Alice OLIVER – Kingston University
• Where and how do you find your inspiration?
I find the majority of my inspiration from vintage clothing found in antique shops, vintage shops and historical archives with a great deal of references from the 1920s and 30s, my work is often very romantic and sophisticated so I tend to build a story around that. My final collection was inspired by Glyndbourne opera house in the 1930s, photography of men in sport suits and women in delicate lace slip dresses provoked an exciting theme. Taking inspiration from vintage mens clothing and applying it to womenswear is something I find it very exciting. I feel my ideas of taking knitwear and applying it to couture dress is what makes my work unique to me.
• Why did you choose to use lace ?
I chose to use lace as my main woven fabrication along side my knitwear because I wanted a material that would add a luxurious and romantic feeling to the collection, the Lace created the right emotion for this. The delicate nature of the lace made it the perfect companion to my fine metallic knit. Sophie Hallette lace was perfect for me because the lace I selected was extremely light and delicate which gave it a vintage feel.
• How did you you work the lace ? (specific technics used ? dye technics ? ..)
I mainly appliquéd the lace onto other fabrics such as tulle, satin and the knitted garments to create a variation of textures on my garments. Swarovski beads were then embellished on top of the lace adding another lux element. As well as this the lace was used to make roulette loops, blouses with gathers and puff sleeves-recreating the iconic silhouettes from the 1930s formal wear.
• What did you want to express through your creations?
As a designer the story and emotion behind a collection is really important to me, The feelings and emotions I wanted to get across most with my work is passion , as well as this the feeling of nostalgia created using a blended tonal colour palette inspired by Monet’s Lake paintings. Glyndebourne opera house has a special place in my heart because I’ve spent many summers working there so it was important to get across the same expression in the collection as I feel for the opera house.
• What are your future projects?
In the future I would like to continue to explore my ideas for knitwear becoming more formal and tailored, I have a real love for lace and other delicate fabrics so I feel they will also become a part of my handwriting as a young designer. I would like to explore further the idea of combining knit and lace on the same garment.
• For you, as a young designer, what is the future of lace in fashion ?
For me I find lace most interesting when it is combined with other fine fabrics to create unique fabrication such as appliqué , I see lace as being the window to a garment, giving away a bit of whats behind. In the future I think lace could be incorporated more into everyday smart clothing both women wear and menswear , and as I said combined and layered with other fabrics to crate depth and interest.