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"I am one of fashion’s Future VOICES because …" Business of Fashion - Stephanie

As apart of the Business of Fashion 'Future Voices Challenge' 'The Business of Fashion and Topshop is designed to support and develop talent through addressing the need for education, access and mentoring. ' All over the world, millions of skilled artisans are employed that utilize traditional hand techniques such as weave, embroidery, dyeing, spinning and beading. The continuation of hand craft ensures their livelihood, employment and empowerment are sustained. My design practice centralises around my guiding question, how can a high-end fashion brand utilize craftsmanship as a form of community engagement whilst creating more transparency within the fashion supply chain? These conscious values are of personal significance as my design methodology recontextualizes handcraft to create new and innovated form. This is applied to the design aesthetic of high-fashion. My 2016 graduating collection innovating hand stitching is at the core of my design methodology. The collection is a material exploration deriving forms from the application of the long-stitch. This challenges the traditions notions of embroidery as a flat decorated surface rather than a functioning purpose. Forms are created through the performance of repetitive hand embroidery in conjunction with innovated methods of applications. Throughout the collection, I have collaborated with artisans in Pakistan to trial their interpretation of my recontextualized ‘long-stitch’ technique. This involves pulling the thread whilst embroidering to create dimensional form. After several samples and constant verbal and written technical communication, this technique was successful producing a piece of cloth that was formed by the long stitch as a jacket cape. This technique innovated their design methods whilst personally developing their skill set of problem solving. Further collections will endeavor to integrate the hand-crafted techniques of global artisanal communities as a means of craft preservation and positive community engagement.

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