Elizabeth Fraser is a 21 years old Menswear Fashion Design student living in London, UK. She is due to graduate in 2015 and was featured in YourView2013 where you can read about her previous project. You can connect with Elizabeth via Twitter @Eliza_bethrose.
Elizabeth, what is the background of the work you submitted this time around?
The brief was to design a collection for 2050 Britain inspired by the work of two creative British personalities assigned to us. This was a team project – my team consisted of 7 students – and each fashion design student produced an outfit working with an embroidery student. We were assigned artists Chris Ofili and Sebastian Horsley.
Chris Ofili, most famous for using natural materials such as elephant dung in his pieces, produces colourful, humorous, contemporary artwork, with serious and powerful underlying meanings. During my research I found one of his inspirations is 1970s blaxploitation films and black culture: “Shit Head” consisted of a piece of excrement with an afro. This was exhibited at a time when there were strong connotations between having an afro and being a drug dealer. This led me to look into American gangs of the 1970s & 80s. I found some incredible images of gangs and the recognisable street wear worn. From this, we decided to design a street/sport collection.
As we discussed how British fashion may appear in 2050 we imagined that British crafts such as hand embroidery would be highly sought after in the future – we based this on current news of the return of manufacturing to Britain and our reputation for innovative, high quality fashion. This took our streetwear ideas to producing a luxury sportswear collection.
Sebastian Horsley influenced us with his views on sex and his love for ‘whoring’- not believing in love or letting his emotions be controlled by someone else. We took his sexual desires and produced imagery based on male penises, using Ofili’s style, made these images discrete…a hidden meaning.
For the silhouette we initially played on the idea of ‘not fitting in’. Sebastian was a dandy and thought highly of himself, Manchester native Chris Ofili lives in Trinidad and is often asked why he is there. Using this we looked at 1940 & 50s womenswear, with distorted silhouettes. We mixed this with sporty street wear and the bright colours of Ofilis’ work to produce a Spring Summer collection. We spent a long time choosing fabrics; testing embroidery techniques and deciding on the type of garments we wanted in the collection.
We had to produce a look book and presentation of our collection which was pitched to accessory brand Mipac. For this we produced our own brand ethos and researched how we would sell our collection to our target customer.
What inspires you creatively?
Studying fashion in London definitely inspires me to push my designs. Everyone you meet is either in fashion (or knows someone who is) or a lover of fashion. London really lets your individuality shine.
I love to watch Showstudio interviews on YouTube- really getting to understand thoughts behind the designs inspires me!
Your favourite film of all times
Perhaps not of all time but 12 years a slave definitely had an impact on me: the story, acting and emotion was incredible!
Your favourite music track or album right now.
It has to be any lengthy house track.
I can’t say how many times I have listened to this but it gets me through long nights of working!
Your favourite on-line Video
As I was researching for this project I came across KTZ and this video is just awesome: the music, the outfits! So cool!
Your favourite blog or website for inspiration
Instagram is the place for quick inspiration – @Vintage_Daily is my favourite!
What is hot or new in the world and/or where you live
Working out and getting fit; it is getting a little obsessive! Everyone is comfortably wondering around in customised Nike trainers. I have been trying a lot of new ways of exercising including cheerleading and salsa! Dance is the other love of mine so a ballet barre class at Gymbox is definitely my new love!
What does Fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a platform to showcase the highest form of creativity. It brings together all the new advances in technology such as printing methods, dyeing, fabrication and craft.
For me fashion is very personal, because I am the one making every decision when I design an outfit. I have to figure out why I like the things I do to ‘sell’ my ideas to friends, tutors and industry individuals so that they can feel a connection to the clothes.
Your ideal Fashion Project
An ideal project would be working with a pattern cutter to ensure that I am being time efficient with my workload. I would love to create a collection that mixes sport with 1920/30s menswear. Collaborating with a team where every individual is pushing themselves so new ideas can be brought to the table at every meeting is also an ideal.
How do you imagine your future?
To finish my degree and work in a small, luxury fashion brand to gain an understanding of a ready-to-wear design studio. Networking and making contacts is hugely beneficial therefore I would like to be in a position to do that. Once I feel I have enough understanding of the business side of fashion I’d like to build my own brand.
Your ideal internship
I am currently seeking an internship in a luxury brand, to see what daily jobs the designers have and to learn about production. I would love to work for Adrian Sauvage, Dolce & Gabbana or Armani for Men.
Do you think paying fashion students would provide a better attitude and work ethic whilst interning? I believe that interns deserve some form of pay for their work & may be more willing to work for longer periods if this were the case.