For womenswear designer Slid Needham, originally from Bradford, their process is highly personal. ‘It’s mainly autobiographical but also speaks of the wider trans experience. My work has always been my extension, my cable, my extra arm if you will.’ For her graduate collection, Slid looked to sex dolls; ‘something that was ‘manmade’ in both meanings of the word; the perspective of man on trans bodies’ and seeks to disturb the comfortable, spurred by a disregard for gender binaries. The silhouettes in Slid’s collection help to portray this, intended to be ‘larger and more intimidating, which acts a defence mechanism.’ Originally intending to use materials such as silicone and foam casting, the restrictions of lockdown in her London flat meant adapting her ideas through DIY methods, providing a more handmade aesthetic which she says ‘I believe has turned out to be more successful.’ Going forward, Slid recognises the importance of self-reflection, ‘before regrouping with my friends and peers for amazing things in the future,’ she says.
Morgan Bowden, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism