Lotte Goodwin

Lotte Goodwin, University of Brighton Faculty of Arts

Fashion with Business Studies BA(Hons)

What work are you exhibiting in the Graduate Show 2012 - Up and Beyond?

Riots in Birdland

‘Riots in Birdland’ is a trans-seasonal six outfit collection which comprises of five looks for men and one look for a woman. I have been heavily influenced by music and musicians, with particular reference to jazz, soul and hip hop. My interest in jazz musicians and their style began when I discovered a photographic book called ‘Nights in Birdland’ a couple of years ago. The book captures a revolution in music when white Americans looked to their black neighbours for inspiration and entertainment. This collection is a reaction to how music and style have developed over time and the effect that they have had on street style; jazz being the first port of call and the 90s British Soul II Soul collective being the last. This amalgamation of music and fashion is embodied in the collection; the oversized silhouette from the zoot suit, saxophone straps used as bag straps, and elements of the 1980s Funki Dred style contributing to my street wear aesthetic.

I will be using denim to exaggerate my oversized silhouettes and create a relaxed feel towards the suited jazz musicians seen in my research. Working closely and faithfully to original denim garments whilst at the same time creating my own strong denim identity. I am not re-inventing the wheel; denim has an extensive history which I respect and follow through in my own work.

I have been very lucky and have received sponsorship for denim from a Brighton based denim brand Fallow. My collection is for those serious about their style but with a lighthearted soul.

My background:

I studied at the University of Gloucestershire for art foundation, in which I specialised in fashion for my final major project. From a young age I have wanted to be a fashion designer. I took textiles for both GCSE and A levels knowing this would help aid my entrance on to an art foundation to then be able to apply for a degree in fashion design. For me fashion has always been the plan and I am very lucky to be where I am today.

Brighton has a great reputation for fashion. I wanted to study at a prestigious university but at the same time did not want to be in London. I grew up in London so wanted to explore a new place and experience a course with a reputation to match the university of the arts in London but with the bonus of a smaller year group, more one on one time with tutors and generally a more relaxed peer group.

The last four years have helped me mold and create my own style. As of first year I decided to specialise in menswear. Through out the last four years I have been able to explore all aspects of fashion through design, making and styling. Having an academic side to the course has also lead me to explore what type of market I am going in to as well as the history of fashion through business studies and critical historical lectures.

I chose to take the BA hons path way meaning a year out in industry in my third year. I interned for Christopher Raeburn in London for seven months and Bronwen Marshall for two, I grew a lot during my year out and feel it aided me in preparation for my final year. I became more confident in my abilities and work.

We have a fantastic machine room and studio space where we have been building our pattern cutting and manufacturing skills. Having close contact with tutors on a daily basis for both academic and creative studies has been the best thing about the course. I have been challenged in design and over come my difficulties with pattern cutting through great teaching.

What would you say to anyone considering this course?

I would say do it! We are very lucky to get so much contact time with our tutors and I think Brighton is a great place to study. Being out side of London can have its negatives when wanting to buy fabric and wanting to see an exhibition but you are an hours journey away. Being in Brighton means you can almost forget that there are hundreds more people studying the same thing as you because whilst you are here you are only looking on to what your peer group is doing.

This year has been my greatest challenge. Trying to write a dissertation and a business plan whilst also trying to design and make a collection has been seriously tough but now coming towards the end I have realised this may be for a long time the only opportunity that I can be totally true to my self as a designer. I can do whatever I like with in reason and have tutors supporting this. I have surprised myself with what can be done with such little time.

After graduation:

I plan to find work in a fashion studio as a design assistant whilst also trying to keep doing my own thing. I plan to work with my friend who is a photographer and become a stylist photographer duo. After a couple of years experience working I would like to return to education and apply for a masters in Menswear at the RCA or St Martins. My goal in life is to have my own brand and collaborate with other designers.

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