GRADUATE SHOWCASE| Carrie-Ann Stein
Entitled ‘Postcards from Blackpool’, Stein’s collection is a conceptual study of the real Blackpool via the medium of postcards, knit and saturated prints. The collection is a conceptual vision of the real Blackpool; a vibrant seaside town of the North of England. Stein took the vivid colours of the neon prom and applied them to the unsung back streets, knit weave and cut-flat techniques, used in the textile industry in 19th century Lancashire, were used as a foundation for the modern-day technique of digital sublimation printing. This silhouette of the postcard was used to communicate the images and offer an alternative interpretation of the meaning and use of postcards in our digitally saturated age.
The pieces are both intriguing and aesthetically pleasing. Stein's beautiful colour combinations, unusual shapes, knit techniques and desire for print will stand in her good stead for a bright and promising future to come.
Central Saint Martins graduate Carrie-Ann Stein has a wealth of experience behind her including Brunello Cucinelli, Harvey Nichols and Grazia to name a few. The Fashion Scout Blog Team caught up with her for a chat about her SS14 collection.
You worked as a lawyer before realising your interest for textiles and design, what made you switch to fashion?
I graduated from Brunel University with an LLB in law and specialised in company and commercial law. Then I went on to work at Securitas, a global knowledge leader in security, for 4 years. At Securitas, I worked with a lot of logos and designs. I was always interested in design but saw it more as a hobby, along with textiles. As my interest for design grew, I decided to make some changes and turn my hobby into a career.
What changes did you have to make to get started?
I took a number of short courses in design, pattern-cutting and sewing at London College of Fashion before doing a 1-year foundation course in fashion at LCF. I enjoyed doing all the courses- I saw them as interesting ways to spend my time rather than something I ‘had’ to do.
Your designs are like works of art, how did you get each piece to stay in their shapes?
There’s lots of interfacing to make the designs stiff because I wanted to stay in line with the postcard shape. Interfacing is a stiff paper-like fabric, which is not very unforgiving- I used lots of that! The idea was that these would be an advert for a technique in an aesthetic. They’re like billboards in a way. Next spring, I’ll be producing a commercial collection based on these techniques. They’ll be more wearable.
What do you believe makes a quality item of clothing?
A quality item of clothing for me would be fabric that’s made in the UK that I closely keep an eye on. I like fabric that’s manufactured in the UK because you can oversee the production of it. I’d say attention to detail on openings and fastenings is important too so that garments can be worn again and again. They can stand the test of time and be worn in future generations.
Have you got any heroes in the fashion industry?
Mary Katranzou would DEFINITELY be my design hero because she’s conceptual and all about print. She’s really inspired me.
What would you tell aspiring designers wanting to break into the industry?
I would say, spend an enormous amount of time figuring out what it is that you love and what it is that inspires you. You have to love what your design project is and you have to really know yourself- the only way that you’ll produce beautiful projects is if you dig deep and you produce something that means something to you. If it means something to you, it will mean something to other people.
How does it feel to be showcasing at Fashion Scout?
It is an absolute honour- it means so much that I was accepted for Fashion Scout. It is a privilege to be with these other amazing designers who are MA students- they’re further on than me with their education. They’ve been working for 1 or 2 years more than I have so I feel incredibly proud to be here and be a part of it all.
By Georgia Hathaway, Contributor. Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgiaHathaway
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Photography by Jamike Latif, @JamikeLatif