Mariam Mahmood

Fashion Design with Textiles BA(Hons)

My high-end womenswear graduate collection ‘Phoenix Rising’, embodies a strong independent woman, rising from the ashes of an abusive relationship to rebuild herself a new life. In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse (Elkin, 2019). The overall aim of this collection is to focus on domestic abuse against women and encourage them to seek help. I chose this thematic approach due to during the Covid-19 lockdown abuse cases have significantly increased, with a distinct lack of support to help the victims. During the pandemic from March to June 2020, police recorded 259,324 offences related to domestic abuse which is an increase of 18% from 2018 (Stripe, 2020). Due to the increase many countries including the UK were not able to offer enough support to victims and ended up isolating them with their abuser. The fabrics used in the collection include shot taffetas and duchess satins that have been sublimation printed and machine embroidered, with motifs that reflect my concept, such as abstract shard shapes which respond to the sense of being ‘broken’. The chevron detail represents the wings of the Phoenix, rising from the ashes to fly to freedom and a new life.