‘Fashion is an escape from the mundane, the insular and the pressure to conform’
22-year-old Lauren Hay is a fashion communications graduate from Heriot Watts University. Lauren comes from a small fishing village in North East Scotland, and expands her creative horizons by incorporating the quirks and traditions of community life into her work. You can contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her twitter at @Miss_lHay. Also check Lauren Hay’s contemporary newspaper ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’.
What is the background of the work you submitted?
The final project for fashion communications at Heriot Watts University is to launch your own publication. I created ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’. This is a contemporary newspaper inspired by the superstitions, traditions and quirks of a tiny coastal village in the North East of Scotland called Buckie. I grew up hearing an abundance of superstitions from the fishing community at home. This inspired me to style and photograph a shoot based on these traditions, featuring sayings, colours and objects that are feared by fishermen and banned on-board fishing boats. These include rabbits, the colour red, the word “salmon” and women, who are supposed to bring bad luck on-board a fishing boat.
What is the place for ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’ within the publishing landscape?
‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’ is a refreshing contribution to the fanzine market. It showcases the traditions and quirks of a small town, revolutionising the local newspaper into a creative tabloid. It means to inform in a contemporary and inspiring way.
So how did you input your personal experience into the project?
It is based on my upbringing in a small coastal town. I faced personal struggles when contemplating abandoning my community to pursue broader horizons. The publication examines the role of ambition and its varying influence on young people. It targets the youth who are post-secondary school educated and considering their future, perhaps deciding whether to leave behind familiarity in favour of curiosity.
How was your project received by a wider audience?
Through my research it became evident that the anecdotes, superstitions and traditions I used in ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’ are unheard of outside a ten-mile radius of the town. This attracted the attention of a wide market: from those envious of the community spirit and those who couldn’t imagine anything worse than the shackles of small town living.
What role do you hope your publication will play within the fashion industry?
The language of Doric used throughout the publication strongly reflects the insular practices within the town, so it adds a unique flavour to the fashion publication market. I embraced a rare opportunity to share a unique way of life with a wider audience. ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns’ invites you to question conformity through its youthful aesthetic. It also allows you to consider the slow death of the community spirit through the eyes of a young person.
So what inspires you creatively?
My work is heavily inspired by street art. The vibrancy of my work has links to the youthful clash of colours within that art scene. My favourite street artists include Donk and d7606. I am also a huge fan of collage artist and fashion illustrator Quentin Jones. She mixes art and fashion photography to create a truly unique aesthetic. I am also inspired by Luca Mainini who is another collage artist and fashion photographer. His youthful and vibrant aesthetic is enlightening in the often too serious world of fashion.
What is your favourite film of all time?
‘INSIDE OUT’ is an interesting documentary that explores the development of the largest participatory art project worldwide. The artist JR has people from all over the world to send in photographic self-portraits, which he then prints and sends back to them. They are asked to display the images of themselves around their hometown for all to see. The idea is that art and photography can bring humanity together in the most visibly striking and sometimes controversial way.
What is your favourite music track or album right now?
I love ‘Catfish & The Bottlemen’. Their album is called “The Balcony”.
What is your favourite on-line Video?
Artist Marina Abramovic held a live art performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York during which random people sat in silence across from her. The video recorded their facial expressions. At one point, an ex-boyfriend of Abramovic from over 30 years before sat across from her. Both their expressions display true love, making for beautiful art. It is a stunning video, which I find particularly memorable.
What is your favourite blog or website for inspiration?
Art People is an online platform that shares all genres of art, from photography to street art. It displays such a variety of mediums that I particularly appreciate.
What does Fashion mean to you?
Growing up in a small coastal town, I realised from a young age that fashion is an escape from the mundane, the insular and the pressure to conform. It shapes your identity. It offers the rare opportunity of complete freedom. It allows you to express yourself, your emotions and your creativity every single day.
What would be your ideal Fashion Project?
My ideal fashion project would allow street art and fashion to collide. Fashion and street art give us a voice to express ourselves. They are exposed to everyone. Street art is upfront and unavoidable, demonstrating a confidence from the artists. They have an untouchable attitude; a lack of fear to speak their mind and follow what they believe in despite those who disapprove. It would be an ideal collaboration.
How do you imagine your future?
My mother is an artist and my dad runs his own marketing company. This has offered me the best of both worlds and I hope to combine my knowledge of the two. I want to channel my creativity within the fast paced environment of the fashion industry. I want to use my imagination and innovation within the creative industry, exploring photography and styling, events and graphic design.
What would be your ideal job?
With smaller companies, you are granted more responsibility and your input is greater appreciated. For this reason, my ideal job would be with a smaller start-up company that is unrestricted by the shareholders and the brand image. It would be fuelled by creativity and imagination, with that “fire in the belly” kind of passion.
Whether free internships will forever plague the creative industries.
If the education versus experience conundrum can ever be resolved… Is it more important to have the grades or the experience?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.
Lauren Hay is a finalist for Modeconnect’s #YourView15 fashion competition sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing. The support of our sponsor extends to all our readers: until the end of July 2015 they can benefit from 20% off ALL Bloomsbury’s fashion and design books! Just use the code YOURVIEW2015 at the checkout on www.bloomsbury.com.
Voting open 11th – 19th July 2015.