As a designer, I aim to utilize handcrafting textile techniques and print design to evoke feelings of nostalgia and create meaningful links between garments and the consumer. My process usually encapsulates world issues in a playful manner, using my kitsch design aesthetic to juxtapose the severity of the meanings.
Mental health is prevalent today, especially now given the difficult times we all find ourselves living in, so I feel it is important to highlight this topic within my design process. Although my collection approaches my own experiences with my mental health with a pinch of humour and kitsch, the message behind it remains serious; it is okay to be struggling. We are only human; nobody can be expected to be happy all the time, whilst still highlighting that bad days are temporary. We need to continue to work to destigmatize mental health and reaching out for help when it is needed.
My graduate collection ‘GROWING PAINS’ has taken inspiration from my own personal relationship with mental health and how social media and living through a global pandemic has affected how I feel and how I engage with my surroundings. An exploration of the spaces I occupy, mainly being my bedroom, have influenced silhouettes that mimic blankets and duvets to really convey the sense of safety felt whilst being in bed.
I have also explored how going for a walk can sometimes help to process the feeling you have, and how it doesn’t usually work all that well. My designs are approached with a kitsch, childlike aesthetic utilising bold, bright colour’s to evoke a feeling of nostalgia for simpler times of adolescence. Life has been difficult recently; I want this collection to encapsulate the feeling of these struggles and how they can affect someone whilst highlighting that it’s okay to feel this way.
I chose to use soft fabrics such as fleece and sweat shirting as I wanted my garments to have a comfortable feel which paired with the oversized silhouettes. I wanted my garments, more specifically the jackets, to have a similar feeling to being wrapped up in blankets or being in bed, I feel that the fabrics I chose to use and the crochet that I created really helped me to encapsulate that. I knew I wanted to include the process of crochet within my work as it was a craft that I taught to myself in the first lockdown, it can also be used in creative therapy, because of this I thought that creating these textures using this process would tie in well with my research and concept.