Hunger Games, scented pigments and bats in the belfry inspire UWE fashion students

Issue date: 27 May 2014

Fashion and textile students from UWE Bristol are putting the finishing touches to their final year's work ahead of exhibitions in Bristol and London. Their work will be on display at UWE's Bower Ashton campus as part of this year's Creative Industries Degree Show starting on 6 June.

Themes this year include post-apocalyptic skylines, scented fabrics, vibrant colours from India and gothic, whimsical 19th century imagery.

Nia Samuel-Johnson, who designed and painted the Paisley Gromit during last year's Gromit Unleashed trail, has produced a fashion film, in conjunction with Gary Thomas Films, showcasing the outfits of every fashion designer on the course.

Outstanding work will be also featured at London's Graduate Fashion Week from Saturday 31 May - Tuesday 3 June 2014 and the New Designers 2014 show from 25-28 June.

Bryony Martin's work is aimed at the woman who invests in luxury and is inspired by unique design. Her graduate collection takes inspiration from films such as 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Terminator' franchise. She says, “Imagery of a post-apocalyptic skyline stimulated a contrasting colour palette, juxtaposing the harsh deconstruction of the buildings. These elements combined to create my collection called 'I Resurrect the Destructed'.”

Cadi Matthews's prints are bold and illustrative. Using natural fabrics such as linen, suede and wool, she has created a collection of traditional textile prints with a contemporary edge. The collection was inspired by her time spent living in India and she says, “I used a wide range of tools and sponges to create heavily mark-made innovative surfaces. Popping colours ranging from tomato reds to bright clashing yellows convey the electric contrasts of Jaipur city. In contrast to the vibrant colours sits an additional sophisticated colour palette, linking lines from my imagery of Kerala backwaters with marks echoed in the bespoke hand embellished leather.”

Natalie Thorneycroft shows layers of geometric patterns, bursts of colour, splashes of paint, intricate illustrations and photographic imagery that merge together onto silk satin to create striking one-off designs. She says, “Through researching the 19th century diagnosis of 'hysterical woman syndrome', the 'Bats in the Belfry' collection creates whimsical compositions based around the symptoms of this once-common medical diagnosis. Delicate devoré is carefully applied onto the placement prints to highlight the imagery, creating delicate parts of the fabric surface around the portraiture. To compliment these, bold embroideries and screen prints using flock and pigment onto checked wools and cottons enhance the bright geo feel of the collection.”

Sophie Stacey's visual aesthetic is shown in the vibrant colours of her prints combined with the innovative use of textile techniques. Soft pastel tones with neon highlights work together against her structured outerwear designs. She says, “My graduate collection is a quirky, fresh response to the idea that 'less is more'. I have explored various processes including laser-cutting, hand-painting fabric and hand embroidery. I have also experimented with ways in which taste and scent could be combined, making a garment more interesting by appealing to more than one of the senses, from scented pigments to trapping scented shavings in between PVC layers.”

Nia Samuel-Johnson is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose work encompasses creative direction, set design, styling and photography. She says, “My provocative imagery crosses the boundaries of fashion and art, often using a surreal, whimsical style to mask an obscure narrative. A bold, playful aesthetic runs through my work, often with a use of vivid colour or surface pattern. My current project has been a collaboration with graphic designer, Camille Lapham-Flores. We have produced an interactive publication that includes fold out pages, tear-away keepsakes and tactile elements. Conceived out of our shared passion for interactive design in print, we set out to showcase the techniques that print can achieve, that purely digital can't.”

A selection of the work is available on the UWE News Flickr pages.

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