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KNITWEAR DESIGNER NURTURED COLLLECTION 2021

My knitted narratives often begin through exploring literature and the landscapes around me. My final year project, "Nurtured," is a knitwear collection inspired by the novel "The Secret Garden," by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This collection presents the theme that neglected and forgotten things become ruined and spoiled, as seen with the characters and the garden of the novel. Yet, when these things are loved and tended to, they bloom and grow. I wanted to make my collection with the same care that Mary (one of the main characters in the book) grows her garden.

"Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow." 'The Secret Garden'

My aim was to create work which is cared for and "nurtured", throughout design, production, and the end use of the pieces. I selected natural yarns and the garments are fully fashioned to promote slow fashion and to avoid waste. My work is aesthetically composed to include meaningful details, each stitch represents something, whether that be a simple sentence from the story or a colour from one of my garden paintings. Using hand embroidery, illustrative stitches, and shaping garment pieces on the machine, I understood more about the time needed to care for clothing, in a similar way to the work Mary put into growing her garden. I designed stitch patterns and subtle features such as embroidering second-hand buttons to create an interactive sense of curiosity and discovery whilst looking at my work. This replicates the same feelings Mary had in searching for and finding her secret garden. In retelling the story of 'The Secret Garden,' I am reminded of the importance of caring for clothing, our surroundings, oneself, and each other."

HEY! MY NAME IS...

BA HONS TEXTILE ART, DESIGN & FASHION

Bethan McDonnell