Studying historical documents and visiting museums, I try to envision different time periods in order to recreate ideas into a modern concept. I find time periods with little documentation of the garments worn very captivating, as it leaves more room for personal interpretation and new exciting concepts.
During the pandemic I have had time to reflect on my local area of Northumberland and spent time studying the local history. I find it fascinating to try and imagine previous time periods and what life would have been like in years gone by. I believe we can learn a lot about how to be sustainable by revisiting times when repairing and adapting garments to expand their life span was the norm. My designs consider how these ideas can be applied to contemporary fashion. Expect to see attention to details to communicate ideas and make garments unique.
The pandemic limited me to where I could find creative inspiration. Previously, museums and visits to big cities such as London would be a key source of inspiration for me. I had to find new ways to enjoy each day with the limitations set in place. Whilst visiting Linhope Spout I couldn't help but wonder about the remaining stone settlements from years gone by that stood out against the exposed Northumberland landscape. This is where my interest was sparked and my research on the Border Reivers began.
The Boarder Reivers were in England and Scotland from the 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. I discovered a lot about the way they would make clothing adaptable for different purposes with removable elements. As my research developed for a new collection, I started to look closely at Mary Queen of Scots and her time spent imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I. This inspired me to look at more luxury garments of the time period and the attention to detail through embroidery and embellishment.
By studying traditional garments, I have learnt a lot about embellishment and details. Reivers garments have a lot of detachable elements held together by ties; however, to make garments more contemporary I have instead used press studs. I have researched Sporrans as part of the 'New Reivers' collection, as a result I worked a lot with leather and tweeds enabling me to study how to add details to finish edges. The ‘God save the Queen’ collection focuses on Mary Queen of Scots embroidery, leading to embellishment being key to this collection. I have discovered the impact of trims and motifs and how they can be utilised to enhance embroidered sections. Smocking is key to this time period, I have experimented with different fabrics and including lace trims to make a unique outcome. Lace from this time period was made by hand therefore, by using it in this collection for: smocking, plackets and buttonholes, shows reference to the luxury that only the wealthy of this time period would have enjoyed.