Hermione Read, Edinburgh College of Art
From the concept to the realisation of my collection, sustainability, ethical practice and being socially responsi- ble is at the forefront of my process. My graduate collection began on a walk into Shepherds Bush, the area of London in which I was born. I was interested in finding out more about the area and social issues there, so I interviewed locals I met (from my befriended fabric shop owners, to market sellers, to Pecking’s Record Shop owner) about feelings of identity there, and how the area had changed.
A number of issues were raised about the fact that the historical market was going to be replaced with unaffordable luxury housing, and how the feeling of community and soul was being lost. On top of this, the intro- duction of the consumerist monolith of Westfield Shopping Centre, which towers over W12 had posed similar issues, another false regeneration scheme imposed by the government, promising locals job opportunities, but failing to fulfil them. The gentrification has seen many of the people who made the area the vibrant and buzzing place it is, lose their livelihoods, and my anger at this and want for social change sparked my collection concept: to re-inject fashion with a sense of soul, and to open a conversation surrounding social and political change, addressing human stories through the media of fashion.