Cecily Cracroft-Eley is a knitwear designer whose work has been featured on SHOWstudio, Dazed and in V Magazine styled by Katie England, all before she even graduated. She is also a scholar of the prestigious Sarabande: Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation. For her placement year in 2017, Cecily went to Rwanda and Uganda with The Paper Fig Foundation to teach women there how to sew, passing on skills needed to work, and earn their own money. She returned to Uganda this April to work on her BA graduate collection, named ETAKA. She worked with the residents of the Namuwongo district of Kampala on techniques including hand crocheting, embroidery and metal work, all of which contributed to her final, standout collection.
As a young designer, Cecily finds it important to recognise the value of craftsmanship and sustainability, both of which are something she always seeks to incorporate into her work. Climate today is in a state of catastrophe. Considering her own place in the creative renewal of the catastrophe, Cecily’s work is made primarily from recycled and natural materials. It is also for this reason she places a large emphasis on the handmade. Valuing the process of time serves both as a therapy and a protest against the voracious cycle of the fashion treadmill, which weaves obsolescence into the very fabric of its garments. Cecily is interested in knitwear in particular as it brings about a whole creative process so that everything down to the very fabric of the garment is original.