Lucy Grays’ ‘Coral Textures’ is a graduate collection of woven fashion fabric designs for high-end A/W womenswear that are a celebration of colour and pattern inspired by the Coral Reef. Lucys’ own images of coral reefs and images found online, inspire the collection visually. Key WGSN trends were researched, along with artists such as Yellena James, who creates underwater abstract art exploring colour and pattern. Lucy wanted to create a collection that both used texture and pattern elements which show off her personal design style, as well as exploring embroidery, foiling, beading and screen printing. Her collection is based around a bright, funky colour palette.

During sketchbook development, Lucy, used acrylic paint and mark-making tools to make underwater collages and generate the irregular shapes, textures and patterns taken from corals and sea life. Lucy then used pens, crayons and iridescent tapes to create different textures and to emulate the reflection of water.

Textile designers such as, Malhia Kent and Linton Tweeds inspired the style of fabric development for this collection. Different weights and textures of cloth are created, using 2/32s and 2/7s worsted of carefully considered colours and proportions in weave structures, such as hopsack, honeycomb, warp satin and weft sateen combined with fancy yarns to create texture and a sense of decoration. Acid dyes are used to paint the warp to emulate the effect of the water-colour washes produced in the sketchbook development, however, on reflection, it was felt that a more structured and uniformed separation of colour works better for fabric designs. Embellishments such as foiling, embroidery, beading and appliqué are applied following the weaving process to represent the sense of pattern and decoration seen in the sketchbook. The above image is a small selection of Lucys’ fabric collection.

This is a few visualisations of Lucys’ final womenswear fabric collection. The final collection consists of around forty fabrics, with only a few being selected shown in the above images. The collection is aimed at designers, such as Chanel, Missoni, Ports and Mary Katrantzou whose customers are women with funky style who have a love of colour, print and pattern and are avid users of, and inspired by, images found on social media of the fashion catwalk shows. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lucy was unable to complete her collection and would have loved to see the rest of her collection come to life. Lucy would have woven more fabric, experimenting with bigger scales creating larger blocks of colour and finalising embellishment ideas such as foiling, screen-printing and embroidery.