The impact of Covid 19, and the lockdowns that followed in its wake, have been challenging both globally and in New Zealand. These circumstances influenced my approach to this work, leading to an investigation on how the lack of offshore production and imports of textiles would affect New Zealand and how this lifestyle worked in the past. This inspired me to look at what is readily available for use within our country in addition to our history of textiles and garment making.
A purely conceptual project in the beginning, the work evolved quickly into wearable garments while still depicting New Zealand's past, present, and the potential future fashion industry. The limited production of fabrics for fashion in New Zealand led me to research alternative means of developing textiles and garments. This brought me to experimenting with recycling pre-used woollen blankets and clothes from the iconic kiwi brand, Swanndri.
The experimental textile development had an unpredictable nature to it, which with constant rework, turned the garments into more recognisable and wearable items. The use of various techniques, such as a glue-water solution, spray paint, and dyes transformed the wool blankets, creating an unexpected, but desirable look and feel. These techniques have inspired me to look further into fabric manipulation methods, such as natural dyes, dye techniques, and printing, as well as potentially felting and morphing the blankets and Swanndri together.
This process allowed for unconventional silhouettes, with the fabric manipulation creating depth within each garment. Due to the focus on up-cycled materials used throughout the process, the title Discarded fit the feel of the collection perfectly.