Saffron Rutter’s ‘Reasons To Be Fearful’ collection showcases traditional forms of craft such as quilting and patchwork and updates them using unexpected materials like latex and leather. These forms of craft are often overlooked- historically dismissed as ‘womens work’, a lot of incredible textile techniques were written off solely due to the sexist nature of society, and it is only recently that these methods are being reinvented within the fashion industry.
Rather than dismiss the work of the women who helped create these techniques, ‘Reasons To Be Fearful’ highlights and celebrates them- historical craft deserves to be recognised, and the skills involved taken seriously, not just now that it has been picked up by the mainstream. The collection celebrates the meanings that these women- and in the case of some war blankets, men- sewed into their work. Quilts that were used to cope with anxiety, handkerchiefs that were decorated with secret messages, and even the Bayeux tapestry, an embroidery containing hidden scenes from the lives of the women who created it.
The silhouettes in the collection are inspired by clothing which, through connotation, has become associated with fear. Uniforms, religious garbs, judge’s and headmasters cloaks to name a few. The way that clothing can invoke feelings of anxiety is a facinating topic which Saffron aims to highlight. The contrast between this and the textiles used to help combat feelings of fear is a purposeful juxaposition meant to showcase how clothing can impact mental health in more ways than one, and how important fashion can be.