I consider clothes as art forms for the body which enables me to push the boundaries in terms of unexpected silhouettes and textures. It is key for me that my designs follow a meaningful narrative often relating to my personal experiences or family history to give an emotive edge to my clothes.
I ensure all my clothes are responsibly designed by having a heavy dependence on natural fibres throughout my couture knitwear with fully fashioned panels to minimise waste as much as possible. My ambition is to disrupt the codes associated with traditional knitwear in order to make unique and exciting garments that I believe there is a gap in the market for.
My womenswear collection will be conceptual knitwear for AW22 made up of natural fibres and colour palette. I aim to create emotive pieces using multiple layering integral to the garment, using long line silhouettes and exploring the potential of masking the face. This will be in the form of balaclavas and veiling, exhausting the feeling of conceal and reveal across 4 outfits referencing religious dress.
My concept explores the Irish Troubles of the late 20th century from the perspective of young people growing up in that environment. I have referenced Catholicism in the context of my family who originated from Derry, Northern Ireland and how this translated to what they wore and their attitudes of the events unfolding around them. I used fibres such as hemp and cotton to reflect a sense of Irish cultural heritage in a new and interesting way.
Following on from my University Capsule Collection ‘Sunday Best’ I really wanted to continue exploring religious dress juxtaposing it with modern casual dress references. The community of Northern Ireland has always been something I wanted to explore because the segregation and deep issues within the community that aren’t often seen so close to home in modern day society. The idea of masked identity is extremely present throughout my research which translated to me exploring the idea of balaclavas and camouflage. I want to take the power out of these symbols that have strong associations with violent unrest and use my natural and muted palette and textures to give them a new look – no longer aligned with a single side of the fight.