Anna Watson’s graduate project, ‘Costume à la Victime’ is a high-end sustainable womenswear collection designed to take busy people from office to evening, exploring methods of modular design, reversibility and innovative tailoring. Fabrics are low impact and/or upcycled and innovative fastening techniques ensure easy replacement or repair. Using bright colour and texture, pieces are timeless without looking boring.
A strong heritage story and ease of personalisation aims to encourage wearers to keep, mend and hand down these garments. The main source of aesthetic inspiration for this collection comes from the Incroyables et Merveilleuses, a French sub-culture from the 18th century which came about as a result of political turmoil and was characterised by very particular extravagant fashion. This links to the question of how the current pandemic and political issues as well as the climate emergency could affect the future of fashion.
Further aesthetic inspiration comes from the paintings of André Derain – whose use of colour and texture are particularly captivating – and from the concept of baby blankets – why do we form such strong connections to these textiles and how are they ‘personalised’ by excessive wear and tear? A print was developed from Derain’s shapes and applied to the fabric using potato printing.
Silhouettes were developed through draping and experimentation, using no pattern blocks. This means that garments contain very few seams, making for faster manufacture and reduced fabric waste. Each garment is fully reversible and highly adjustable, giving wearers plenty of options for sizing and styling.