Alifia thrives by creating emotional designs, her recent collection specifically focussing upon the recent Covid-19 pandemic and the effects that it has had upon all of our mental states. Through reflection, whilst the world was stuck in limbo; places usually bustling with life in inner cities were eerily quiet, this inspired the budding designer to design and create an emotional collection. Read more to understand the thought process behind the Global Young Talent’s designs.
What was the main inspiration behind your recent collection?
Liminal Spaces! During the first ever serious lockdown in London due to Covid-19, it felt almost like a crime going to the grocery store. The streets which was once bustling with people were completely deserted! It felt familiar to go outside for necessities but a grave sense of discomfort overtook my senses, these physical areas became a liminal space. Similarly, the emotional turmoil during the pandemic was heightened by the unknown future. We were crossing over to a new way of life but not yet leaving the old one behind and unknown of the next move—this hauntingly surreal lucidity is what inspired my collection.
Your designs consist of a solid white colour, what was the reason for selecting this colour?
Actually, every year Central Saint Martins first year fashion design students are asked to create a project with the given white fabric, this is the longest standing project at my university. The highly anticipated White Show then takes place end of autumn term.
However, I would like to comment as my project was also inspired by coffins, we Bangladeshis wear the colour white to funerals. This fact brought more emphasis on the coffin embodied skirt.
We were crossing over to a new way of life but not yet leaving the old one behind and unknown of the next move
You said that the pandemic played an influence within your designs, how did you feel throughout the pandemic and how has it impacted upon your life?
During the mid of the project I lost someone very close to me to the virus, and my project instantly just became an expression of how I felt. My work I feel is an extension of myself, my art is connected to my soul. There was overwhelming feelings of distress, discomfort and being lost. I felt compelled to release these emotions and they came out all over this collection. It was a deep, conceptual and dark time for me, and my work imminently reflected that nature. Emotional chaotic trauma was expelled onto the design of the collection, the top depicts a twisted body in discomfort, the face covered to bring emphasis on an uneasy feeling and the lack of breathing. I felt I could not do anything else until I got all these overwhelming emotions out through my art. I was restless.
My work I feel is an extension of myself, my art is connected to my soul.
The pandemic has had a large impact upon all areas of our lives, how do you think it has impacted the fashion industry?
There has been a larger shift of how fashion shows have been conducted. More growth in the digital technological elements of a show, how fashion shows are seen through the screen is different from in person. The pandemic I feel has forced this shift towards a reliance of digital technology. I also feel that more designers are questioning sustainability of their clothes. Doing several seasons a year, with mountains of clothes being wasted, the negative impact that has on our environment has been highlighted by the drop in consumerism during the pandemic. Along with political campaigns of large brands not paying and exploiting their workers, more awareness has been spread on these matters and urgency for fashion brands to be more transparent.
Looking forward, what can we expect to see from your designs within the future?
I enjoy experimenting with all sorts of mediums and materials, truly questioning the conceptual aspect of my work and exploring that without any boundaries. It depends what I am being haunted by at the time of my creations to truly say what can be expected in the future, however I will say that I am always in a surreal state of mind.
Discover Alifia Hamid full collection
Words by Holly Cramman