The concept for this collection really started with a love for the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. To me it has always been a very intriguing place as the subject matter is very dark and controversial, however I have always found that by looking closely at many of the articles inside there is something very beautiful about the make up of the specimens. The collections are there for medical display, and the museum used to house both animal and human remains.
The most intriguing remain being a skeleton effected by scoliosis, studying and drawing from this I found the twist in the spine up close became very beautiful , from there I spoke to a close friend who suffers from scoliosis and was able to provide me with x ray scans of her spine. This idea of creating something beautiful out of something very personal and provocative in thought. From there I was drawn to look at sculpture and how artists had abstracted the human body. The collection aims to create a second skin for the wearer. Focusing on the idea of morphing between animal and human anatomy. Reflecting on my initial drawings from my research, I also wanted to create a print that would include drawings from my friend’s spine scans, but subvert the eye of the viewer and make them question what they were looking at.
To realise this concept I was very keen to use leather to create pieces that were layered, however I was also keenly aware that I wanted my collection to be as sustainable as possible and I wasn’t happy to use full leather skins so I looked for ways to incorporate leather scraps that have been left over from bag production. These scraps would otherwise not be used, so I made the decision to develop a textile, made up of all of the leather scraps, topstitched together, no leather pieces were cut, making use of the shapes left from industry cutting. This worked extremely well and gave me almost endless design options. It also meant that each leather piece is completely one off, and cannot be replicated precisely again.
Through my research I was also keen on developing a more experimental way of pattern cutting to create volume. Looking at shapes within my sculpture research, I was keen to cut more abstract pattern pieces and play with them through draping. By doing this I developed the technique which was used in my organza dress and coat. Bodice pattern pieces were cut as normal but then extended into skirt shapes, drawn freehand from pieces of abstract sculpture. This also left the offcuts of the fabric pieces which could also be used creating a huge amount less wastage.