Lucia Ingels’ BA collection ‘EUNOIA: Beautiful Thinking for A Well Mind’ was inspired by both science and nature. It brings together three branches of psychology as well as the subconscious calming effects of nature, especially plants and water to create clothing that can positively influence health and wellbeing. To create a visual analysis of the therapeutic practices being explored, Lucia looked at the tangible effects of poor mental health; bruising, duvet days and vulnerability, as well as the Japanese idea of ‘forest bathing’ – surrounding oneself with nature to uplift mood. Using collaged images portraying these different elements helped to both determine the overall mood and colour palette.

Following this, she started to take images of molecular structures of ‘happy’ chemicals (oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine), and digitally collaged them over bodies to help determine her silhouettes. These initial guides were then used to pattern cut highly geometric shapes that would then ‘collapse’ and drape when worn. Once the designs were finalised, Lucia then moved on to a series of digital experiments to determine colour and gradient, as well as extensive sampling to find the right balance between yarn and stitch before settling on two approaches: - for the main garments: three techniques: beading, tuck and drop-stitch in fine yarns, and two out of three colours for each garment: green, purple and pink. - for the coat: three cable styles using a gradient of grey, purple and green in significantly chunkier yarn to give warmth and weight.

To create a dramatic, abstract weighted coat, Lucia decided against conventional pattern cutting methods. Inspired by an exhibition of Antony Gormley’s sculptures, she created her own ‘huddled man’ sculpture out of boxes and used it to make a semi-rigid cover from vinyl. This resulting structure was then used to pin all 32 panels of knitting into the correct shape and position before hand-sewing the garment together. A total of five kilograms of super-chunky alpaca yarn was used.

This is Lucia’s final CAD line-up of four looks plus one overcoat. Due to the COVID lockdown, she was only able to make the coat and dress 1 in ‘real’, but the other looks were constructed in mesh as an alternative, colourless range. You can see the full ‘alternative’ collection on her website and her Instagram, @lucia_ingels.