Under the fluorescent lighting of a high school gym hall, teenage athletes in tighty-whitey underwear relish stolen puffs of contraband cigarettes before the after-school classes their parents make them take. This is the world in which Josephine finds inspiration. For her BA collection, she took a dip in her adolescent memory pool, wading through awkward encounters to find an aesthetic rooted in the collective language of childhood sports.
“I started swimming again during my placement year and I rediscovered all of these weird languages,” she laughs. “Like the knicker trick!” In swimming, that means putting your swimming costume on over your knickers and then doing a one-legged jig so you could take them off without flashing anyone. In ballet, it meant stretching your knickers high over your hip-bones so they didn’t poke out beneath your leotard. After a ten-year break from sports, Josephine had forgotten these tricks, and she had lost the knack to putting on a swimming cap. “I could do it when I was younger, but now it’s so difficult and painful,” she says.