Chloe Newman’s Final Major Project’s Concept is inspired by the series and real life events of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, that occured in 1986. The accident took place at the No.4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat. It is considered to be the worst nuclear disaster in history. The Babushkas are a group of old women, that have clung to their ancestral homeland inside the radioactive ‘Exclusion Zone’ and refused to leave. The decision was made that because these women were old, they were allowed to stay, due to them dying of old age before the radiation could affect them. The Babushkas homes are extremely depressing and run down, however, beautiful hand painted floral cloths and cutlery are decorated around the interior. These are called Petrykwka decorative paintings and were the inspiration behind Chloe’s feminine touch in her collection.
Chloe’s passion is the design process. She gained inspiration as the series ‘Chernobyl’ unfolded, her masculine, over-sized silhouette was inspired by the military uniforms, tailoring and protective clothing used in the drama and in the real life event. A key detail in her collection is ruching, this was influenced by the elastic used in the hazmat suits, to protect the workers from radiation.
Chloe had the opportunity to explore her love of painting when creating this beautiful print. The print is inpsired by the Petrykwka Decorative Paintings, found in the Babuhska’s homes. These paintings were an Ukrainian folk painting that has played a spiritual role in peoples lives for centuries. From the ancient times, people believed that in beauty there is magical and spritual strength, and therefore windows and doors, dishes and clothes, everything should be framed by ornament to protect the people inside. Although their homes were run down and had a cold, depressing feel, the paintings brought colour and hope for a brighter future.
Chloe’s main focus was to create an exceptional executed collection with unique details and textural fabrics. Her attention to detail is shown within her garment finishes, from raw edges, to binded seams and top-stitch details to hand sewn hems, this collection surely has a bit of everything. Chloe’s collection features masculine and feminine styles, this is shown within the fabric and silhouette choices. Her over-sized silhouettes are nipped in at the waist by leather belts, her fabrics vary from delicate, floral chiffon to a chunky knitted wool and an elegant silk satin to a hard-wearing denim, this shows that Chloe has an eye for collating a mixture of materials.