Ruby-Rose McGann (she/her)
My project acts as a vehicle for storytelling. I have created a collection of narrative textiles exploring working-class seaside holiday culture, as a communication of personal and shared socio-cultural experience. My collection, owing to my bright fabric choices and bold use of digital, domestic and hand embroidery techniques, captures the nostalgia and kitsch references throughout my research. I sourced material considering colour and composition in my drawing and colour analysis, in turn, encapsulating the colourful, textural, and exciting nature of my research. My final collection explores text, pattern, and texture; the embroidered, manipulated, and beaded outcomes evoke tongue in cheek nostalgia, personifying the ‘gawdy’ but completely endearing appeal of the working-class seaside resort. My project is an exploration of place and place symbolism. Having designed for a fashion context, the working-class seaside can be memorialised as a portable ‘story cloth’ rather than left behind at the destination, much like a souvenir.
Ring the Bell!
Ring the Bell! is a collection of colourful and bold embroidered fabrics for fashion. Inspired by the working class seaside resort that my family and I have visited annually for 22 years, I wanted my work to be transformative, reshaping the elitist idea of the seaside as ‘tacky’ and ‘gaudy’, into a bright, bold and enticing collection of embroidered, manipulated and beaded fabrics, much like how I saw the seaside growing up.
When collecting primary research imagery, I subconsciously focused on interesting colour compositions, pattern and the graphic nature of the seaside, with neon signs and shopfronts.
Digital and hand rendered drawing and colour analysis guided my exploration into traditional and modern embroidery techniques, establishing ways that I could translate the nostalgic, kitsch nature of my research into fabric outcomes.
Additional Studio Project
I wanted to focus on responsible design. Using scraps and offcuts, I have made trims, fringing and edgings based around colour research, shapes, text and composition in my imagery. Taking scraps and folding, sewing and manipulating these, I have created a collection of trims, that can be visualised as stand-alone fabrics, or as cuffs, collars and frills.