For the last 2 years, I have had the pleasure of teaching on the Textiles In Practice degree programme at Manchester School of Art. To commemorate my time there, this Summer I completed a round-up of my highlights from the 2016 degree show to share with you.
Molly’s was perhaps my favourite collection within the show at Manchester. She has an interest in multi-functional and sustainable design, fuelled by the Japanese notion of “Wabi-Sabi”, or finding beauty in imperfection. Molly’s geometric prints are simplistic and of the hand, but her colour sense is contemporary and electrifying.
Anna Carver (left) and Chloe Webb (right)
Both Anna and Chloe’s design practice focuses on colour and abstract patterns for an interiors context. I was drawn to their use of seemingly effortless, hand-rendered marks.
As a designer form Bangladesh, Raisa is keen to bring the South Asian folk designs of her homeland to a contemporary context. She juxtaposed this whimsical theme with mundane and masculine imagery gathered at a car parts factory, to create quirky tribal textiles for a modern market. The colour and character of Raisa’s collection reminded me of our CLANdestine Patternmash project.
Zara’s graduate collection, “Abstract Spring”, reinvented the traditional floral for a high-end market. Zara’s collection as a whole had great balance. Some designs has abstract, almost geometric florals in simple spot repeats; while other repeats were less noticeable within their complex, hand painted arrangements. All were underpinned however by a strong colour palette. I particularly admire how Zara made hi-viz yellow wearable by pairing it with nude.
Charlotte is interested in combining traditional craft techniques with modern technologies. It was Charlotte’s sketchbook work that caught my attention, in particular where she applies her designs to the body. She uses areas of boldly applied flat colour next to extremely fine detail, creating designs which are full of energy and personality.
For her knitwear collection, Sioned began with the concept of a garment being a container for the body. This led her to explore Brutalist architecture and Scandinavian functionalism as potential sources for fashion inspiration. Sioned has a fantastic approach to paper based design, applying collage materials to cut out figures in her sketchbook to find new ideas for her knits. This is a method also employed by fashion print designers to help them think about scale and composition.