Making Art c/o Fashion
For a long time, I've always felt that my work as a Designer has been too commercialised to be considered "Art". I think it's partly because of the nature of the client work I've taken on in the past, fitting with aspirations of a career in identity focused design. But beyond a project here or there, I never really made things just for me, or just for the sake of Art.
Over the last couple years I've become increasingly interested in the concept of Multidisciplinism and moving beyond singular creative disciplines, all in an effort to be the strongest & most versatile Creative I can be. Think "Be strong to be useful" but applied to Creativity and Design. Multidisciplinism resonates with me so much so that I wrote my university thesis on its importance to contemporary Creatives and am currently working on a multi-outcome series talking to Creators about their own working processes and more.
I realised I wanted to find a discipline or approach that would allow me to make something that could; A. Exist as subjective "Art", B. Reflect certain beliefs & values, and C. Be tangible. Through a growing interest in Fashion, and through my work for the clothing brand FKA Ethics & Antics, I realised Fashion Design might be what I was looking for.
Fashion is reflective, it's political, it tells a story without saying a word, it can be a spectacle or understated, and admired for both its aesthetics and/or its ideology. It's Art as I understand it.
I'm no stranger to designing clothes like graphic tees & hoodies but in January 2016, I started to design a full cut & sew collection. In January 2017, I started to then work on making it a reality. I visited trade shows, spoke to manufacturers and Creatives in the industry, and decided to teach myself the necessary skills needed in order to do as much of the work "in-house" as possible, all continuing with my multidisciplinary approach to design. To date, I've patterned and prototyped 6 different garments.
The collection, made under the brand "YouSeven" and currently subtitled "Vanilla", is designed to be a capsule of modern everyday essentials for the contemporary Creative.
As a lover of the capsule & modular wardrobe concepts, I wanted a small selection of items that harmoniously work together yet still cater for every occasion. I wanted to design something subtle, with minimal branding and well-considered details. All made with quality ethical production and sustainable fabrication. Reflecting my interest in environmentalism, I am also partnering with the Care Label Project initiative to help challenge outdated care habits and misleading care instructions. My finished garments will proudly carry their "Don't Overwash" tags.
It may just be a side project & a dream for now, I'm sure things will change and evolve over time too, but I'm happy with the designs so far. Expect essential items made from Organic Cotton blends, presented with a few construction twists along the way. The collection is a long way off any kind of release, and ultimately won't be ready until it's ready. When it is though, I'll be sure to let everyone know. In the meantime I'll be sure to share more of its progress.
Follow for updates.
- Wil @yousevenuk