Inspiration stemming from a deep-rooted love for tribal culture, specifically exploring heritage and cultural identity, celebrating what makes us all so beautifully diverse.
Our human instinct should be to just love each other, regardless of race and cultural identity. To simply celebrate what makes us culturally unique in acts of community and friendship. By sharing my own ‘Interwoven’ Fijian and British heritage, I hope to encourage others to share their own interwoven ancestral stories. As I believe our 'British' culture is far more diverse and interwoven than I feel people think. By shedding light on ‘British culture’ being more blended in our modern world, hopefully we can finally tarnish negative stigmatised hate towards race and cultural differences.
Along with Urivaldo Lopes’s tribal upcycling imagery, I took inspiration from a collection of artefacts brought back from my 2019 visit to Fiji. I first recorded and responded to the objects using different mediums such as traditional Fijian weave in response to a wicker woven fan, and a multi tonal sketch inspired by a conch shell.
Once I had collated my hand rendered initial recordings of my artifacts, I identified potential research strands to use as a starting point for my concept inspiration. Research strands such as the Fijian Grimit, ancient Fijian cannibals and cultural expressions such as the Meke war dance. In addition, I explored traditional handcrafted Fijian textiles such as basket weaving and tapa cloth which later inspired my print and surface design.
I feel strongly about the climate crisis and responsible as a budding designer to create garments that have a positive, or at least a neutral impact. I started by exploring ways of creating print that left zero waste. I attempted making my own dyes and inks from plants and food waste, unfortunately this wasn’t as successful. I resorted to hand painting onto fabric taken from clothing scraps found at home and having them digitally printed. I found a local business who had committed to reducing their printing waste, although this option wasn’t as environmentally friendly as I hoped, I was still supporting local businesses. I also used zero waste pattern cutting techniques, saving money and fabric waste. The remainder of the materials were comprised of recycled denim taken from old jeans off Ebay. I took the fastenings that I needed off the old jeans for the collection. For design development I only used second hand research garments found on Ebay to inspire shape and silhouette.