1000 Words Reflection

‘Nature in Extinction’ is a collection that aims to give a voice to critically endangered species. The idea of this collection was originally born from my love for nature and the desire to create something that it is not purely aesthetical but also meaningful. I started my research into the flora and fauna of my countries of origin, I thought I would bring together different aspects from these countries for a unique outcome. The inspiration came from two sources, the first from the nature of my origins that are several, the second from a very interesting designer I spotted in New Designers last year that combined different elements from the East and West in her collection. I then came across an article about some extinct animals and plants. This caught my attention immediately and after some hours of research I just knew this was what I wanted to do and share with others. I started imagining a series of designs where I would have a new family of animals that I would bring together while also giving a meaningful message to the viewer and buyer of my collection. In fact, there are more than 26.500 species at risk of extinction, representing today a significant 27% of all species as reported by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Among many, I chose four animals that have an important ecological, symbolic and spiritual value. They represent different territories and animal families: Honey Bee, Hawksbill Turtle, Giant Ibis and the Sumatran Tiger. Of the last two there are only a couple of hundred specimens left in the world. This is the reason I was able to mainly gather secondary research as it is very difficult today to come across these animals since there are so very few left of them in the world. Databases such as the WWF and IUCN have been crucial for the information and imagery needed in order to better understand my chosen animals and their habitat. In fact I decided to depict them in relation to a plant that I associated them with, from their natural habitat. However, my trips in the parks around Cardiff allowed me to also do some primary research through photography and sketching related to the bee. Designers and Design Companies have been another important aspect that influenced the aesthetics of my designs. Especially the Timorous Beasties with their daring and goth feel designs but also more notorious names that made history such as William Morris, as well as less known such as Fernanda Sternieri that combine nature with my beloved damask layout so beautifully. The Damask style is one of the main one I looked at for the layout of my designs from which I love the structure, especially in combination with organic elements. Further research led me to understand that there is a growing trend and need for a deeper meaning behind our life choices as well as our design choices. People are more aware nowadays about the environment and the negative consequences of our consumerist actions, and more ready for action in order to stay true to their values. ‘Empower Up’ is in fact one of the WGSN reports that I related to the most, that describes this forming mind set. Different reports also show how the boundaries of elements such as age, colour or season are starting to fade while designers are called to respond accordingly. Words like gender neutral and transseasonal start to arise and it felt to me like reading my own mind and inclination since it is in my natural style to combine the male and female aesthetics while this has also influenced my colour palette. I therefore decided to create a gender neutral, transseasonal collection for the SS20-AW20/21 that is bold and sophisticated with a deeper meaning. The style is a combination of illustrative and abstract elements that merge into one another capable to convey a message of constant interaction of different elements that are nonetheless kept together harmoniously. The collection is aimed for professionals over 25 that own their home and are therefore more probable to afford to buy high end interior and fashion items. I have hand drawn my motifs and further manipulated them digitally with Photoshop. All designs are digitally printed in order to limit the harmful effect of paints on the environment, and it also defines one of my main skills. Environmental awareness has become very important to me across my three years in Cardiff Metropolitan and has also been at the core of my dissertation on which I have based my business plan on with a successful outcome. In this collection I have put the main focus on wallpapers that are able to create a more immediately impactful reaction due to their potential scale. I have also printed my designs on luxury fabrics such as linen,velvet and silk considering heavy and light weight for both interior and fashion, as well as the tactile aspect, always present in my collections. My colour palette reflects my client having researched into future trends and selected them among different seasons while adjusting the tones to also fit my own style. The collection has a main design that groups together my four species and sub collections for each animal that is depicted in his natural environment. I have also mixed and matched plants and animals both for the aesthetically interesting outcome as well as the world’s natural tendency towards inclusion, another key word in future trends. Overall I am very pleased about my collection, I feel it is the coronation of my time in Uni. I have refined over the past three years my design style and especially my colour palette which I had to learn to develop to the point I am. Most of all I feel confident about my skills and professionalism and also aware of my weaknesses. For this I have to thank both my family and my tutors for the support and encouragement and I am extremely excited about what’s coming next.

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