|Illustration by Andy Bumpus|
RCA graduate Anna Smit presented a selection of garments from ‘Illumine’; a collection dominated by soft sculptured shapes, strong silhouettes and precise construction techniques. An digital obmre fade from light to dark (inspired by the camera-less photography of Garry Fabian Miller) seeks only to exacerbate the curved and exaggerated forms that sculpt and manipulate the form of the wearer. “All my shapes are really round. It’s kind of simple. I guess you could say that’s my thing.”
If some pieces seem almost seamless, it’s because they almost are. A moulded midi pencil skirt featured only one seam, shaped by darts and folds, a oversized coat allowed the wearer to place their arms into the pockets. An ongoing fascination in the use of materials led to extensive fabric experimentation, Patent leather competes for attention alongside fine-spun mesh, textured heavyweight fabrics ground the pieces in the everyday. The designer herself explained, “When you get into digital prints, you find that there’s only really a handful of interesting fabrics you can print on. What I wanted to do was make my own fabric, I hand-coated my own grosgrain, in a process that takes almost three days!” Anna’s quest for perfection doesn’t end there. “I’ve bonded a lot of fabrics, layers of neoprene to create the exact finish I wanted.”
The designer has also been partaking in the VFS mentoring programme. “It’s so important to find out things from people who work in the business, I’d definitely recommend any new designers to try it I’ve really enjoyed the whole process and collaboration with VFS”. I for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing Anna put that knowledge into practice in the near future.
Text: Victoria Loomes