Tess McNab’s graduate collection ‘Beloved Sweetheart Bastard’- taken from the poem Havisham by Carol Ann Duffy takes inspiration from the emotions and image of the Charles Dickens Character and her twisted perception of life. Predominately the main source of inspiration comes from artists, their use of materials and interpretation of the human form. The self-titled exhibition held at the Royal Academy (Autumn 2019) Showcasing Anthony Gormley’s work was a significant influence, the plaster on blanket wall hanging is an example of this. The silhouette of Tess’s looks have been influenced by the supports used in reconstructive surgery, particularly those used in the treatment for scoliosis and the disjointed sculptures of Michael O’Keefe.
The juxtaposition of the term’s sweetheart and bastard in the same line is reflected in Tess’s use of fabrics and materials. Using materials associated with sculpture- mod roc and resin on fabrics that have drape, lightness and movement, constraining the characteristics of these fabrics adding hardness to something soft and delicate. Mod roc and resin have been moulded to the body and mod roc strips have been bonded to silk muslin, creating a heavy yet fragile outerwear fabric.
Choosing to use only white tones, was a direct influence from her key research, making use of contrasting meanings and associations- from purity to clinical. Demonstrating the variety of its impact as a colour. The base of Tess’s looks is in reference to a loose vest dress worn by contemporary dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, which she has interpreted in fabrics, silk chiffon, crepe de chine and Georgette. Capturing the raw, simplistic imagery of Pina Bausch and her choreography.