*Clunk* - the sound of the car door shutting behind me; the touch of warm metal leaves my fingertips and is replaced by the cool crisp air as I turn away from the road, away from urban life, ready to reconnect with this natural and familiar space. I can already feel the bubble of emotion, calming and empowering as I take a step toward the wood. The path ahead winds gently through the valley, partially concealed by radiant yellow gorse that lines the way. The yellow is glowing with sunlight, I cant resist the urge to brush my hands through the gorse as I pass, feeling the gentle prick of their thorns. Rounding the corner I am welcomed by the first site of Wistmans Wood, nestled into the edge of the valley, the heather and grassland stretches out around me as I am drawn toward this ancient and special place. I feel as though a part of my existence is drawing me closer with every step, pulling me back toward the wood once again. The journey fills me with inspiration, a need to create, to share this feeling and space with the world.
As I reach the edge of the wood I am greeted with a maze of granite boulders, matt grey and caked in lichen becoming more and more obscured and softened as I step into the wood. A blanket of dense green moss smoothes the bouldery ground as I step under a canopy of fresh green leaves; held up by thick, twisted and ancient branches. There is a calm in the air as the space around me becomes a step back through time. I feel the energy of years this wood has endured pass into me, a connection that cannot be ignored.
Through my collection I have chosen to harness this place of tranquil nature to show how we still crave these natural spaces in such an overpopulated urban world. Our actions through the fashion industry are unsustainable, destructive and careless. My collection is designed to be a gateway toward the new sustainable possibilities of the industry.
Sourcing my fabrics from a local army surplus I have up-cycled old parachutes, flags and harnesses. The military influence of my collection comes from the use of Dartmoor for training ranges and military presence in South West England and to show the state of conflict that is overcoming this world. There is a need to unite and move forward from aggression and force. The harnesses and flags pull at the collection and entangle the wearer much as the way war and military powers effect society. The natural seams of the parachute envelope you in a sense of welcome, combined with authentic wool fabrics to bring us back to nature through fashion.