If you have ever felt in an era where everything seems to be already done in terms of creativity and we are trapped in a progressive repercussion of echoes of what has been created there are some fresh minds out there to remind you creativity hasn’t had its dystopian ending yet. Today we present to you the interview to Maddie Williams, an english fashion designer, researcher and textile developer recently graduated from Edinburgh University and winner of the “Ones to Watch Award” in the Fashion Scout shows during the last London Fashion Week in February 2018. Collection that celebrates the female regenerative power all across the globe, that accentuate and glorify the form of the female body.
Playful silhouettes where textiles that server the body and act as a second skin, textiles as result of a deep research and the will to show that eco fashion can still be exciting and avant garde. Designs that crosses the boundaries between fashion, costume and fine arts.
How Maddie Williams crosses lines between fashion, costume and fine arts? How do you translate it to your final product?
In a similar way to Art – I like to use clothing as a way of communicating ideas and think that fashion can be used as a tool for highlighting current affairs issues or getting people to think about topics that I feel passionately about.
I conceive textiles and fabrics as a second skin. In your mission in favor of sustainability you create your own textiles, so tell me a bit more about the creative process behind it.
With my textiles I work very intuitively, using the resources I have to hand, often reclaimed materials. I love texture so I’m usually seeking ways to create new and inviting textures that make people question what they are or want to touch them. I am particularly pleased with my faux-fur type textile made out of shredded and re-woven Plastic Royal Mail sacks, it was something that just happened… there was no planning at all, It’s a lot of trial and error, some textiles I make are absolutely terrible. It’s hard to find the balance between something that looks very home crafted and something that is more luxury.
By creating your own textiles and textures you offer a particular product and unique wearable pieces but, What are the challenges to create something new in an industry where everything seems to be already created?
I try to not to connect to much to the fashion industry, I don’t really follow shows or trends, there are just other things I’d rather be doing. I think this helps when trying to do something ‘new’ or ‘different’, I would never use other designers’ work within my initial body of research, unless its looking at something very specific and technical, like a way of sewing seams for example – otherwise I think you risk getting stuck in that cycle of generic-ness where everyone kind of seems to be doing the same thing.
When I research I try to cast a really wide net and gather as much information and ideas from as many different sources as possible to help formulate my concept, and this variety helps feed in to create a potentially new combination of ideas.
It is hard to be individual though when we are all living in such a connected world and are all informed by the same cultural events and visiting similar exhibitions and consuming similar media – it’s inevitable that we will be producing work informed by similar themes.
This month we talk about body changes and creating new silhouettes may represent a temporary change to the human body. How do your brand deal with the idea of new silhouettes as a way to modify your body and its correlation with individualism?
I love structure and the idea of altering or enhancing the body’s natural shape though clothing. I think it’s something we do less now as a society, as clothing now is closer fit and sportier, which makes sense for living an active life. However, I think we lose some of the joy and variety in fashion when we neglect silhouette. Putting on clothes that alter the body’s form is almost like a type of costume or mask, and can transform the wearer and cause them to embody the personality of the garments.
With my collection I wanted to celebrate the feminine, and created silhouettes inspired by ancient fertility figures that exaggerated typically feminine attributes, hips, belly etc. In the past women have tried to feel more powerful by emulating a more masculine silhouette, for example broadening their shoulders – I wanted to do the opposite – so most of my garments have exaggerated sloped, narrow shoulders. I wanted my women to feel powerful though their femininity.
How would you like to people remember your brand through the years? What is the image you want to remain in their imaginarium?
I want my work to show that ‘eco’ fashion can still be visually exciting and push concepts and ideas beyond the fact of its ‘sustainableness’.
Let’s get more personal. What are your thoughts about body modifications? (tattoos, piercings and plastic surgery as an example) Have you ever modified yours or plan to do it?
I did once tattoo my toe myself using a pin and some ink, probably not a very good idea. I used to have a few ear piercings and a nose ring, but I really don’t wear a lot of jewellery at the moment. It’s something that comes in waves for me, depending on my personal style and how I’m feeling at that time.
I think people should be able to do whatever they want to their own bodies as long as it’s not hurting them. However, I don’t think I would personally get plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons as I think it’s still too risky, something could go wrong and get infected. Also, even when it does go right I think people often end up looking a bit bizarre and sinister, like living dolls. I’m also very indecisive and would never be able to settle on a particular procedure or even a tattoo that would be there permanently – I’d prefer to just see how my body changes naturally over time.