Representing the creative future

Quarantine Dispatch #5: One jacket and some toiles

A fashion design student at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin shares her thoughts on making her final collection in lockdown

How are you feeling? What are you thinking? What’s happening? Bored, stressed, inspired, uninspired, calm, restless, frustrated, anxious? There’s no “right” way to cope with a pandemic. Reading through these submissions, despite the practical differences of each situation, we felt a reassuring sense of familiarity and gratitude. Maybe you can too.


Fiona Carroll's work space

Fiona Carroll, final year fashion design student at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin

Day 41: Today I changed my line-up for the hundredth time and listened to Unchained Melody​ six times in a row. I checked my planner this morning and saw that in a different world, in a different dimension that doesn’t exist anymore, I was supposed to have half my graduate collection completed two days ago. I currently have one jacket and some toiles, and no clear completion date in sight. The collection was always supposed to be a response to the current state of the fashion industry: The devastating environmental impact, the over-production, its relentless pace. I was upcycling unwanted materials and making a conscious effort to use time-consuming hand processes; to slow down. Now, suddenly every one has no choice but to do the same. I wonder what this will mean for fashion: will we finally see some much-needed change or just a return to the same excess? I have time now to experiment more, to re-design and reconsider my work; maybe I will have a completely different collection than the one I would have had in normal circumstances. I have no idea when the collection will be finished, or what jobs there will be there to pursue after graduation. For now, I am just trying to focus on enjoying the process, because there’s not really a whole lot more that I can do. I really miss my friends and the scones in the college canteen.