This year Bloomsbury sponsored Modeconnect’s #YourView15 competition, a contest that scoured the globe to find the best and brightest fashion design students. Well, we’re very excited to announce that this years winner Megan Wyatt sat down with us to discuss her recent victory and the inspiration behind her winning collection.
1. Megan, you’ve just won ModeConnect’s YourView competition, congratulations! What is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring fashion designers starting on a degree course?
The main thing that I would say is to be mentally and physically prepared for 3 years of extremely hard work! Fashion is an amazing subject to study but you will only enjoy it and succeed if you put the time in and do the work. Be prepared to be criticized but turn all negative feedback into a positive. Not every project you will succeed in but it’s just all a part of the learning process. Have fun, don’t over think things and be yourself.
2. When talking to Modeconnect you said “Depression is something I associate with the misuse of Photoshop” – could you elaborate on this for us?
Mental illnesses such as Anxiety, Depression and Eating disorders are becoming worryingly common in today’s society. When scrolling through social media and magazines, all we ever see is people that don’t actually exist. When doing my research for my collection I found numerous articles and videos which showed the process from the original model to the final photograph. I was shocked at the difference. People all over the world see these images and want to look the same. They will buy hundreds of skin products, go on crazy diets but will still never achieve what they see because it is not real. Everyone should love their own skin but it’s so difficult to do that when we are constantly being shown these perceptions of “beauty”. Beauty to me includes pores, cellulite, and bad skin days because we all have them. Not only does it affect the audience, but also the model. I would hate to do a photo-shoot and then receive the photos to see they had taken inches off my waist, changed the colour of my eyes and how far forward my hairline is.
3. Talk us through the practicality of creating one of your favourite pieces. What sort of cutting and printing processes do you go through?
In my opinion this is my outfit from my collection. I love the drop crotch trousers, they’re definitely my favourite! For the pattern cutting I used the technique ‘Subtraction Cutting’. I heard of this first from Julian Roberts. I watched a few of his videos and read about how he did it and I was truly amazed by the garments he created! I then started playing around with fabrics to see what I could come up with. I really got into it and found it a lot more interesting working with a method where I had no idea what the outcome would be. I would start with a tube of fabric (just 1 hole where the feet would come out from) I would then cut a basic shape out of the tube for the start of the garment. After that you remove circles from the tube and sew them together creating a tube for the body to go through and also distortion in the garment. Once I got the hang of it I had an idea of where the circles would go to create the best shapes. A friend of mine that suffers from depression inspired my print design. She explained to me how depression affects her day-to-day life and how she feels, all of which I translated through my drawings. These were then digitally manipulated and then digitally printed onto the fabrics.
I actually went to Japan in August for the first time! It was absolutely incredible, even more so than what I had imagined. I went with my partner for 2 weeks, which wasn’t long enough to do everything that we wanted but we are planning to go back hopefully very soon. It was so hot there but all of their tubes have air conditioning, which was nice! We spent a lot of time in Shinjuku and Harajuku. Harajuku was my favourite place to go. It’s like a fairy tale. Everyone was so polite and I had people everywhere complimenting me and shouting ‘KAWAII!’ at me as I walked through the streets. We did a lot of amazing stuff I could talk for hours about. The Edo Museum was great and really interesting and we also went up the sky tree. One day I hope to live in Harajuku and sell my designs there, I definitely felt at home there.
5. Finally, if you could have dinner with one designer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Yayoi Kusama. She isn’t a fashion designer she’s an artist. I find her truly fascinating. I did a lot of research on her for my dissertation. She had a very tough childhood, which reflects a lot in her work. I am very inspired by her and the passion that she has. I watched a couple of documentaries on her, which were really amazing I would definitely recommend watching them!