Could you describe your creative process?
My creative process involves both a visual and physical element. I am a magpie image-collector, permanently on the lookout for inspiring pictorial research, whether that is in an archive or gallery or through travelling, watching films and just keeping an eye out for the unusual and beautiful. Every few months I compile these images and identify my interest and narrative for that time period.
I learnt the importance of in-depth visual research at CSM and Maison Margiela. I have boxes of pictures, drawings and magazine clippings stored from over nine years of working and collecting. I go through these at the beginning of each project. Diving back into old work creates a sense of consistency from project to project, which encourages a development of my style. From this stage, I start the physical process of collaging, playing with layouts, scale and colour. This helps me to develop the story, colourway and garment shape in a playful way.
“My Grandparents were the muses for my BA collection. Their ‘make do and mend’ mentality stemmed from living through WWII.”
At the same time, I’m always looking for new materials, fabrics, trims and fastenings. I often come up with garment shapes and styles by draping. Reusing and repurposing fabrics brings them new life, but a little bit of their old life is still there, which I find tantalizing.
How does your Welsh heritage play into your design aesthetic?
I think your family and heritage inevitably inspire you. For my final collection at CSM, I travelled around Wales, visiting woolen mills and farms to experience the craftsmanship and wool production taking place first hand. I’ve taken inspiration from the textures and shapes of miners’ working clothes, right through to traditional women’s dress from the 1800s. My use of wool, natural fibres and shearling also have a connection to Wales. On a visit to the fashion archive at St Fagans National Museum of History, I saw my ethos reflected back at me in the natural dyes, reuse of fabric scraps and the lack of synthetic materials.
My Grandparents were the muses for my BA collection. Their ‘make do and mend’ mentality stemmed from living through WWII. Recycling is in their nature and that has been passed onto me and my design aesthetic. I carried that mentality into my new collection, Woman is Fickle. Some materials – like the labels – came from my Grannie, the yarn was sourced from Wales and the wool was plucked from the barbed wire of sheep fields and doilies sourced in vintage and charity shops.