Vintage clothing, crystals and geology inspire UWE fashion graduates

Issue date: 30 May 2013

Rosie Tabor Designs

Fashion and textile students from UWE Bristol are busy getting ready to show their final year's work at 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 7 June.

Themes include bold colours and innovative textiles inspired by 1970s vintage clothing; a new take on crystals and geology, and the hard-working garments of American miners' wives.

The cream of the crop will also feature at London's Graduate Fashion Week from 2 –5 June and the New Designers 2013 show on 26- 29 June.

The students have produced a wonderful Fashion Film of their designs, made at UWE's Centre for Sport.

A selection of workcan also be seen as part of the Creative Industries students' gallery.

Among them is Fashion Textiles student Sandrus Wilson, who says, “My parents were very creative people and before I was born, they owned and ran a vintage clothing store in Canada. My father was an artist who enjoyed screen-printing clothing and my mother, a skilled dressmaker. I inherited their love of design which eventually turned into the passion that is with me today.

“My work encompasses a whole range of techniques from which I am constantly developing and refining my skills. My bold use of colour and innovative approach to textiles result in unique designs, with a distinct and recognisable style.”

Fashion Textiles student Camilla Harvey's work features a combination of detailed hand drawn and painted designs. She says, “My work forms an eclectic range of fabrics, not for the faint hearted.

“I like to capture the subject in a fresh and exciting way through the use of vivid colour and a strong design ethos, combining to create sophisticated contemporary prints for fashion.

“In my latest collections, a raw take on crystals and geology provides a refreshing source of graphic prints that are diverse yet instantly recognisable. I teamed luxurious silk jerseys and sheer wools with signature prints for a striking collection of fabrics for both men's and women's wear.

“I like to draw designs by hand then digitally manipulate them to produce unique and individual fabrics for people who have a love of bold print and colour.”

Fashion student Lee-Anne Bates has called her A/W 14 collection 'Strength in the Face of Pain.' She says, “It is based on the idea of seeing beauty where others may not. For the silhouette, I took a lot of my inspiration from American coal miner's wives in the 1930s as these women were hard working and the garments they wore needed to be practical - it also led to my collection being very layered. “I also focused on the aftermath of natural disasters for my texture, which is shown in my choice of fabrics, laser cutting, embellishment, knitwear and beading.

“I started my collection with the ethos that the garments should be interchangeable with each outfit. My main focus in my collection is the intricate pattern cutting. I have been able to include very structured garments with garments I have draped on the stand.

“In the future I want to be a pattern cutter for a company where I can be part of a team helping the realisation of 2D into 3D garments.”

Two students who will be exhibiting their work place the emphasis onvisual communication and on sustainability issues in fashion, using techniques of photography, styling, set design and fashion editing.

Fashion Design student Rosie Tabor said, “During my final year I have created and directed a number of photo-shoots for graduate collections. I enjoyed linking the designer's ideas and inspirations with my own to create interesting photo-shoots, as well as considering the fabrics and shapes of the collections and the best way to compliment them.

“For my final major project I created Luyu Magazine, a unique magazine celebrating eco-friendly fashion and ethical style, hoping to open the minds of a young, fashion-conscious generation to the importance of sustainable fashion. It features informative photo-shoots about environmental issues, such as climate change and toxic pollution. I also want to promote successful boutiques and markets that sell second hand/ethically-produced clothing and showcase designers that support eco-friendly values by recycling or using organic fabrics.”

Faye Johnson is interested in fashion as a tool to communicate aspects of an identity.

She says, “An individual constructs an identity from their personality, beliefs and values, and clothes are an extension of this. My work illustrates a narrative I have created about each subject based on their personality, and celebrates the quirks of each specific character.

Process is a book illustrating the process behind the creation of a fashion collection.

“It includes a series of images focussing on the concept, form, detail and technique considered at each stage of the making. The book highlights these areas through the juxtaposition of mechanical techniques with human trial and error.

“From concept to final outcome, this body of work demonstrates the beauty and innovation in the designer's development and work behind the finished collection.”

Deborah Southerland, programme leader for the BA Hons Fashion course said, “The breadth of creative diversity and level of professionalism within this year's graduating cohort is outstanding, and we are delighted with what the students have achieved. Fashion at UWE continues to go from strength to strength and our graduates are fantastic ambassadors for the programme. We wish them all every success as they embark upon their careers within the creative industries.”

To view a selection of the work, click here to visit the Flickr gallery.

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