My collection is titled ‘The Reason’ . It comes from a quote by Terry Hooley the owner of the Good Vibrations record store in Belfast during the Troubles who’s stance on the social issues was peace. The quote is as follows, ‘New York have the bands, London have the fashion but Belfast has the reason.’
Growing up my parents told me stories about their youth and living in Northern Ireland during such a tumultuous time. There were silly youthful stories about my mam going to dances and my dad having his sister sneak him back into his house. Warm and loving memories about what their parents were like my Granda’s gardens and learning about my family.
At the same time during this point in their lives there was a war happening in the North of Ireland and living there in this time meant you were caught in the crossfire. Through listening to these stories there has been a sense of balance and contrast to the way both of these things lived together symbiotically. The contrast and the ability to see through the rose tinted glasses looking back on memories while having had to live through the most difficult time. The contrast comes back to Love and War it’s how I think of this time period. It’s how I think about this time period it’s the balance of a haunting and terrifying time to live through and the loving stories about the grandparent I never met, the music ahead of my time the family that centred around it all. This collection is dedicated to my family, none of this would not be
possible without any of you.
In terms of the making of my garments. My pieces are made up in patchwork form. The jumpers the patchwork is knitted off before being linked together, the skirts are built on the stand from a simple base. The crochet is also made in panels of granny squares before being connected together. I have motifs of barbed wire running through my pieces and created embroidery straps from using dissolvable paper with a free motion foot.
The idea of the patchwork being used and the barbed wire was about binding things together. Re-building from the remnants of the past to create something new and functional. The knitted jumpers are to give a nod to cozy family life with ribs and edgings to link the military style together and the skirts are to show the large impact of explosions that was common at the time.