Nanayaa Ntiri-Akuffo is a recent Fashion BA (Hons) graduate from Ravensbourne University London 2020. Specialising in Womenswear, her work also forms a strong focus on the development of textiles through print, knit and fabric manipulation techniques. The way in which Nanayaa works is very tactile, and she enjoys the endless possibilities of experimenting with different processes and techniques to create texture in innovative ways. With print and textiles being essential to Nanayaa’s work, she often experiments with how these can assist in developing silhouettes. Within her work, Nanayaa uses fabrication as a central way to portray her conceptual ideas.
Alongside her studies at Ravensbourne, Nanayaa has interned at brands such as Mary Katrantzou and Erdem. During her time at both of these studios, she deepened her knowledge and interest in Print & Textile design and Fabric Development.
Initially inspired by her mother’s garden and the woman in her family who has a natural love for gardening, Nanayaa’s graduate collection ‘Garden Pleasures’, explores the story of a woman whose adoration of her own garden consumes her. Rupi Kaur’s poem ‘this morning I told the flowers what I’d do for you and they blossomed’ is suggestive of how the garden reflects the muse’s devotion to her lost lover. Like Valerie Finnis and her husband Sir David Scott, a love of gardening brought them together and their marriage flourished. However, the passing of her lover left her in solitude with a yearning for his company to help tame their once beautiful garden. As time passed the widow’s sanity began to dwindle as the garden grew wilder, again reflecting her inner most feelings – becoming overgrown and blossoming out of control. The garden has devoured her, weeds and roots outgrowing her Victorian greenhouse seeping out and consuming the inner walls of her home. The muse becomes at one with her garden; it is part of her. Vines are her veins and the earthy textures of moss and algae crawl over her skin. And as her love for her late husband will never die, therefore neither will her garden. The heart of a woman and the heart of a flower both exposed and protected, bloom as one.
Integral to this collection is an experimental development of custom textiles. Fabrications created are inspired by the raw and organic nature of the natural world, with some pieces encasing real moss and flowers within them. These tactile fabrications are central to portraying the narrative of this collection but also to share a love and appreciation for the natural world. This strong focus on creating texture alongside the use of colour and graphic artworks, compliment the creatively cut silhouettes within the collection, which also take inspiration from organically growing natural forms.