‘My process starts and ends on the knitting machine,’ says Oliver Fairhurst, the Fashion Design with Knitwear graduate, whose final collection is a parallel between lockdown and love.
Feeling lovelorn and lost during the past year, the Lancashire-born-and-raised designer decided to create a new sense of belonging while using allegories of love and marriage throughout the collection. ‘During lockdown, I was thinking if I just get married today, I’d have to get these random things because I’m trapped in Lancashire,’ Fairhurst explains.
The designer’s process began with looking into 80s marriage silhouettes, corsetry and bird imagery. Being particularly inspired by the nest of a magpie, a parallel for a new sense of home, the 25 year old designer recreates its shape throughout the collection while pairing it up with objects found on the beaches. The result is a series of outfits to get wed in.
Having knitted the entire collection, Fairhurst explored interesting and unusual ways of knitwear techniques. ‘I tried using them in a more structural way. Not just as a surface decoration, but rather as something that causes the shape to happen,’ the designer explains.
Being forced to swap the Central Saint Martins studios for home affected Fairhurst’s process, however, the designer reflects upon the the experience with a high note: ‘My best experience was when I was working at home. It was hard, but being by myself I really felt the concept came alive.’
Adam Urbanik, BA Fashion Journalism