‘Initially I was inspired by the materiality of objects,’ says Claire Parker. Last summer, on a visit to the Jurassic Coast, the designer stumbled across a fossil by the edge of a cliff. ‘The sensation of a memory in the object and being able to connect to its history fascinated me,’ she explains.
This fascination led Parker to explore the notion of traces of the past being left behind, particularly the traces that her own generation might leave and the discovery that ‘technofossils’ – residual plastics which have been warped and moulded – could be what defines our era in the future. Seams undulate and shapes are rounded, inspired by the distorted shape of ‘technofossils’ and the digital art of Louise Silfversparre. Textiles are sourced from waste or deadstock fabrics, forging a sense of memory into the garments, rooting the collection with a feel of fragmented history which the wearer can engage with, inspired by Ishiuchi Miyako’s photographs of clothing remnants. Traces of the materials’ origin remain in hand stitching and loose, fraying threads and Parker has given the garments their very own history by carefully layering and slashing her sustainable materials. The result is a versatile, feminine collection which can be styled interchangeably, taking traditional tailoring elements from menswear and exploring them expressively through textiles emphasised by piping detail and contrast panels.
Following her BA, Claire Parker plans to work within the industry to find her niche. ‘Currently I’m most interested in working for a luxury brand with a sustainable angle. I want to create pieces of conscious clothing that people want to buy, that imbue the wearer with confidence and power, whilst also caring for the planet,’ she says.
Ellie June Goodman