Graduate into fashion

One of the things we most missed last year was the annual Degree Show at Gray’s School of Art. Although there was a virtual degree show, which you can see at graysdegree.show/welcome, we wanted to bring the work of some of the most talented fashion and textile design graduates to a wider audience…

Nathania’s graduate collection was focussed on magnifying the issues around consumption, waste and overproduction in the fashion industry. Starting with an analysis of the piles of clothing on her friends’ bedroom floors and fabric art installations, she worked with unwanted clothing to give a new purpose and appearance. The collect incorporated draped dress shirts combined with natural materials in the form of second hand knitwear. 

Nathania Douglas

Since graduation, Nathania has moved to Glasgow where she has been working with leading Scottish womenswear and accessories designer Hayley McSporran. This has helped her gain practical experience of production and running a small business. Her graduate collection will be shown at the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show later this year. You can see more of the collection on Instagram @nathania.douglas or view Nathania’s entire portfolio at artsthread.com/profile/nathaniadouglas/

Emma Grieshaber

Emma Grieshaber’s remarkable collection was nominated for both the bp Design Award and the RGU Art and Heritage 2020 Purchase Award. The Pull to Inflate collection combined Tudor silhouettes with her ex-pilot grandfather’s parachutes and inflatable elements to create something genuinely new, interesting and exciting.  

Since graduating, Emma has been working as a freelance designer for a start-up label MODEL CTIZN, which was featured in Italian Vogue and will be seen in British Vogue later this year. Emma was the first 2020 graduate to be chosen by the new label. 

You can view Emma’s work at artsthread.com/profile/emmagrieshaber/ or buy her designs for MODELCTIZN at modelctizn.com

Emily Burnel

Emily ‘s graduate collection was inspired from her fascination with water in both liquid and solid states, juxtaposing fluidity and rigidity with sculptural layering and a tonal colour scheme. This resulted in a textile collection that gave a nod to Gareth Pugh’s 2014 collection, but drew on biodegradable plastic materials she made herself, to illustrate that such plastics can be used in a positive way. 

Since graduating, Emily has started her own business. She makes bold jewellery using plastic drinking straws. It is lightweight, flexible and striking. She plans to offer a wider range of accessories and to produce larger custom pieces, donating part of her profits to ecological charities. Each piece is unique and personal to the buyer. You can buy Emily’s work at lilixdesign.com or via Maggie Blyth’s boutique in Inverness. You can see her graduate collection at lilixdesign.wixsite.com/fashionportfolio

In time, Emma hopes her work will be able to empower women while working to make her business more diverse and inclusive, breaking gender norms and working with the drag community, making everyone who wears her pieces feel confident, beautiful and brave.

Julija Astasonoka

Julija took the fishing industry as a starting point for her Silver Darlings collection. She spent three years working in the industry before going to Gray’s so it is a sector she knows well. She was particularly fascinated by the role that small wooden fishing boats played in both World Wars, as well as the names of today’s vessels and their colour combinations.  

Her work uses hand stitched embroidery and crochet, acknowledging the history of amateur craft and a ‘sense of home’ that is involved in hand-knitting traditional fishermen’s jerseys. 

Following her graduation, Julija is combining freelance design work with an MA in Textiles at Grays and has started Moska, her own design company which specialises in hand-knitted fashion and accessories. These are available from moska-knitwear.co.uk and etsy.com/uk/shop/MoskaKnitwear 

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