The Manchester School of Art degree show opened to the public last Friday so we are taking a look at some of the students from this year’s graduating class. We caught up with BA (hons) Fashion graduate Gemma Feldberg to find out about her final collection and her working processes.
What materials and tools do you use in your work?
For my final collection I incorporated a broad range of materials including leather, monofilament, interlock rug canvas and jersey. Creating all the fabrics myself I used a variety of tools from knitting machines to industrial laser cutting machines.
You bought your material from Fred Aldous, how did you find it to work with?
I bought the interlock rugging canvas to create one of my main fabrics which was an contemporary interpretation of cross-stitching. As the canvas is initially stiff I applied a range of processes to make it easier to use, these included bleaching and dying the fabric before weaving back into it.
What is the inspiration behind your collection?
My inspiration originated from the fascination people have with their personal belongings. I wanted to build a link between these belongings and the clothes we wear; I developed textiles and fabrics which broke down these barriers and seek to entrap these belongings within the garments I created.
What fashion designers do you admire?
My biggest admiration is Viktor and Rolf, their combination of innovative fabrication with bold and contemporary silhouettes are designs I really want to work towards within my own work. I also really admire the work of smaller labels such as Xiao Li, Noa Riaviv and Cassandra Verity Green and cannot wait to see there future collections.
What influences do you draw on for your designs?
I find that I am often drawn to non-traditional influences for my designs, often I look at building a story for the collection and how these emotions could drive the designs. Although I enjoy looking at different era’s or artist influence I like to create my own perspective and see how this can be furthered.
What is your design process?
I generally start by collecting a variety of different images from a broad range or artists, photographer and stuff I may have collection over the years. From this I look to develop a story or theme through drawings and collaging. At this stage I consider what kind of fabrics I can develop to represent my concept and spend time creating a broad range of samples which are then edited down to be used for garments. From this point I focus of translating my samples into garments through toiling and designing extensively.
How do you choose the colours for your garments?
I normally lift colours from my initial research but often when sampling and sourcing different materials these can dictate the colour palette. I enjoy have quite bold colours in my collections as I feel they really lift the techniques and creating a striking look.
Who did you work with for your look book and how did you choose them?
I teamed up with photographer Narita Savoor as I had seen her work previously and thought she captured the movement in garments really well. We worked with make up artist Nealey Leah and model Darcy Hutchinson from J’adore models Manchester; as a team we all worked really well together to capture the bright movements from my clothes and using brightly coloured make up really complimented the clothes nicely.
What plans do you have for your next collection?
For my next collection I really wanted to continue to develop my own fabrics as I really enjoyed this process. I would also like to create some show-stopping pieces and explore scale and volume within garments further. I think it would be really fun to exaggerate and develop my textiles in the future.
What are your plans for after you graduate?
I’m originally from London so I’m going to move back home as there are quite a few job opportunities there. I’d really like to go into the industry as I enjoy working. I would quite like to work for a company who has a strong textile driven atheistic as I think it would be a good opportunity to learn.
Do you have any advice for anyone wishing to study fashion design at university?
Studying fashion I feel really drives your creativity and pushes your ideas. My advice would be to really believe in yourself and taken on all opportunities. You may find that being outside your comfort zone is actually beneficial and you can see your idea in a different dynamic. Also the fashion industry is huge and ever growing so also keep searching and learning as you never knows what the future holds..
Where can people see your work?
Designer/Clothes- Gemma Felberg
Photography- Narita Savoor
Make up- Nealey Leah
Model -Darcey Hutchinson, J’Adore Model Manchester