Wanting to escape the everyday, Catie’s graduate collection was inspired by our perceptions of childhood and the nostalgia we hold for simpler times. She used traditional craft techniques to create a feeling of comfort and familiarity, whilst offering escapism through the bright and colourful lens of youth.
With a desire to bring more joy to the world, Catie’s practice revolves around creating fun and playful garments, whilst considering the emotional connections to our clothes that give them their longevity, made with love to be loved and cherished for a long time. Whether women’s, men’s or childrenswear, her collections use narrative and storytelling to provide an escape from the everyday.
YOUTH IS ONLY EVER FUN IN RETROSPECT is a shrine to the playfulness and freedom of childhood, a yearning for the carefree and innocent times which seem so distant from the current climate of modern society. The collection is a nostalgic look at the bright colours and shapes which influenced our youths, drawing from memories, and aspects of childhood we long to relive, providing an opportunity to escape the mundane, and recreate the joyous feelings we had when we were young, at a time when we need it most.
A womenswear collection, with childrenswear at heart, there is a focus on using craft techniques employed in traditional childrenswear, which often have their own nostalgic connotations. The hand produced aspects of the collection are also important in maintaining sustainable practice, natural materials are used wherever possible, inspired by the ginghams of school dresses, and corduroy pinafores, and the hand knits are zero waste.
The hand knits are an homage to generational connections formed when we are young, the act of being swaddled in the stitches of grandmothers at birth, to learning to knit as a child from a mother or aunt. Other techniques include quilting, applique, and smocking, techniques largely performed by hand, and often in familial contexts, providing a sense of comfort and protection. Wanting to bring these long standing techniques into the twenty-first century, the bright colours and bold motifs have both a contemporary, and childlike feel. A graduate collection which aims to celebrate the bold and colourful should only be shared and understood in the most colourful ways. Inspired by the animations watched religiously by children, this short film is an homage to the vivid, naive works of art we created in our infancy, created with simple shapes and a hand-made feel, it is far from polished, but close to home.