Behind the sustainable punk rock collection is the Heriot-Watt alumna, Lillie Bell The Scotland based designer had always been focused on how to encourage the move away from fast fashion and toward sustainability. In her latest collection, she explores ways to incorporate a sustainable element, by re-construction and repurposing of charity shop pieces only. As part of our Global Young Talent in the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, we had the pleasure of speaking to the Heriot-Watt University alumna about energy, rebellion, freedom and individuality.

You will soon be graduating from Heriot-Watt University in fashion design, where does your love for fashion stem from?

For as long as I can remember I have had a profound admiration for fashion, I was particularly drawn to bright colours, eclectic prints and contrasting textures. I think what I love most about fashion is its power to reflect who we are as people without using words. Fashion is about self-expression and attitude, embracing who we truly are.
 
 
"For as long as I can remember I have had a profound admiration for fashion, I was particularly drawn to bright colours, eclectic prints and contrasting textures." 




 
What was the main source of inspiration behind your graduate collection?

My graduate collection was heavily inspired by the punk rock subculture. It is about energy, rebellion, freedom and individuality in a world where one should be a ‘good, polite girl’. I incorporated traditional versus contemporary ideology of who the ‘woman’ is, should and can be, using various reconstructing, layering, dying and painting techniques. The resulting garments demonstrate the fusion of contrasting attitudes, between the idea of the ‘good, polite girl’ and the rebellious punk, with the latter playing the conquering lead.
 
 

 
What sets your collection apart are the unique prints used, could you share your design process with us?

I investigated the punk subculture and the changing attitudes of traditional femininity in contrast to punk-related ideologies, which are mostly concerned with individual freedom and non-conformity in all genders. Further inspirations in my collection were the works of Charles Jeffrey and Vivienne Westwood; and their consistent use of tartan and check. A key part of my design process was experimenting with existing charity-shop garments on the stand, through reconstructing, cutting up and layering. This influenced the silhouettes further. Referencing the chaotic punk aesthetic, the second-hand fabrics were dyed using spray-paint to add a rough edge.

"A key part of my design process was experimenting with existing charity-shop garments on the stand, through reconstructing, cutting up and layering. This influenced the silhouettes further."


Your collection heavily focuses on sustainability and upcycling, how does this manifest itself in your final pieces?

I have always been interested in sustainability and how I, as a designer, can positively impact our planet. For this collection, I decided to focus on upcycling, through reconstructing old charity shop garments into new silhouettes, quite literally breathing new life into them.

What other plans and dreams do you have for the future?

Currently, I’m planning on taking a gap year, working and travelling abroad once the pandemic allows. I have always loved visiting new and exciting places and think it is fundamental in gaining different inspirations for designs! In the future, I would love to either have my own brand, or work for a company with the same values as mine. Helping to make this world a better place through sustainability, transparency, equality and freedom is a huge part of what I want to achieve.

"In the future, I would love to either have my own brand, or work for a company with the same values as mine. Helping to make this world a better place through sustainability, transparency, equality and freedom is a huge part of what I want to achieve."

Discover Lillie Bell's full collection




Words by Reka Dala
 
 
 
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