How can we create a sisterhood to educate women on the values of self-worth? What if the body would mould the garment, instead of the other way around? Would it be possible for consumers to secrete their own accessories? Why don’t we feel with our feets the way we do with our hands? How can we hold on to our humanity in the age of the digital?
These are but a few of the questions at the start of RCA’s MA Fashion graduate collections. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what the full answers look like, but a few of the students already agreed to share a little preview.
“I grew up on the West coast of Scotland, right next to the sea. So, the seascape always seduced me with the colours, the flow and the lines, especially really early in the mornings or late in the evenings. From that, I started to research the visuals of weather, climate, a lot of National Geographic. I just got very captivated by nonmaterial forces, like light, air, and the elements.”
“What is going to be the role of the body in the future? In the digital, we can change the perception of ourselves, but it can stop us from being truly human. Trying to find new body shapes, I combined the digital with the real. In fashion we focus on breasts, hips and the waist, why not focus on the body parts that we don’t look at, like wrists, calves and collarbones and knees?”
“It is so interesting that we always feel with our hands but actually so often the feeling with our feet is really key. The touch within your feet, the soles of your feet have loads of sensory spots. The process of creating new pieces involves a lot of personal experimenting: how a shoe feels when its wrapped around your foot, how the soles feel. It is an emotive process.”
“Starting from the idea of how you perceive your body and how that is different from reality. Thinking about the body and how it is placed in fashion, people don’t really take inspiration from the bodies. I wanted the body to mold the garment, as opposed to the garments molding the body.”
“At the moment, plastic is such a hot topic: straws are being banned soon in the UK, the damage it causes to the seas, oceans and the whole planet in general. So, I tried to find a way to make something beautiful out of these materials. My grandmother is a bit of a hoarder, and she has recently gone into a care house, therefore, my sister and I have renovated her house and collected a lot of plastic, as a result, I have repurposed those.”
“I wanted to make my own visual study of the subconscious. My collection is an exploration of emotional vulnerability through the analysis of gestures framed within fragments of reality. What I decided to do is to observe postures and gestures through photographing my friends and the people I am close to during the shared moments of reality and intimacy.”
“I use a lot of moveable and changeable elements in my garments as I am trying to embed a value of interaction with the product. If the product is more interactive, the consumer can be more involved in the process and it can be personalised. So, less waste can be produced. My aim is that in the future people could buy less, but own more.”
“I am working on a future concept that will allow us to secrete our own fashion accessories. I have been leaving little test tubes, people would scrape sweat off themselves as they work out. Also, I started working with a footballer, ballerina and a cyclist. So far, I have collected gallons of sweat. Then I have created my own process of extracting salt from the sweat and turning it into crystals. With the help of the bioengineering team from Imperial we can tell how much sugar or estrogen in people’s bodies there is, using chromatography.”
“The collection is about the static man vs. the man in motion. For me the static man wants to fit in, he is quite generic but the man in motion metamorphizes into a butterfly, he expresses himself in ways he wouldn’t when he is static.”
“We are in the time where there is so much scrutiny of what you are choosing to carry, what you are choosing to be a part of. I wanted to be as authentic as possible in what I used to create my work, the journey it has gone through. Everything has been catalogued, from the miles taken to transport the materials to the day the sheep has been purchased. I wanted to create a possible look of what a luxury accessory collection could be in the future.”
“In reaction to the negative commentary and the pressures women face while coming of age, I wanted to create my own utopian sisterhood who educate women on the values of self-worth.”
“I am designing processes and machines that create from around the body. It starts with form finding, expansion and gravity. My idea is that clothing is made around the body in a performative manner so there is a greater connection to that garment. Then a person takes that garment and it degrades in the design manner over time, then they come to me and I give them another performance.”