I was inspired by the women in my life and the confidence clothes can give them. Photos of my mom stripped back were an initial focus in my sketchbook with body shape and intricate marks taking centre stage for my initial body sketches and development before the over garments took me to modelling on the stand to ensure the transformational elements worked.
The message that I want to express through everything I create is that as a consumer, you deserve to feel confident and empowered through the clothes that you wear. It is important that we as fashion creators empower women through the designs we make available and remember, not everyone is sample size. Sustainability is also a key issue that needs to be addressed with so many brands choosing a moral stance of either plus sized clothing or sustainability leaving plus sized women unable to also shop ethically due to their size being stuck in a fast fashion loop.
This collection started as an endeavour to create for women that feel pushed into hiding their body. It provides support and confidence in the form of clothing using a drafted size 18 block to take into account larger proportions from the start as the material may sit and fall differently on a curvier shape. Comfort was the main goal of the NOT SAMPLE SIZE collection. Support bands, smoothing panels and the use of flattering shapes were used to think about the wearer and what may boost their confidence.
Through this collection I wanted to explore more sustainable fashion as plus sized sustainable fashion is a very limited market. I wanted to do this through both zero-waste pattern cutting in some of the pieces and the transformable element of each of the six main outer pieces. The transformative element of each design allows there to be a potential of 2 or 3 outfits from just one piece of clothing. This mirrors the idea of a woman’s mentality transforming to be more comfortable in the skin she is in.
During the development of this collection I came to realise that the transformational element to each design did not just give flexibility to each look but actually extends the life of a garment within a consumers wardrobe. This led me to look at other ways the collection could be sustainable and I managed to source a bamboo melody fabric that is certified as an ethically sound material which I then used to create a zero waste transformable trouser. I then explored the idea of a garment being zero waste but also fitted which is not easily found. This created a zero waste spiral legged legging. Another Key detail of this collection is the development of the Powernet support bands that provide support for bigger busts without the need for the wearer to have a bra underneath the garment. This is still slightly adjustable with the use of a bra clasp which provides an individual amount of support for each customer. The sizing of the garments also supports this idea with 4 choices of bra cup to each body size.