This year’s Graduates from the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Arts equally demonstrate modernity, professionalism and material exploration. The excellent output is linked to an awareness of sustainability and material impacts.
Dora Burns’ work explores co-design by working with people on her allotment. Dora explored five recipes for collaborative local pattern making, including found materials and resist prints with dyes grown and foraged. The stories and the process are documented on her blog. Through this process she wanted to explore how patterns can be used to capture a fleeting moment related to a place or to the personality of a person.
Another graduate, Mario Zhou, incorporated backpacks in garments. He said that the FLEX project, using ‘The TEN’ TED sustainable strategies in his second year, was significant in changing the approach to designing in their group.
The work this year is very focused on experiments with new materials and 3-dimensionality. Sports geometrics reflectives by Lucy Poulden featured next to day-glow features by Lucy Hardcastle whereas Ji Chen’s work explores his woven fabrics bonded onto neoprene structures.
The degree projects aim to engage us in different ways, and spatial installations feature equally next to fashion collections. Abby Bucknall created a space with orbs & lasered polyesters to re-engage our senses to truly understand and appreciate what textures feel like in reality in our increasingly digitised lives.
Seeing digital as material is a very interesting concept explored by Honami Nishii. Printing computer files as textile reliefs, she was inspired by how digital technology is influenced by our lives. In her graduate collection, data is a material with very special qualities: it is flexible, it can not age, and we can output it anytime. Using digital icons as print patterns, she imagined what materiality these intangible elements have.
Intangible elements become also visible in the fashion collection by Sabrina Shah Hakim. Titled ‘Controlled Chaos’, her material experimentation uses a water spray to demonstrate patterns that would be revealed on a raincoat.
These examples from the show and other inventive applications of both new and old material processes, demonstrate the graduating students’ awareness of the many contemporary contexts for textile design.
An overview of all projects from the degree show is available on the Chelsea Textile Design website.