Winchester School of Art
Little is known about the Hutterites, a communal group not dissimilar to the Amish, and the subject of my pre–collection. In contrast to the plain look of the Amish, Hutterites, and especially the children in their community, wear clothing that is often vividly coloured. It is this aspect of the Hutterite style that interests me, especially in the context of their colonial, rural lives which, you might think, would lead them to be staunchly conservative in their clothing. The proportions and fabric combinations are simple yet unexpected, not something I envisaged I would be drawn to at the beginning of the course, as I imagined I would produce an all-black collection focussing on structured silhouettes and the details of individual garments. Yet, during my time at WSA, my skills as a designer and pattern cutter have developed significantly, mainly due to the influence of my peers and the fact that I have opened my mind to other possibilities. My work has become a lot more experimental by keeping the silhouette of my pre- collection simple and using fabric combinations that are less predictable.
Using Hutterites as the subject of my Final Collection, I am hoping to develop the idea that fabric selection should be the focus of my collection. Having felt very limited by the available fabrics in the pre-collection project, I was encouraged to produce my own prints, so I have gone about designing both digital and screen prints. For these prints, I am going to play around with scale and have already produced an oversized leopard print screen that will be used to devour brightly coloured velvet. On top of this I have created a number of plaids of varying proportions which will be digitally printed onto many different fabrics. The process of designing these prints allowed me to have full control over elements such as scale and colour combinations. Unlike my pre- collection, the colour palette for my final collection is going to be much brighter and hopefully more suited to the colours of the Hutterites' children apparel. But it is not only the scale of prints that I am inverting but the scale of the actual garments too, and I have sought to combine oversized silhouettes with the detail that persists in Hutterite style.
Having toiled all of the Final Collection, I am now in the process of making the garments in the actual fabric. Alongside this, I am creating a portfolio which shows the quality and standard of my work and communicates my passion and commitment for the subject. Although I enjoy the designing aspect of the course, my real passion lies in pattern cutting and the manufacturing of garments. I am fascinated by how different items of clothing are constructed and, somewhere down the line, would hope to be able to peruse this line of work as a career.