Final year project
Rani: Queen [Read more]
Traditional Indian silks heavily inspired the natural material selection of the collection, featuring screen-printed 100% Mulberry, Dupion, Tussah and Hemp-Silk mixes. Reinterpreting fashion fabrics and up-cycled saree fabrics as luxury interior soft furnishing materials in the print room using acid print pastes and gold pigment presented an opportunity to innovate to obtain intriguing multi-layered lustrous and high-quality finishes.
Screen-printed 2-layer sheer Silk Organza length. Celebrating the textures and rawness of traditional Indian woodblock printing, this flowing sheer provides an elegant sense of airiness to the collection.
Close up of screen-printed silks. Ikat prints of Gujarat, a state on the West Coast of India, navigated the layered textural approach to the collection's stubby silks. The gold pigment is used as a finishing process to create an understated sense of luxury and echo the richness of the project's initial jewellery inspiration.
Screen-printed silk saree fabric. Combining multiple experimental print processes to initially extract colour then layer hand-painted screens and gold pigment paste built an animated textile sample demonstrating an innovative approach to repurposing fabrics.
Screen-printed 3-layer iridescent Dupion silk.
Screen-print onto 100% sheer silk in gold.
Multi-layered screen-print onto silk cotton using hand-painted processes.
'Rani: Queen' is a contemporary material celebration of my rich Indian maternal ancestry, amassing a curated display of outcomes orientated around Indian jewellery and traditional adornment.
Indian jewellery, bridal adornment and traditional textiles invoked the direction of this investigation. Observation of old wedding albums dating back to 1947 evoked an unignorable desire to honour the women who so elegantly adorned themselves in the rich traditional motives and materials central to my culture. Imperative to this project was creating a visual bridge between the old and the new: commemorating a long-standing aesthetic which has transcended generations as well as elevating the project appropriate for a contemporary and commercial interior design application. Incorporating texture and distressed motives, recognition of historic craft processes such as block printing and hand-dyeing treatments, and Indian-origin fabric sourcing combine with an elegant palette of shibori-inspired indigo blues, tonal jade greens and pistachio balanced with dusty pinks to elevate the scheme into the 21st Century.
Final year project
Commencing the year in industry was a placement with Dunelm as a Design Intern. The highly practical, design orientated nature of the internship provided a plethora of continuous opportunities to engage in and impact live briefs across departments. Working alongside a highly inspirational design team, built in me personal and professional skills both technically within design practice, and in the wider context of a working environment. The greatest achievement was creating original prints from scratch which were used in Autumn/Winter 2020, Christmas 2020 Spring/Summer 2021 and Promotional collections across cushions, bedding, rugs, curtains, home accessories, garden decoration and gifting. A high level of competency with design software was paramount, as was the ability to generate quality responses across design styles to the company's seasonal trends and global trends at pace. Operating with an increased level of responsibility, I personally conducted one-to-one meetings with suppliers which informed new season print direction which expanded my industrial awareness beyond physical design work. An extremely rewarding placement experience, the met challenges and introduction to the world of textile design set a tone of determination and a keenness to utilise every learning opportunity in the following placements and future work.
Completing a placement as a member of the Fabric and Trims Development Team at Burberry's Westminster Head Office, presented me the opportunity to engage in a new industrial sector. The challenge of working in a busy London environment at a time of vast political friction and within the unfamiliar fashion industry were embraced. Working across Womenswear, Menswear and Kidswear creating fabric sourcing portfolios, material specification pages for VIP projects and celebrity collaborations and archiving print collections from overseas mills, Seasonal and Runway teams created an engaging sense of variety each day. Transitioning from a design-focused interior textile placement to a high-end fashion house in the fabric development team was a jump worth taking since it instilled an all-important sense of adaptability imperative in every sector of the design industry.
Placement as a Womenswear Intern at Ted Baker's London Head Office once again added to the varied set of experiences which resulted in a wholesome year in the industry. The pace of working in the high-end fashion industry once again inspired a rapid comprehension and engagement with assignments. Key tasks involved developing new-season fabric sourcing specification mood boards with the Print Design Team, reviewing samples from suppliers and textile mills, creating material colour palettes and dressing models for a Womenswear 'On-the-body' garment fittings catwalk show for senior buyers and directors. Absorbing information from regular departmental design team meetings discussing new season print inspiration, current exhibition inspiration, global trends and future material direction galvanised an understanding of how to approach design collections with inventive approaches. As a print-orientated company with a recognisable aesthetic, it was invaluable to understand the design team's process and responsibility behind maintaining a global brand whilst also innovating. Extensive exposure to different sectors within the design industry and a multitude of varied design tasks across placements amasses to an immeasurable amount of professional, technical and interpersonal skills. The experiences orientated me to approaching my final year informed and confident in my design abilities and have no doubt furthered my ambition and excitement entering the design industry.