Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of East London’s BA Fashion design course, specialising in creating womenswear collections. Her graduate collection is titled ‘God’s own Country’ which refers to Yorkshire, northern England, where she is from. The focus of her graduate collection was to represent the lifestyle and characters of her grandparents, and to celebrate the town where they lived and worked, and where she grew up. Taking inspiration from her family history, she collected materials, objects, photographs and stories, to help inform the designs in her collection. Her Grandad was a draughtsman in a local lightbulb factory, where he worked after serving as a solider in WW2. Jessica’s Grandmother was her second parent, who raised her along with her mother.
The design process is very important to Jessica, as it is a way in which she can communicate stories and celebrate treasured memories of times gone by and of loved ones who influenced her to become the designer she is today. One of the most important design features in the collection is the rippling of fabric created by using buttons in an unconventional way. The technique was developed to represent the way in which Jessica’s Grandmother would mismatch buttons when getting dressed, a fond memory she holds of her.
Having created this design detail, Jessica also developed a unique button and buttonhole to use within the collection. She handmade all the buttons used on the garments, using resin casting, to create buttons in the shape of lightbulbs, to reference the factory in which her Grandad used to work. The buttonholes are also an original design, unique to this collection.