With nearly thirty years experience launching and supporting graduates from university to employment, we’ve got a whole base of innovative designers, writers, photographers, buyers and more, that have been making waves in the industry for years.
We caught up with Kirandeep Bassan, the Zandra Rhodes Textile Award winner from GFW 2013, to hear more about her journey into the industry for the last few years. From working collaboratively with other brands as a freelancer to pursuing her own line of graphic printed work, Kirandeep has forged her own path into the wider industry, putting her creativity and passion at the forefront. Utilising an abstract aesthetic and love of colour, along with a dedication to manufacturing locally, her creations are described as ‘wearable art’.
Which university did you attend, and what is the most valuable thing that you learnt there?
I attended the University of Northampton, where I studied Textiles for Fashion. This is where I gained the skills to Screen Print, which is how I discovered my love of colour. My collection reflected my abstract aesthetic which I have now furthered when developing my own business.
Graduate Fashion Week provides a platform for emerging fashion graduates to showcase their work regardless of the specific discipline. Which area of the industry have you chosen to pursue, and what informed this choice?
Since graduating I have set up on own printed accessories line. Ranging from silk scarves and pocket squares to printed homeware. I think my use of colour has developed and had been refined to wearable art pieces or a perfect feature to a room. I have developed upon my initial screen printing roots to more digital pieces. The functionality and wearability of using digital printing not only allows me to manufacture on a larger scale but I have been able to source all manufacturing locally.
Tell us a bit more about your career journey since showing at Graduate Fashion Week.
What I really enjoy about my career is the different prints I can create daily. I run my business from a home studio where I am able to create and develop new prints. I also freelance for other studios and designers where I enjoy creating a range of different styles within my collaborative prints.
How have you found life in the industry?
I have always enjoyed all aspects of fashion. From university I was able to gain skills not only in relation to design, which helped when setting up my own business. The challenging aspect is keeping designs new and fresh. But hard work and dedication to constantly develop my designs is something that pushes me as a designer.
Do you explore any political, social or historical notions through your work? If so, what messages do you hope to convey?
Something I hope to develop in my work is historical meaning. I take a lot of inspiration from architecture so developing upon this would be a exciting notion.
Where are you hoping to be in five years time?
In five years time I would hope to have developed my printed accessories into a fashion line. I can’t imagine not being able to be creative every single day so I am excited to develop upon what I have done so far within my career.
Many say that the industry is undergoing a huge change, with sustainability, diversity and responsibility becoming huge themes. Do you have any opinions on these movements?
I research and source sustainable materials where possible, or materials from sustainable suppliers. A lot more sustainable and eco friendly fabrics are becoming popular due to the accessibility. I think this is important when designing and something all designers should factor.
Lastly, to any students that are reading this in admiration of your career-what advice would you give to the students hoping to showcase this year?
I would say Graduate Fashion Week not only gave me a huge platform but it also developed my confidence in myself as a designer. Not only to showcase my designs on large scale but also being recognised for the work by the industry was amazing.
Words and Interview by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins