I'm Thea, a graduate of Fashion Design & Technology, specialising in loosely tailored & comfortable womenswear. I also have experience doing three years of menswear which comes across in my womenswear designs. I am only interested in making clothing if I am reducing my environmental impact in the process, this is the core theme of my final collection.
This year especially, I felt the need to be more extreme in my approach & realisation of my graduate collection in regard to its environmental impact. I set a goal to use no new fabrics throughout the development of the collection, this included calico, trims and the final fabrics. This turned out to be a challenging and very time-consuming method. It meant scouring through the textile waste bins, collecting pieces with roughly the right fabric weights, ironing the pieces & sewing them together into large enough pieces for my pattern pieces; inspiring unusual seam placements & grain lines.
Ranging from black and white images of New York in a Bob Dylan magazine to western-style movie costumes and 19th century paintings showing women’s style at the time with lots of layers, pleats and tailoring. I tried not to force these inspirations and trust they would make sense in the end. They ended up giving me the overall concept of the collection; different moods, landscapes, climates; each captured within an outfit, which, together, make a capsule wardrobe or suitcase with everything you need in it.
In a similar way to having a ‘Sunday best’ outfit in Victorian England, each look in the collection has been designed for situations such as, ‘Winter in the City’, ‘Siesta in Sunshine’, ‘Overnight on the Trans-Siberian Express’ and so on. The purpose of this is to encourage the owner to have only one outfit for each situation, therefore reducing the need for further consumption and encouraging wear-and-tear and then repair of one item or outfit which creates sentimental value and emotional attachment.
Avoiding using new calico for making my toiles was a very difficult goal! It was a frustrating but satisfying process which ended up dictating the design of each garment. The random seams that were consequently all over the different panels created unusual silhouettes and grain lines. The result is a womenswear capsule of comfortably tailored and characterful silhouettes using a range of deadstock fabrics, each with their own end-of-roll imperfections or reminders of where they came from.