The starting point for this project was the legacy of conflict in Northern Ireland and the impact that can still be felt today. This is particularly notable within the male population and is discussed by Karen Nickel in her thesis. She says that women were concerned about their "menfolk" who were, "hiding their emotions behind an angry silence".
As a textile designer Lauren wanted to communicate, albeit abstractly, some of the emotion and energy that surrounds things that have gone unsaid. She explored this idea through a collection of bold knitted fabrics or menswear fashion. Fashion can be used as a mirror for society; a reflection of what has been happening in Northern Ireland and a commentary on it. Her primary visual research focused on industrial spaces within predominantly Protestant and Catholic cities across Northern Ireland. She took close up photographs of worn out textures and surfaces that visually embody the narrative of the project.
Through a process led exploration of materials, Lauren developed an experimental yet methodical design approach to the development of colour, pattern and structure. Then created a collection that plays on the jarring and discordant which explores unknown narratives prominently. She showcased her fabrics as contemporary, high end Menswear.
Colour was integral to this project from the very beginning. Lauren focused on capturing images that held potential for colour and texture. This explorative nature fed right through the project. This forced her to explore different methods of achieving colour and texture for her textiles in different mediums.