‘We cannot afford cheap things’
The project with Burberry is called ‘ Inside-Outside’ and asks the students to design a collection of beautiful fabrics to inspire fashion designers, which makes the most of their fabrics’ qualities in stitch, weave, knit, print and digital production.
This project blog will give the participating students an opportunity to showcase their work as it develops, allowing them to capture their thoughts and visual inspirations, and to create intelligent and thoughtful posts. It will act as a communication tool between the seventy or so students, the staff and consultants, and the Burberry team - over a hundred people in total!
The link between Chelsea College and Burberry is our location here at Millbank as well as a deep commitment to the development of innovation and quality in the design and use of textiles.
Location: The site of Chelsea College of Art and Design, together with The Tate and Burberry HQ occupy territory, which was once Millbank Penitentiary. There is a rich source of historic information and detail concerning a period in which social structures and values of all kinds were different from ours today, providing contrasts and comparisons. Social anthropological and environmental detail concerning the factors associated with the history of this site is well documented and, with the addition of some fictional accounts, can paint a picture of life in this location, up to 200 years ago, including the experience of prison.
Heritage: The project encourages the students to explore the rich local reference, and to research this period of Millbank’s history as a prison, with all the conceptual interpretations it affords. The students are being asked to connect this with a contemporary interest in longevity and sustainability in products as a way of reducing waste and providing beautiful experiences for people to enjoy. Their experimentation will be connected to such issues as careful selection of materials to express their ideas and the introduction of textile techniques to develop characterful, personal fabrics, which tell the story of the collection.
The Slow Movement places emphasis on quality and lasting value. Using models of production, valuing craft skills and awareness of new technologies, the project emphasis on sustainable luxury offers a model to translate ideas into action. The exploration of local history and contemporary local design production will give the collection a sense of the ‘terroir’ often associated with locally grown produce.
This is a ‘call to arms’ for sustainability in manufactured goods and an examination of values. Select materials and processes to explore fully the concept. Long Life fabrics are sustainable in their continued usage and heritage quality, avoiding landfill for the longest time. This should encourage and develop an understanding of current thinking in design of all kinds of products along with social and economic imperatives, whilst providing a platform for individual practice.
Values: The project will encourage the examination of historic detail, to uncover and revive vintage materials and historic processes. The possible connection with new (often digital) textile processes and contemporary innovation, can make the designer more relevant and well informed in the professional environment.
Innovation: The theme should inspire the invention of new fabric structures, surfaces and qualities which locate and capture the intellectual concepts as inspiration for making new textiles. A ‘grave to cradle’ perspective will give a new life to material considered to be waste, or of little value.
Deadline: Friday 3rd December - Burberry Selection Day!
Blogging: If you are a participating student and would like to post a blog entry, send a text and an image at any time throughout the project to Clara on firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will post it up for you.
Posted by Becky Earley