School of Design Class of 2020: Katie Wickham

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This year all graduate’s endings turned out a bit differently than anticipated. However, for School of Design graduates, having no Graduate Fashion Week meant students were stitching, sketching, designing and shooting from home. In this feature, Fashion Design student Katie tells us about her final collection, putting together a shoot from home, and her plans for the future.

credit: Katie Wickham

Tell us about your Final Year Project?  

This project is centred around innovative ideas, and the creation of a new concept, exploring the idea of Slow Fashion and its rebellion against the ‘throw-away’ society facilitated by fast fashion. In light of this, I have designed a collection that promotes slow fashion, and the idea of holding onto garments and treasuring them, in some cases as a family heirloom, passing them down generations or giving them to a close friend to maximise their lifecycle length and rebel against the fast fashion economy. My branding centres around a ‘KEEP ME’ theme, aiming to create beautifully designed and made garments with hand sewn personal aspects to them, which will encourage the customer to not want to part with them and to treasure them. The aesthetic inspiration behind the collection is delicately hand drawn, highly detailed architectural plans, with the detail and care taken in their creation reflecting my Slow Fashion innovation, whilst their contrasting geometric and circular shapes will provide silhouette inspiration for this seasonless collection.

credit: Katie Wickham

Tell us about Shooting your Collection in Lockdown?

The photoshoot for my final collection was originally going to be done professionally in the university’s photography studio, with a professional model along with hair and makeup artists. This obviously couldn’t go ahead as planned, so I shot at home instead. My younger sister became my model, and my backdrop a clothes rail with fabric draped over it, set in my garden to highlight the natural theme to my collection.

My sister was a great model and luckily fitted my garments perfectly. I am really proud of the final shots. We all made the best of a bad situation and used the resources we had available to us at home. I am lucky to have a sister that was able to model for me, as I am happy with how my shoot went in the end, showing off my final garments as best I could.

credit: Katie Wickham

Now you’re a Graduate, what are your Plans for the Future?

My post graduation aim was to look for and hopefully obtain a fashion design job in London and to move to the city in the months after graduation. In our current situation there is a very limited amount of fashion jobs available, so I have had to look for other things to occupy my time and to bring in income whilst I continue to apply for jobs.

I have started my own Depop shop (@katielouisewickham) selling Eco-friendly handmade headbands and scrunchies made from recycled fabric scraps, offcuts and elastic left over from my Fashion Design degree. After finishing my Fashion Design BA degree I realised how many fabric scraps, samples and offcuts I had collected over my four years at Uni that I now have no use for. Instead of throwing these away, I have created a limited collection of headbands and scrunchies made from these scraps, offcuts and textiles waste in order to recycle these and to avoid them ending up in landfill- taking inspiration from my Slow Fashion focussed Delineation project. As a recent graduate into an industry in which 13 million tons of textile waste is generated each year I see myself as responsible to have a part in lowering this figure, creating unique pieces from offcuts and scraps that will be worn for years to come.

credit: Katie Wickham

Where can we Find You?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-wickham-ba4948155/

Instagram: (@katie_wickham_design)  https://www.instagram.com/katie_wickham_design/

Artsthread:    https://www.artsthread.com/profile/katiewickham/

Depop: (@katielouisewickham) https://www.depop.com/katielouisewickham/