Colonial Clash

The 18th century was a time of great social change within Europe, reflected in the constantly evolving dress styles, particularly evident in women’s fashion. It was the age of exploration and outside influences, with the colonisation of the British Empire becoming more formalised and institutionalised, instigating a craze for "exotic" eastern products back home.

This collection is informed by the British colonisation of India and its people, the suffering and brutality they endured under the burden of cultural invaders, and the proud and strong resistance.

Using traditional handloom Indian cottons, overlaid with colonial motifs, I worked with rectangular panels of fabric as inspired by 18th century British women’s dresses, which used whole panels of fabric pleated, gathered, draped and tucked to create form. Huge hanging pockets and expandable, adjustable ties make this collection truly adaptable to face adversity.

One of my most powerful collections to date.

 

Skills: historical research, draping, experimental pattern cutting, screen print, hand embroidery, illustration.