MA Menswear 2011- 2013
The ‘Sound Series’ is a study of craftsmanship, quality and artisan textiles in British heritage through the medium of sound. These elements of British heritage and sound formed the backbone of my research throughout my MA at The Royal College of Art. My aim was to present them as one in the context of menswear design and products.
British Heritage : During my MA at the RCA, I travelled across the UK from the Highlands of Scotland through the Outer Hebrides down into Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South of England seeking out unique British manufacturers. Spending time and working with these companies has given me enormous respect for their craft and has taught me the importance of the unique skills, knowledge and products Britain has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to visit and work with companies such as Harris Tweed Hebrides, Mackintosh, Abraham Moon & Sons, Bower Roebuck, W.T Johnson & Sons, Ferguson Polycom, Savile Clifford and Johnstons of Elgin. I have worked with each company to understand the particular processes involved in the manufacturing of their products, from the making of yarn, fabrics and cashmere knitwear, to footwear and handmade outerwear garments.
Sound : I have been experimenting with techniques to show the process of sound in visual form, working it through concepts and into product. The assistance of the companies mentioned above has enabled me to develop high quality British product with the concept of sound integrated into fabric, form, and detail.
Sound Series. A series of outerwear and tailored structures, with the concept of sound integrated into fabric, form and detail. Built from thread to garment through unique British skill, knowledge and craftsmanship.
1. Soundwave Deconstruction
2. Soundwave Geometric
Johnstons of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin has been creating the finest woollen and cashmere cloth since 1797. Their development and production is spread across two mills, Elgin and Hawick. The Elgin mill produces the woven fabrics and the Hawick mill produces the Cashmere knitwear. I have worked with both mills in developing my concept through their woven fabric and cashmere knitwear.
3. Soundwave Reconstruction
4. Soundwave Distortion
Home to Bower Roebuck and Savile Clifford producers of the finest worsted and tailored cloths. The Mill rests in a valley beside a stream. Here cloth making has flourished for almost 500 years. Older then the trees that give it shade this plot of land has supported generations of skilled Yorkshire people- many family names have remained on the payroll since the pre-Elizabethan times. Skills passed down from one generation to the next. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with these craftsman and learn the basics of their skills.
I came across Savile Clifford by chance whilst spending time at Glendale mill. Bower Roebuck is the parent company of Savile Clifford, both utilise the modern weaving facilities of the mill to produce some of the worlds finest cloth. I have been working together with the design team at Savile Clifford the amazing Ben Jones and Hayley Cresswell in developing the sound fabrics : Deconstruction, Pinstripe Distortion and Check Reconstruction.
5. Soundwave Abstract
Harris Tweed is one of the most desirable wool textiles in the world and is the most iconic of all the tweeds. Produced exclusively in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland on the island of Harris and Lewis where it has been a way of life for centuries. Hand woven in the homes and sheds of the islanders, it is the work of artisans with skills passed down from one generation to the next. During my time at the Royal College of Art I have visited the island on a few occasions, to work closely with the weavers and designers such as Ken Kenndy to learn about the fabric, the environment and the people & processes involved in the development of the tweed.
Harris Tweed Hebrides is one of the main producers of Harris Tweed on the Island, with them I have been developing the Abstract sound wave pattern. Working closely with their head designer Ken Kennedy, together we have developed the pattern which creates the illusion subtle movement within the fabric. A shadow check.
Below is the first sample of the Shadow check. I have also been working with a fabric finishing company W.T Johnsons and sons from Huddersfield West Yorkshire, in developing a new finish for Harris Tweed which gives it a crisp modern finish.
Outerwear Structure Development
The sound fabrics have been bonded and waterproofed by Ferguson Polycom. They are then hand crafted into outerwear structures by Mackintosh.