Abbey was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and how black culture has influenced fashion. This topic is deeply important to Abbey as she is raising her biracial son in a world steeped in white privilege.
Abbey is strongly called to promoting social justice and sustainability. Her values can be found woven throughout her graduate collection, “Pandemic of Racism”, which features the face of her biracial son – a constant source of inspiration – and represents a form of protest against the social injustice experienced by black people, achieved through its prints and aggressive language to provoke a reaction.
The Black Lives Matter protest I attended with my family inspired me to gain more knowledge and understanding of what it will be like for my son growing up as a biracial boy in a world where you are discriminated against – or privileged – for the colour of your skin. The garments were inspired by black culture’s influence on fashion. The collection is a streetwear range derived from hip hop fashion featuring one completely recycled outfit created from plastic bags and pre-loved denim.
My inspiration led me to conduct research into how other mothers with black or biracial sons are troubled by the fact that predominantly black men are affected by racism in violent ways. This allowed me to understand and translate our feelings of protectiveness and defensiveness into my collection by designing garments that are quilted, oversized and have subtle padding in areas. The digital prints featuring in the collection were inspired by BLM quotes found on protest signs and my son’s face.
The collection features 5 garments and 2 bags that create many looks. I recycled plastic bags by melting them to create a durable, waterproof, leather-like material that I later hand-printed on. Pre-loved 100% cotton denim jeans were donated to me by family and friends, which I made trousers from by cutting up the denim and then sewing multiple seams together to construct the material and later dyed this before making the jeans. Cotton drill and denim were used for my digitally printed fabrics. I used a free-motion quilting technique to create quilted elements on the garments.