More is more, a motto the fashion designer Patrick Garvey lives by. The Central Saint Martins fashion design student has had a varied upbringing, moving every so often. This nomadic lifestyle informed his outspokenly bright and loud style of design. Taking inspiration from his early travel experiences, the fashion designer pushes colour and silhouettes to their boundaries, letting his creativity take full control. His extravagant pieces have been featured in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, to no surprise. Read on to find out how exactly Patrick turns a plastic bags and some left-over food waste into a stunning couture-dress.
You are currently studying at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, why did you decide to study there and why fashion?
I decided to apply to Central Saint Martins, as I have always viewed it as one of the best universities for fashion. From an early age, I would look at the graduate collection from the CSM alumni, the diversity and creativity inspired me to apply, and where I am now enrolled. I hope that by the end of my time here, I have a greater sense of my style, as well as a better understand of how to be an excellent designer.
"I hope that by the end of my time here, I have a greater sense of my style, as well as a better understand of how to be an excellent designer"
I believe it’s safe to say you had a very diverse upbringing, living it a variety of different countries, how did this influence your design aesthetic?
Growing up in a variety of different countries has allowed me to better understand how creative people from all over the world work, what different materials they use and also, with which colour they primarily work. It has made me adaptable and sociable, as I was always had to make new friends and meet new people, I believe these are, too, important qualities for a designer. I have learnt from so many different people, and truly listening to the advice they had to give me has allowed me to get me where I am so far.
With your collection you didn’t shy away from very bold and vibrant colours, what was the main source of inspiration behind your graduation?
I love colour and I have never been afraid to use it, I find it boring to restrict yourself to black or white. My main source of inspiration was my own travel experiences, as a child. For example, when I was researching my time spent in Portugal, I research the famous blue tiles, as well as the architecture, often taking unusual shapes. I was also inspired by the different environment I lived in, with parts of my collection referencing seaweed and coral, referring back to times I used to live by the coast.
"I love colour and I have never been afraid to use it, I find it boring to restrict yourself to black or white"
What is most striking about your collection are the bold shapes and silhouettes, could you lead us through the design process?
My design process always starts with in-depth research, I like to section off my research into different sections, which ensures that I have enough material to develop into my final designs. Next, I use the shapes and silhouettes of my research to drape and gather design ideas as well as developing samples which usually involves knitting. After that, I develop my final looks which later leads to my sewing and knitting for hours on end.
What can we expect to see in your future designs?
I want to continue experimenting with silhouettes while also developing my knitting skills. Recently due to COVID-19, I have found myself experimenting with alternative materials. I made a dress from plastic bags and loft insulation, which I dyed with food waste. This was something I enjoyed doing, and something I shall keep exploring and developing as I continue through CSM. One thing is sure, I will continue to use a lot of vibrant colours and textures.
"I made a dress from plastic bags and loft insulation, which I dyed with food waste"
Discover Patrick Garvey's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens