Textile technology comes out on top
With a plethora of digital prints popping up all over the catwalk, Wiltshire College’s presentation for Graduate Fashion Week 2014 constructed its own modernity. Whether illustrating sea-life, sweets or animal skins, Wiltshire’s womenswear collections demonstrated a passion for patterns that knew no bounds. Students looked to the world around them for inspiration, refracting ordinary objects into explorations of cloth and cut.
Preparing their students for an increasingly globalised and digital industry is at the forefront of Wiltshire College’s fashion course. An innovative and intellectual approach to design is underpinned by strong practical skills in tailoring and cutting. Students are given the opportunity to seek out and nurture individual specialisms in a marriage of expertise and ingenuity.
Molly Hobart opened the show with a set of fishing net knits skilfully layered over digital marine prints. Crab claw prints and plastic buoy accessories gave a distinctly English and industrial sense of the sea. She had no time for romanticised marine imagery here – only rough and ready rope wear.
Annabelle Higgins gave layering a sleek and snakelike twist with her collection of shimmering leather arranged mosaic-style over ethereal silk organza. Embellishment may have been too prominent at times, but the harmonious mix of different materials had mermaid-esque appeal.
Meanwhile, Hannah Jacobs merged man and beast with an equestrian-inspired collection. Riding jackets were reinvented with manes made of long loops and folds of fabric; trousers edged with tasselled fringes contributed to a distinctly cowboy feel to the pieces. The horse-printed leather pieces and the oversized rosette motif featured throughout made Hannah’s inspiration explicit, while the metal bits that cropped up on cage belts showed a more considered and interpretive side.
Print made a final appearance in Noreen Ahmed’s embroidery-inspired monochrome collection which closed the show.
Her floor-sweeping skirts and dresses gave patterns plenty of scope to unfurl over silk and satin blends like the creeping tendrils of sprawling plants.
Wiltshire’s students demonstrated dedication to fashion’s digital side, using textile technology to talk about tradition. Fabrics were carefully considered to ensure they were the perfect foundations to support the students’ explorations of pattern. Wiltshire promised innovation and show-goers certainly came away with the impression that the college’s fashion students know how to use technical and technological skills to their advantage.
All Photographs by Charlie Lee Douglas