For the past 4 years I have been studying at Northumbria University. Specialising in Womenswear design & pattern cutting.
This fashion collection has been created to celebrate the beauty of Black hair: interpreting its form and appeal in through fabrics, informed by my understanding of what people find interesting when they see my hair, through an experiment of asking others to draw my hair. Telling a complex story of my own black hair and enlighten people what it is like having black hair. People touching my hair without invitation feels intrusive and raises issues around entitlement, power and ownership. While I do not think harm is meant when these interactions happen, the perception is different for me.
In research I was drawn to the sculptural element of hair, I took the shape of braids and locks and realised this can be made by making a wadded tube. This can be controlled by adding more wadding for a harder feel or lightly wadded for a bouncy feel.
I made a hand made texture, inspired by locks and afros, the fabric is soft and inconsistent to continue the idea of all hair being different, which were again made into tubes. I worked on the stand moulaging with them, learning to control them. In the end creating a symmetrical silhouette indicating the complete control over both the sculpture and my hair.
Styling inspired by historical references in my dissertation, ‘how is black hair portrayed to society?’ Looking at positives and negatives links to black hair through history to modern day. “It was believed that hair, located closest on the human body to the sky was the conduit for a spiritual connection with God.” Taking this conception created tall head pieces. During The Black Panther movement “The afro was a power statement at this time, hair would be styled in this way to demonstrate pride during the movements.” This statement influenced the collections bags.