New Graduate Showcase; the best emerging design talent

This time of year has arrived again where a fresh batch of creative minds are unleashed into the world of design.

Over the past few weeks graduate degree shows have been taking place up and down the country showcasing the design talent set to shape our future. It is a very inspirational time as we get to see what topics students have been focused on, what new materials have been invented and what our new generation of thinkers, crafters and makers have been inspired by.

I recently visited the University of Huddersfield’s Textile Practice degree show; I know only too well the amount of hours that goes into creating such a diverse display, not to mention the dedication and hard work pulling together a final year project of defining design work. The standard once again was extremely high with a variety of key themes including; the sustainability of textiles and material use, the importance of human interactions & expressions in todays society and addressing a counter balance to our technologically dominated world.

Here are 5 of my favourites;

Laura Trowsdale

Laura interned for Scarlet Opus during her placement year helping us with trend research, blog content and even flew to Dubai to assist with our Exhibition Series. Laura’s vibrant collection of decorative weaves combines innovative colour blending and traditional, technical leno hand-weaving skills. It is beautifully presented in a palette that ranges from fresh bright to deep dark tones, the collection is playful and expressive, creating a set of sophisticated fabrics directed towards the high-end apparel market. Huge congratulations to Laura on receiving a 1st Class Honours Degree!

Chloe Pullen 

Inspired by the calming change of sun in the evenings casting light throughout a room, Chloe forms a sensory experience with her collection of fine hand woven textiles. Using qualities of transparency, light and subtle colour within her delicate fabrics; there is feeling of serenity through a playful effort to reinvent the net curtain. This carefully composed collection depicts an atmosphere that is relaxed, peaceful and soothing, supporting a consumer desire to live slower, appreciate the everyday and connect more to our natural surroundings. Ultimately this positively improves our overall wellbeing, wellness and mindfulness; check out how you can practice mindful activities in our recent blog post – The Mindful Powers of Hiking.

Sophie Wilkinson

I found Sophie’s work so intriguing, I was attracted to the bold use of colour and composition in this final collection as well as her innovative exploration of materials. Sophie pushes boundaries through utilising modern technologies and interdisciplinary research to create exciting futuristic concepts. This project ultimately questions the materials already predicted for future use and how they are going to continue to transform, leading her to invent her own materials through unexpected combinations. I love the unpredictability and inventiveness of this creative project; this is a key theme we have been talking about recently. Check out a recent blog post on Why unpredictability should be a feature of your next project. 

Sally Steward

Sally explores bringing tactility back, in today’s touch-screen driven world. Tangibility questions materiality through an experimental-driven practice, displaying three-dimensional fabrics that were made to move, mould and respond. I love the outcome of the 3 dimensional weaving creating enticing, interactive fabrics. The intriguing shapes, composition and installation all work harmoniously together, Sally definitely created a display I found hard not to touch!

Isabella Keziah

I was particularly interested in Isabella’s project and how she was able to promote the ever-growing conscious consumer. She has a deep understanding of the importance of a products journey, where it began its life, how it was crafted and ultimately where it will end up. Each product has its own story and Isabella looks to promote this through sustainable design concepts. Her project ‘Living Textiles’ focuses on sustainable plant based fibres which are naturally hand dyed from waste fruit and vegetables. The fibre lengths are designed to naturally change over time and will continue to live and grow off the loom; the natural bleaching from sunlight with change the colour over time; adding to its story. This collection is 100% vegan friendly and focuses on a non-waste concept.

Huge congratulations to all the graduates of 2018, we wish you all every success in the future!

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