Ellie Haimes

Fashion Design with Textiles BA(Hons)

My graduate collection challenges gender stereotypes within the fashion industry and acknowledges the lack of inclusivity across unisex fashion. I am passionate about raising awareness to the importance of self-expression, and allowing people to showcase their true identities through the clothes that they choose to wear, instead of feeling held back by societal pressures to ‘fit in’. The main stimulus for my initial research focused on Victorian corsetry. The popularity of corsets rose drastically during this era, and they are a prime example of a gendered garment that is deemed unacceptable to be worn by a man. This resulted in corsetry being a key component of the collection. To be fully androgynous and diverse, I combined corsetry with aspects of traditional menswear tailoring, ensuring both feminine and masculine features were incorporated into the designs. This enabled the designs to be unique and on trend so that they would appeal to a wider target audience, whilst retaining features of historic fashion, such as traditional corset busk fastenings. Textile techniques were included into the garments using sublimation printing and digital embroidery. By using distorted words layered over print, textiles displayed the message of challenging gender stereotypes without looking busy or distracting. It was important that locally sourced fabrics of a high-quality were chosen, to ensure longevity of the garments, to increase sustainability.