Born and raised in London, Shanti Bell’s graduate collection visually juxtaposes ‘the rigid burdens society places on young males, with the ease and freedom in which they interact with each other.’ During lockdown, she has created a live digital print from videoing the shadows of young men, capturing a delicate, fluid side of masculinity and projecting this onto her garments. Using fabric construction techniques on lightweight cottons, the 23 year old’s collection represents the strength and vulnerability in masculinity. Bell has interned at Zara and Craig Green; at Zara she was given the unique opportunity to design her own capsule collection for the brands’ menswear line. She has had a life-long fascination with chairs and furniture, collecting chairs, making her own, dissembling and reconstructing chairs, drawing inspiration from the work of Italian designer Martino Gamper. ‘Chairs and bags have informed this collection, I wanted to visually display the weight, burden and pressures that young males have to carry, by being inspired by objects we have invented to carry our weight,’ Bell says. The chair has been portrayed through veneer sculptures, which have been moulded to spiral around her garments. In the future, she aims to fuse the world of fashion and furniture in her own label and fulfil the ultimate goal of building her own house.
Sophia Ford-Palmer, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism