COMMON Å COMMUNĒ
The process begins with a series of questions, usually related to the current social climate, particularly within the context of females, gender equality and analysing the social roles of women. This enables me to propose an intention for the collection which becomes an anchor point for future decisions. Secondly, I will select the garment pieces I want to focus on - Denim, Tops, Footwear etc and I will build a self proposed brief around them. Although this sounds slightly restricting, I find the act of establishing the constraints during the initial stages of the process helps to quickly gain clarity in the direction the design will take. Following on from the brief, I begin to carry out in depth research consisting of multiple reference boards containing key words, literature, visuals and colour palettes. Using the research I will construct a project concept which tends to involve the “theory into practice” approach. As a creative I am heavily led by conceptual design as opposed to visual imagery informing design. I find this allows the evolution of the design process to be less predictable and results in a far less literal outcome. The concept then gives birth to the methodology, which provides the framework for sustainable production; everything from fabrication sourcing to garment deconstruction/reconstruction and silhouette will be informed by this conceptual method of working. Finally with the design outcome in hand I will critically analyse the aspects that worked well and the aspects which were less successful. This post critical process creates the feedback loop which enables me to evolve the ideas and techniques that I want to further explore. By doing this, I find that it gives the collections a sense of cohesion which hopefully illustrates both a consistent design language as well as an ongoing refinement of my aesthetic. For example during the initial stages of experimentation It became apparent that lines would become a recurring element within my design DNA, which perfectly aligned with the COMMON Å COMMUNĒ brand message of connectivity, community and commonality.
Previously studied photography and art direction, became really interested in multidisciplinary approaches to communication and the study of semiotics. Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time researching and exploring ways to communicate meaning. Looking subjectively at fashion, particularly British fashion, I felt there was space for a womenswear brand that had modernity and functionality at its core but still had the narrative and silhouette that expressed and explored ideologies around the modern female experience. I think it is important to mention that as a Black/Mixed Race female not only did I observe a lack of females leading in the contemporary design field but an even greater understanding that women of colour were and still are less represented at higher levels in all industries including fashion.
Purpose & Underlying Mission
I see my purpose in design as proposing a perspective on modern femininity, one which explores the underpinning of female psyche and the ways in which modern women navigate their environment. In a sense, it's a dual intention of both meeting the design and taste needs of women whilst simultaneously telling a new narrative that heavily resonates with their experience.
My intention is to use design to create social dialogue around gender, community and sustainability. 2020 has given me the space and the clarity to carefully consider how I want to contribute to fashion and design, with a focus on design as a form of communal service. Community, humanity, connection and modernity are pillar words that form the foundation of why and how I want to participate in this field and those words also informed the brand name “COMMON Å COMMUNĒ” . Ultimately the brand will be utilised through varying avenues and disciplines as a vehicle for social impact.