I recently visited the University of Huddersfield’s 2017 Graduate Show for the Textile Practice Design Course. The standard yet again was extremely high as the very talented new designers display fresh and innovative design ideas. It was interesting to see more Millennials expressing their political views and opinions through design; interpreting important topics that dominate headlines in todays society.
For example some of the projects included research into sustainability and recycled materials, with a greater consideration to how the outcome of a design project can be beneficial to society or to contribute to the preservation of our planet.
I particularly enjoyed reading the inspirational stories behind each project; understanding the designers attitudes and thoughts enabled a greater understanding of the end concept or product idea. Graduate designer Lo Green visually communicates perceptions of Female Power; questioning why images of women become political statements. Bridget Donoghue illustrates the mental scarring left being on the people and their families coping with cancer through the art of embroidery; a beautifully imperfect creation immortalised through stitch. Commercial designer Thomas Greenwood challenges ideas of the ‘social norm’ exploring gender identity and mental health issues through digital prints in Fashion. In todays society it is more important than ever to push boundaries, disrupt convention and exhibit creative freedom in all aspects.
So here are a few of my favorites in more detail…
The very colorful bedding collection has been digitally printed using hand painted artwork which has been enhanced and arranged into repeated patterns. This designer is tapping into the consumer market of embracing Nature inside the home; the desire to be more connected to and be surrounded by organic and natural materials, surfaces and prints. In a dazzling range of bright pastels this designer creates quirky botanical designs that will freshen up any interior.
Designer-maker and embroidery specialist Lo Green displayed her project called Feminine Race which questions why images of women become a political statement. Each second-hand garment was chosen for the aesthetic; the detailed embroidery enhances the garment through color and composition. The designer plays with juxtaposition and exhibits the idea of ‘reclaiming’ female sexuality through ‘reclaiming’ garments.
Commercia Designer Thomas Greenwood creates a print collection for fashion called The Sensitised Pellucidity. This collection explores the desire to regain balance between privacy and transparency looking at elusive spaces and being translucent in new ways; suggesting a new sense of truth with the fusion of industrial and organic. The unisex prints are designed with ‘wellness’ in mind; finding calm in the mist of destruction; signifying the release of life anxieties. Within the collection research into gender identity was at the forefront of the project; looking closely at social, political and economical issues surrounding gender identity in the Fashion Industry.
I really enjoyed seeing Kathryn’s work as she pushes the boundaries of classic knitwear. Her colorful and contemporary knitwear collection takes inspiration from personal experiences and a passion for travel. With dramatic color combination, bold patterns and an array of knitted textures, Kathryn challenged what can be considered as ‘wearable’ within Knitwear. The styling of her Colour Regeneration exhibition really portrayed the inspiration behind the collection; an exploration into the abandoned surfaces within urban areas focusing on the rejuvenating power of color. The carefully considered palette relates to the influence of color being pivotal to the reincarnation of lost and forgotten textures; brought to life once more through contemporary Knit practice.
Embroidery specialist Bridget Donoghue focuses on looking at cancer through the skin; the bruising, the marks, tones and colors. Her collection Irregular Everything picks out the tiniest of details in the irregular shape and shades, enhancing the beautiful imperfections and blemishes and the repairing of something fragmented and broken. Her work is a symbol of the marks behind the pain, the uncontrollable scar pigmentations and the temporary marks that can beautifully become immortalised by stitch.
We wish all this years graduates the best of luck for the future.