Maryam Alsaei’s graduate collection ‘Elisus’ was inspired by artist John Chamberlain who created sculptures by crushing discarded car parts into three dimensional shapes. The collection takes its name ‘elisus’ from the Latin word for crushed. Maryam wanted to create a collection that connects art with fashion, where the focus is form over body proving that fashion can be seen as sculptures in living form.
Using Antonio Saura’s paintings for colour palette inspiration, Maryam created a monochromatic collection. The fabric board shows a variety of fabric types ranging from habotai wovens to jacquard jerseys. Thinking of designing a made to last collection, she opted for quality wool and silk fabrics to elevate the collection and bringing in metallic knits to add interest. To feature tailoring elements in the collection, she used herringbone waistband interlining - often used in men’s tailored trousers - to reinforce her trousers inner waistband and place as a design feature.
Initally, Maryam started free draping on mannequins to explore silhouette and drape. She later developed a draping technique using drape points and zig zag stitches where garments were deconstructed and re-configured to create crushed textures. During design development, Maryam played with different proportions and layering to achieve the desired final look.
This is Maryam’s final collection line up. The aesthetic focuses on feminine silhouettes with an emphasis on tailoring. The final garments are fluidly tailored, and appear to extend away from the body, becoming sculptural in their own right. Each look features crushed textures echoeing Chamberlain’s famous sculptures.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maryam was not able to create a photoshoot of her final collection on models to bring her work to life. While in quarantine, she decided to get creative and think outside the box. She encased her garments in Perspex sheets and used heavy duty clips to secure them as a way to display her collection as floating sculptures or pieces of art.