Yarn, upcycling, and ambitious amateurs
Daisy and Hen give a little insight into their collaborative design processes DEVELOPED FROM LAST YEARS SHOW
When we made outfits for the Trashion show last year, we had pretty limited experience. Daisy had never used a sewing machine, nor yet learned to crochet, and Hen had never constructed a garment without patterns and very thorough youtube tutorials. The results? We made 4 looks, and while 2 were actually well-constructed garments with lovely detailing, the other two were lacking something. This year, we wanted the scope of our designs to be more ambitious, experimenting with new techniques, styles and concepts.
Neither of us have any training in fashion design or garment making, just a keen eye coupled with a keener interest. But this year, we’ve been working on changing that, developing new skills and applying them to our creations. Our process is extremely collaborative. Whilst last year we helped each other out, offering advice or creative suggestions, this year was markedly different. We discussed every decision in great depth, bouncing ideas off each other, and ensuring that we were mutually understood. We took this a step further by including bits of Daisy’s crocheting and Hen’s knitting in each others’ pieces, which led to further cohesion throughout the looks that we designed for this year.
This nicely brings us to the question of materials used. Last year it was mostly denim from jeans which we cut up and refashioned. This year, we worked with recycling denim for 2 looks but experimented with other fabrics for 2 others, most importantly yarn. The process of converting yarn from a ball, to a line, to a panel of fabric is a process akin to the metamorphosis theme that lies at the heart of the pieces from our creations this year. These panels were comprised of either yarn from the charity shop or Hen’s mum's old stash, kept from when she used to teach her students knitting.
A core part of our identity as people and as fashion enthusiasts is sustainability. The concept of trashion ties in so neatly with metamorphosis because, through a process of change, rubbish is given a new life as something that may even be considered beautiful. Amongst our collection of 'rubbish' was: old zip ties, protective wrapping, old tablecloths and curtains, unwanted yarn, and some of the pieces from last year - though these have been updated, of course.
It is for all these reasons that Metamorphosis was truly an ideal theme to be working towards, and the Fashion Forward Society has been nothing but nurturing to our amateur skills. Not only have we been given a platform to express our creativity, but it has also given us a community of friends with whom we share so much. This was such a joyful experience for both of us, and we are greatly indebted to the society for enabling all amateur designers to chase their ambitions.
CO-Written by DAISY TOD AND HENRY PARSONS