Gemma Breach’s graduate collection ‘How Does it Feel?’ was inspired by mental illness and its physical affects on the human body. Here she was able to take some real-life stories and take elements from each to inspire her design, in a fashion and textile aspect, to make sure she was being as accurate and designing as consciously as possible. Here she has tried to make sure that her work is more educational for those who don’t understand mental health rather than trying to make it a fashion statement.

Looking into misophonia, anxiety and depression she started to look into different objects and feelings that could influence the silhouette of the final garments such as a gramophone for her outfit inspired by misophonia. To make sure it could bring attention to these pieces she wanted to make them more theatrical with exaggerated shapes and amplified features such as an exaggerated skirt. Gemma wanted to use a mix of harsh and soft, sheer fabrics with the leather giving the restriction that she wanted in her clothing and the mesh giving the appearance of someone looking in as seeing the illness for themselves.

Using different techniques, she was able to create bold and abstract prints by manipulating paper and paint in different ways to make both the harsh lined print, created by grabbing paper with paint on her hands, inspired by the story for misophonia. The moth was created inspired by Rorschach prints with the moth symbolically meaning concealment. She created these prints using the charity colours associated with each illness to help show which outfit represented which mental illness.

This is Gemma’s final collection line up. With the COVID 19 pandemic still affecting work and using university facilities, she decided to adapt to the situation and use CLO 3D as she would be able to work from home. Gemma also used it as she is a big advocate for sustainable fashion so for her this was her way of practicing it. She created this line up with men and women as this is a gender free collection, using one of her main textile prints as a background.