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We weren’t worried when Anna Rekas told us that she would refuse to bleach her eyebrows for a great internship, as she proved what creative peaks she can ascend with her design for the White Show. Replacing needle and thread with wooden sticks and string, she injected life into the inanimate body of a chair. Wrapped in extravagant drapery and pleating, her sizeable creation was a confluence of structure and volume. It might be her first term in BA Womenswear, but her meticulous craftsmanship and forward-thinking innovation will stand her in good stead.
Looking towards artists Melanie Bonajo and Doris Salcedo, Rekas’s conceptual designs were spurred by a fascination with chairs and their potential to interlock with the human form. Although she accidentally bumped into several designers backstage with her garment’s dramatic size, she has successfully redressed our bitter image of tacky white meringue with her own dollop of edge.
She told us that she was unfazed by the restrictive nature of a white palette, and she focussed firmly on structure, using wood as a strong core to drape the white convex den upon. The design was hooked under the model’s arms like stiff crutches and held the body in a brace-like grip, yet she moved surprisingly gracefully.
Besides realising that she has the potential to start up in the joinery trade, what has she learnt from doing the project? “Fundamental technical skill, and thanks to a white palette and its limitations, I have been pushed to explore new areas of art and design.”