Hunter McFarlane is a Canadian-Londoner menswear fashion design student at The London College of Fashion (UAL) and the creator of Gundog Studios. Her graduate collection is called “The Arsonist” and it focuses on protesting the working conditions emergency first responders face on and off the job both mentally and physically. The collection features industrial textiles using traditional methods, the up-cycling of firefighter uniform and advanced fire retardant textiles used in European workwear. In the visuals for the collection, models can be seen completely on fire. The emotion which follows is to create an atmosphere of what comes with loosing everything, including your sanity.
The collection is modelled after Hunter’s father who was a platoon chief of the Ottawa Fire Service. Every year thousands of firefighters die from various cancers from the job and every year more and more of these first responders commit suicide. Growing up, Hunter watched her father attend countless funerals for his colleagues and the distress of re-telling the aftermath of horrific events from decades ago. This collection is about bringing together fashion, science and activism. Once the collection sells, proceeds will be donated to the London Fire Brigade and Ottawa Fire Service to help better psychological services. Hunter plans on continuing her work with hope to one day re-design the uniform and textile of these emergency first responders to completely irradicate if not decrease the possibility of ever getting cancer on the job again.