Constance Strutt BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology (Womenswear)

In my graduate collection, I explored the feeling of growing up, and what it feels like to move on from childhood into adulthood. I referenced and dove into my bringing and where my family are from, and reflected on who I  am today. I wanted to combine country attire with the luxury of evening wear. I layered textures, such as silk and wax cotton, to express this combination of old and new life. The majority of the collection in one-off, I felt like I needed to drape and hand sew a lot of detail on, with my final fabric when the garment was complete. This allowed me to be very immersed in my concept of outgrowing and moving on, I naturally and organically designed while making. 

The starting point for me is research, I indulge in film, or vintage footage, and dig around for archival photos. I’m drawn to raw, original stories and figures heads of history, especially the women. I like to understand lives and the way of living through the research of art and fashion of that period. I usually start from the skin to the details and fabrication of undergarments, and work my way out to deconstruct and reconstruct garments to fit the modern consumer.  I start with the mannequin and a big piece of fabric to form shapes, and then build in traditional functions and detail, such as crinoline skirts or corsets. I like to gather old garment construction and fashion books from the Jacobean period to the Edwardian era. From the book to the stand, I refresh and modernise a historical practice into a more contemporary, modern garment. 

While at university I have fallen in love with pattern manipulation and creative pattern cutting, doing a 3-month internship in the summer allowed me to understand the industry, this drove me through my final year and opened up my eye for detail and couture finishes. 

My main goal is to create a modern contemporary look, the way to achieve this is always referencing the past to be able to create something for the present.