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This year’s edition of the young designer showcase sees an influx of creativity and uniqueness.

Sophie Hampson, Ravensbourne
“Originally from Manchester, I studied BTEC fashion at Macclesfield college. I then moved to London to study BA (Hons) Fashion at Ravensbourne. I won a competition in my second year for designing ideas for the American company, VF Corporation, titled “The Future of Denim 2018”. I was placed 1st and won prize money which has gone towards my final collection. I have also interned at Peter Pilotto, assisting one of the designers within the team. I learnt a lot of skills, and seeing how a collection is made from start to finish was incredible. Fashion has always fascinated me and pushes me to work harder and faster, and I have always wanted to pursue working in this industry from a very early age. When I graduate, I want to still be based in London and work as part of a design team at a high-end womenswear label. My collection ‘Returning from the Underworld’ is inspired by a traditional masquerade festival in South Africa. I have looked at both traditional African ceremonies and contemporary. Overall, my collection embodies the aesthetic and individuality of my muse and concept research. I have created a tonal colour story including navy, greys and bottle greens which were all key colours found within my research.”



Maddie Williams, Edinburgh College of Art
“My visual signature as a designer is highly structured, exaggerated silhouettes paired with textural and innovative, and recycled textiles, which are often hand crafted or embellished. I work conceptually and use ideals and narratives to drive my design process. The narrative of my collection imagines a group of six Goddess-type figures who serve as the antithesis of the Elitist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy. Unhindered by the constraints of advertising and corporate power, they dress to celebrate their bodies in a way that they dictate – highlighting feminine attributes to make themselves strong (why should women broaden their shoulders like men to feel powerful? Why not do the opposite?). They seek to return the world to a more holistic way of living, giving back to the Earth, not just taking, and rebalancing feminine energy with the masculine as well as the relationship humans have with the world. The clothing will be made of reclaimed or renewable materials. Unwanted Royal Mail plastic sacks, and plant-dyed British wool features heavily to create my hand made textiles. There is an emphasis on craft – I am trying to dispel the negative gender associations attributed to craft, often deemed amateur and trivial due to its historical ties to female domestic labour. The collection is informed by the merging of numerous threads of research, from Art Brut, to Ancient Greek philosophy, to the French Revolution, to Witches and Pagan celebrations, to the dress of contemporary Matriarchal Societies. My silhouettes are greatly informed by Ancient Fertility figures – carved figurines that were made to celebrate female regenerative power all across the globe, that accentuate the form of the female body.”



Kate Clark, Kingston University
“In this collection I have decided to focus on the feelings of leaving childhood behind and entering into a world that seems to be crumbling around us. Playing with the idea of the princess dressing up dress, over exaggerated like a child would see it but being held in with the ‘grown up’ suit. She won’t take her dress off, and she sees no reason why she should, she can put the suit on over the top just as well. With the world falling apart around me I felt a return to something I know and loved to be the only way to cope. The clothes are embroidered with toys we used to play with as children, the memories protecting the wearer from the outside world. The prints include the same imagery along with illustrations of the dog who unfortunately died just as we begun the process of starting final collection. My work is very personal and always has a big helping of fantasy, I’ve never been too fond of the real world.”



Frankie Dean, Edinburgh College of Art
“The collection investigates how lines travel around the body, transitioning from the two dimensional drawn line into the three-dimensional lines that sculpt around and away from the human form. Observing movement and structure in silhouette allows me to create a canvas on which my print and fabric manipulations can be used to further accentuate and distort lines as they travel over the body. My print work and fabric manipulations combine line drawings with digital glitches that provide space to combine and contrast colour. This reflects my primary research for the collection, which observed human interaction that is mirrored in the territorial behaviour of Siamese fighting fish. The collection builds textiles to allow different systems of lines, finishes and details to be built through hand appliqueing printed elastic onto mesh and layering technical fabrics to provide a base to create sculptural shapes. These shapes mirror the helictical lines of the muscular systems that run through human anatomy.”



Alicja Teper, Southampton Solent
“Erich Fromm in his one of the most recognizable work The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness described different types of violence and destructiveness. According to his theory the main drive of destructive tendencies is human nature of survival. However, Fromm argues that there is also another drive which doesn’t come from the natural need to fulfil biological or physical necessities. He calls it passion. This book and the theory of destructive passion inspired the reflection on my personal experience of growing up in a dysfunctional family. The story of Catharsis is the world of constant tension, fear and distorted reality; with the terror which is not direct – but constantly present, invisible and intimidating. To find a visual representation of the Catharsis world I looked at brutalist architecture, which in my country, Poland, is still very often associated with the totalitarian terror, coldness and intimidation of the society.”



Meg Callery, University of Central Lancashire
“For my collection, I have taken inspiration from current affairs within politics, especially the inauguration of Donald Trump. I am inspired how this has influenced our global environment and ways in which people are now voicing their opinions; this has inspired subtle placement embroideries throughout my garments with slogans found from anti-Trump marches. I also took inspiration from the graffiti, which featured heavily in the anti-Trump protests to inspire bold prints and spray-art onto denim, with bleach effects to echo the rebel within. To create contrast I combined this rebellious inspiration with beautiful Italian tweed fabrics using a bright colour palette to represent how the more traditional middle classes now have more empathy with the militant, in the face of such adversities.”



Samantha Hince, Ravensbourne
“I was born and raised in Manchester and did my art foundation at Stockport College, this then led me to moving to London and starting my degree at Ravensbourne. Since moving to East London I’ve absorbed myself in the culture, I love going to new exhibitions and seeing what is inspiring other creatives. In my second year I completed a four month internship at British fashion brand Roksanda, I assisted the embroidery designer and was able to experience the design process of building a collection for one of London’s foremost designers, this was an invaluable experience preparing me for my final year. My collection consists of voluminous and cleverly cut garments combined with layered textiles, its bold and impactful but not overwhelming or chaotic. Based on women’s liberation in the 70s, I created a character, who became my muse and I then built scenes of her life. These are created by collecting authentic 70s imagery of everything you would typically find in each room. My muse is fearless, bold and eccentric, as is each room she lives in. The rooms are full of brightly patterned wallpaper, quirky furniture and provocative art filling the walls. I then use this imagery to inform my work. I break down the scenes and start to experiment with colour and shape, this allows me to develop playful and contemporary textiles to be the focal point of my collection, experimenting with traditional techniques and materials to create a modern aesthetic which brings each collection alive with colour and texture. Throughout my collection I have pushed for my work to have the same impact my muse has on me. Trying to find the right balance between crazy and beautiful to create a unique sense of powerful femininity for the contemporary woman.”


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