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Test piece - Princess pleated chiffon is sewn into place

Test piece - Textured embellishment on suede using seed beads and bugle beads

A supporting digital repeat print design

Martha Strachan

A multimedia textiles design finalist, with an artisan approach, creating highly embellished work with a sensitive, detailed, and narrative quality. Aspiring for a career in high-quality high-end fashion.

Reborn is an elegant, highly embellished, and yet playful collection that challenges conventional beauty due to its unusual yet grotesque subject matter of animal skeletons and snake skins. The collection’s compositions are significantly inspired by the natural pattern, forms and symmetry found in nature.

Alongside these compositions, a snake motif is featured in the collection. Historically snakes symbolise rebirth and rejuvenation due to the shedding of their skin. This theme of rebirth is important within my project owing to the way in which I have sought to highlight the beauty found in objects that were once living creatures and are now simply objects, creating work that is dynamic and beautiful, despite a morbid subject matter that is commonly seen as grotesque.

I have visualised this couture fashion collection for the runway, however, it would also lend itself to costume, due to the bold characteristics and narrative of the collection, all of which is inspired by the artisanship found in Game of Thrones costumes.

From fine metalwork to hand embellishment, artisanship is an important theme in my collection. Almost all of my pieces are either or mostly made using handmade processes, all of which add to the character of the collection.

Final year project


Work Experience

Fabric sourcing assistant at Marks and Spencers

Assisting the fabric sourcer responsible for tailoring, coats, formal and casual bottoms. Some tasks including processing and tracking fabric orders, checking sampling availability and keeping the fabric library and mood boards up to date. This role requires organisational skill and concise communication corresponding with the design team as well as various international fabric mills. The role continues to teach me about fabrics, especially tailoring fabrics, strengthening my fundamental knowledge of textiles.

Embellishment and Embroidery intern at Gyunel
A part of the team that sews large scale couture embroideries in preparation for Paris fashion week, frequently working till deadlines and to a high standard, as well as doing studio errands, and often working beyond contracted hours.

Embellishment intern at Mary Katrantzou

A part of a team of interns that undertake studio errands and help sew large scale quirky couture designs for upcoming collections and bespoke commissions. Working from briefs set by my manager, I was required to make my own embroidery samples, challenging my imagination and design approach. Some of my designs had gowns modelled off of.