My publication 'Stubborn Weeds' explores how fashion can become an advocate for today’s back-to-the-land movement that REJECTS capitalism. Engaging in topics such as relocalising our food systems and developing a relationship with our food.
Sustainability is not enough. Sustain what? Our current existence? We must learn how to regenerate and replenish. My work therefore engages with this movement of self-sustenance by challenging the idea of what contemporary fashion should look like, adopting a more regenerative approach to styling and photography. Images have been styled using handmade pieces made from resources found in my own backyard or food itself, that can later be composted or made into a meal.
Inspired by the return of the Victory Garden, memories of my own home-steading childhood and intimate relationship with my garden sparked a desire for positive transformation. Witnessing not only the fragility of our food systems in the face of food shortages but the precarity of our own human vulnerability, I felt an instinctual desire to be more self-sustaining and in tune with the Earth’s natural rhythms.
As we enter a time of critical change and renewal, I believe that powerful imagery and ‘Stubborn Weeds’ will enable people from different spaces to engage with this movement, helping us build a more democratic, more social, more collaborative and more respectful existence from the ground up.
My approach to styling celebrates finding value in food waste and other disregarded materials. From paper structures dyed using food scraps and natural dyes, to blowing hundreds of my chicken and goose eggs to embellish a skirt made from papier-mâché. Other looks include a neckpiece made from carrot tops, a crown made of goose feathers and a dress made from muscle shells. As the afterlife of an image and its by products are rarely thought about, I also wanted to highlight how I was finding solutions to any waste generated whilst creating these looks. Therefore, all leftover food that was used to style these images was made into a carrot pie and shared as a recipe page within my publication. The hand painted backdrops and graphic design and has also been derived from mark-making using vegetable waste and natural dyes - celebrating imperfections and inconsistencies.