Beyond the Curtain Behind the Screen is the name chosen by Jessica Gray for her Central Saint Martins graduate collection. With references to George Orwell and Philip K. Dick, Jessica’s collection is centred on themes of surveillance – a life behind the camera, or in front of the screen. Jessica began working on her collection in September 2019, yet, with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, surveillance has never been more relevant. Screens have never been more central to our everyday lives, but whilst we stare into the webcam, could there be someone staring back? For those using video chat to conduct meetings, the answer is yes. But what if there was someone else who joined the meeting? An uninvited guest that watches us from afar. Jessica Gray explores these questions through her BA Womenswear collection. Magnified garment details replicate the optical zoom with contrasts in size and shape. ‘We are the watchers and the watching. Surveillance is controlling us and we should not be compliant with the system’, says Jessica. She is the recipient of the matchesfashion.com scholarship, and before making a start on her final collection had interned at Christopher Kane, Roksanda, Burberry and Deborah Milner. Her collection is an exploration of what it means to be observed, and whilst she may be challenging it.
Isobel Van Dyke, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism