‘I want to do something really light – I want to cheer people up,’ was the purpose behind German native Kirsty Ellerbrok's graduate collection. Following her placement at Chanel and Bless, 23 year old Ellerbrok found herself inspired by dance and movement, and their capacity for portraying feelings.
Beginning with a state of trauma and then progressing to a celebratory, ecstatic state, her graduate collection depicts a spectrum of emotion. Each look in the lineup is accompanied by a collaborative poem and a correlating movement choreographed by a dancer that illustrates the look’s designated emotion. The narrative – which is equal parts autobiographical as it is universal – is communicated physically through the use of lenticular fabric made by Ellerbrok herself and a pleating technique, which allows the printed fabric to be viewed from two different sides.
Ellerbrok’s collection feels especially relevant as the world begins to reopen after a year struck by tragedy. ‘Happiness is always on the same spectrum as sadness,’ she writes in her design manifesto. ‘To understand happiness, we need to feel sadness, they only work with each other.’ This tension is visually held in her designs by her employment of colour – juxtaposing vibrant, multicoloured printed fabrics reminiscent of the Visible Light Spectrum and monochromatic black outer garments. It’s a sentimental and inspiring collection that is saturated with bold prints and even bolder emotional convictions.
Jamison Kent, BA Fashion Journalism