I was inspired by personal experience as a teenager shopping for fashion, or rather lack of fashion. This, combined with my placement inspired me to specialise in designing children's clothing.
In my second year at Northumbria, I decided to focus on childrenswear. For my placement year, I decided to choose one in this area of the industry. I designed and made a lot of children’s garments including bridesmaid and flower girl dresses and pageboy outfits for all ages. This industry experience is what sparked my love for designing childrenswear. For my third year at university, I designed and made tween lingerie, and for my final year I have designed for teenagers, 4 to 8 year olds, and 8 to 12 year olds.
Due to my personal experience of there being a lack of clothing for teenagers, I was inspired to create a brand, Causeway, to fill this gap in the market for my final major project. From primary research I found that today’s 12 to 16-year-olds were very passionate about the environment and concerned about climate change. This informed Causeway’s sustainable brand values – creating high quality, hand-me-down clothing for generations to create memories with.
My theme for Causeway’s launch collection is inspired by my personal trip to the Lake District. I was inspired by the wildflowers, maps and silhouettes of the hills for my silhouettes and prints. Details and fabrics in my collection are inspired by miners’ hardy uniforms, linking to Causeway’s high quality philosophy. On a particularly rainy day we decided to stay inside the caravan where I passed the time with patchwork and embroidery. This inspired me to incorporate these techniques into my collection.
One of Causeway’s brand values is to inspire their customers to get creative; Causeway will hold workshops for their customers to teach them skills such as embroidery, lino printing and more. The linework prints in the launch collection are intended to be embroidered over, and details added to them. I also used print in my collection to help to portray the entirety of the 12 to 16 age range. I feel that within my collection I have garments that the entirety of the age range would love. From personal experience and primary research, I know that this age range is a transitional time for teenagers trying to discover who they are and how they want to reflect this outwardly. I aimed for my launch collection to have a balance of casual and smart-casual garments which again helps to accommodate all of the age ranges styles. I used screen printing and free hand machine embroidery to create the prints in the collection, giving a hand-done finish to them which adds texture and a personal touch to the collection.