INTERVIEW AND SHOOTING WITH KIRSTIE MACLAREN

Photographer: Carlotta de Rysky
Stylist: Giulia Meterangelis
Makeup: Marta Gacka
Hair: Dorota Nowacka
Model: Yulia @Models1
Text by Giulia Meterangelis

I first met Kirstie the day we shot the following editorial. She’s a radiant girl, enthusiastic about our collaboration, which started just by chance thanks to the photographer Carlotta de Rysky. She was born and based in North London, although completing a degree in jewellery at Middelsex University, her final collection was a small range of large felt garments. An amazing discovery that allowed me to use her original creations and understand what kind of work was behind them.

You studied jewellery design. What made you decide to design a fashion collection?
I had always made quite large pieces of jewellery, often out of fabric. I felt that I had so much freedom in this material. These developed into larger and larger pieces until I thought, why don’t I just make a garment. My course was very experimental and my tutors encouraged this approach.


What inspired your collection?
Before my placement year, I was creating pieces that were made from repeating shapes and this repetition allowed a certain movement or rhythm to my piece. On my placement year I worked with Fred Butler, which established an affiliation with origami – I’m drawn to origami and all the shapes it contains, once folded. I also looked into works during the 1980′s-90′s by Issey Miyake.
I’ve always been very drawn to modern architecture. This, I feel is my biggest inspiration. I’m so obsessed with Brutalism and Constructivism within architecture. The angular and block elements to these movements inspired me and I combined these with my love for origami and it happened from there!

Which material did you use?
My final collection is made from felt and industrial felt, which is a very thick felt

You say modern architecture heavily influences your design. How is that? What fashion has to do with architecture?
I am just so drawn to it! It’s manifesto and the geometry. I genuinely feel a surge of happiness when I’m walking around a building that I’m in love with! I don’t know if fashion has much to do with architecture but I think you can be inspired by absolutely everything and apply it in whatever way you want, to whatever medium.

So your clothes look very structured and at the same time very flexible. It’s a paradox.
Yes there is a paradoxical element to my pieces, that you’ve mentioned. As I said before, I had always used shapes and repetition to create movement and I quite like there to be interaction with my pieces. This is just an extension to my inspirations and combining the origami and buildings.

What kind of woman do you have in mind when you design clothes?
When designing this collection, I didn’t have anyone in mind. It was totally about the garment and the person wearing it was just a form of display! I suppose it doesn’t even have to be a woman, I see my pieces as being unisex and they have been modelled by males too.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I am currently working on a jewellery collection, with very similar inspirations. My graduate collection was very experimental and sadly I’ve had to slip into reality and realize that I need to make money. I can’t really make a living out of making these felt pieces as much as I’d love to.
I also really love working in metal. Even though I sometimes feel restricted when working in it, but to have a piece that is wearable, strong and has elements of architecture makes me very happy! This collection is due to launch in June/July time so keep your eyes peeled!

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