The eye often plays tricks on us. We usually see what we want to see – our brains way of filtering out all the tiny nuances that would otherwise be too overwhelming. Anson Lau, a Textile Design graduate from Central Saint Martins focuses on these preconceptions and more often than not misconceptions. Taking some wise words from the wise philosopher Aristotle to heart, “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”, her collection focuses on the disparity between what we see and what actually is.

Anson’s collection wants you to engage in a dialogue with the pieces of clothes themselves. From personal shopping experiences she has noticed that just by looking at fabrics, its tactility tells another story, “whilst the fabric may visually appear to be comfortable, the experience when wearing them is quite the contrary”.

Her inspiration came from the artworks of Marina Abramović, Eliza Bennett and Justin Bartels. The works from these artists revolve around physical sensations through the use and the infliction of textiles and objects. Ambramović’s work looks at the pleasure and pain induced by external objects, Bennett uses her skin as a canvas for embroidery and Bartels photographs the marks left by the uncomfortable pieces of clothing on a woman’s skin. From these three key pieces of work, Anson’s collection centers on the superficial perception of an object.

Through a combination of yarns and threads, Anson was able to create special fibres that visually imbued the feeling of softness whilst its physical features were contradictory. By doing this, she places importance on the interaction between the wearer and the object worn. “The audience is required to observe the fabric first and then feel it so that they can immerse themselves in the contrast between comfort and discomfort. Wearing the fabric allows the wearer to feel this contrast”.