. I think that the stories in which waste and deadstock materials hold can add value to my garments and inspire consumers to think generally about where their clothes come from. I hope that my final collection displays the time-intensive craft that has gone into each piece, by highlighting the potential of using waste and deadstock materials and encouraging consumers to cherish quality over quantity.