Amelia Bradshaw-Birch is a 21 year old from Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr (Bridgend), a small industrial town in South Wales. Despite being a largely English-speaking area, Bradshaw-Birch grew up attending a Welsh language school. Her graduate collection is a very personal one: ‘it is a portrait of my life, my identity and body.’ Bradshaw-Birch describes the collection as a ‘political and satirical’ play on the tired tropes of femininity and gender identity, drawing on her own experience as a trans woman. ‘I have purposefully chosen misinformation and bigoted claims by anti-trans people to show the ridiculous and hateful nature of the comments.’ The most pervading of these stereotypes being, ‘that trans women want to be stereotypes of womanhood.’ For Bradshaw-Birch, ‘reacting to the hate in a creative form’ using her well-honed sense of humour – ‘this can be quite a dark subject for me,’ she explains – has resulted in a striking but subtly funny collection about a never more salient issue.
Kate McCusker, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism