A collection dedicated to self-discovery & exploring my design handwriting.
My name is Danica and I am a fashion designer.
It may not seem like a difficult statement to most, but had you asked me before this project began, I would have been very hesitant to identify myself as a ‘fashion designer.’
I created this graduate project as an exploration of self. My goal was to create a concept that focussed on the idea of a ‘self-portrait’ depicted through my craft of fashion design.
This project has been a journey of self-discovery, acceptance and growth. It is about looking at what you have and turning it into something extraordinary instead of wishing after the things you do not have. This is a collection about embracing your weaknesses, harnessing your insecurities and realising that giving them these negative connotations is holding you back from using them to your advantage.
This collection was a self portrait. It was about looking to myself for inspiration and aiming to develop my skills as much as possible through a single project.
Through the idea of a self-portrait, I explored three themes that became evident throughout my design process and informed my final outcome; feminism, personal development and sustainability.
Feminism was my original focus and therefore one of the more influential areas of exploration. Feminism began as an incredibly daunting concept for me, as I had so much to say and was very unsure of how to communicate these ideas creatively. To make it more approachable I focussed on myself, looking to my own experiences and worked on defining my creative voice as a female, thus, the idea of a self-portrait. I looked to female muses for inspiration, focussing on Georgia O’Keeffe as a historical influence and The Row as a contemporary design influence. My collection was born around the idea of expressing myself and validating my creative ideas through the process of recreating Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic wardrobe for the modern woman.
Through personal development I focussed on the design process. I have always avoided illustration and found that my skills were lacking here, because of this I believed I could never work professionally as a designer. I chose to redefine my design communication techniques in this project in order to restructure my beliefs about my future in the fashion industry. Through this project I found that collage as a method of design was something that worked really successfully for me and was the method I used to design this collection. This was the most rewarding outcome, for the first time I felt confident in my design skills in a 2D format - a method that I will continue to apply and develop in years to come.
Lastly, sustainability has become a very important part of my identity and is something I have found I need to focus on more as a designer. Growing from the idea of personal development, I worked to develop myself as a sustainable designer. In this project this was applied not only to the materials, which are all 100% natural fibres, but also the design of the clothing. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, I worked to create a capsule collection that would transcend the trend model and remain relevant for a lifetime. This approach encourages consumers to ditch the trend model and redirect their focus to clothing that is made to last rather than being made to be discarded.
This collection is my starting point. Every reference is something I will continue to develop further over my career as I continue to find my voice as a fashion designer. I am excited to see what my future holds and what more I can say through my craft.