My collection ALL WOMAN is inspired by the courage of my mum’s holistic approach to treating her breast cancer and by my experiences during the pandemic lockdown. Both made me face my fears and search for a new way of living. ALL WOMAN integrates living in harmony with nature and celebrating the true diversity of being a woman.
I wanted to explore how we can make the fashion industry sustainable. With my new understanding of how toxin overload can cause disease, I researched how I could reduce the chemicals that are commonly used in dyes and materials. I researched new and novel materials that are not only biodegradable, but also healthy for the skin. I experimented with natural materials and dyes that I made myself from plants. The pros and cons of this exploration helped me decide on my fabric choice, which were cotton, linen, hemp, SeaCell and a second hand curtain and off-cuts.
I came across the idea of Urban Permaculture, whereby you can be sustainable and self-sufficient whilst living within a city. This first inspired me to grow vegetables during lockdown, excited I started experimenting with natural dyeing using flower petals, avocado pips, turmeric and onion skins. Springtime, I walked through the magnolia trees in Kew Gardens. Not only did I choose the colours for my collection there but it inspired my collection to grow visually, just as a plant does from bud to bloom.
My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago. She chose a holistic approach to heal, integrating leading-edge science with mind, body, spirit and nature. She is my inspiration. ALL WOMAN is about loving the female body, embracing the beauty of a woman’s body sensitive areas such as the breast, shoulder, lower back, buttock and thigh, highlighting the organic curves within the folds and creases. Mother nature is my teacher.
I chose to design my collection through draping. First I observed the structure of leaves and the way roots grew and mirrored that. For many months I experimented with natural dying my own fabric and even tried to grow my own material by cultivating a scoby that could grow into a leather like fabric. By wrapping material around my body I found the feminine structure that I wanted for my designs. The draping allowed the fluid shapes to accentuate the female form. My source pieces were a botanist trench coat, gardening overall and apron. Their inspiration can be found in all of my looks. Not only have I highlighted the female form but I have complimented this with exaggerated detail including large pockets, cuffs, ties and collars. My collars grow through the collection, from nothing to a hood, mirroring the from bud to bloom theme. The colours deliberately compliment this, just like a magnolia flower opening up.