Fashion collection inspired by Aberdeen building sites

Construction and fashion are two industries not usually associated with each another but one student at Gray’s School of Art has found inspiration for her final year collection on the building sites of Aberdeen.

Fashion and textiles student Rachel Mack has produced a collection called ‘Constructed’ using industrial materials and inspired by imagery collected from construction sites in Aberdeen.

“I first become interested in builders’ outfits - the worn details that gave clues about the type of work they do,” Rachel explained. “I then became really interested in the environment in which they work as on the bus to university I would always see construction sites and builders at work.

“Aberdeen was a great place to do research as there is always building projects and I collected a wealth of photography here. I also made some visits to the sites and a really helpful site manager allowed me to take objects from the site that I could use as inspiration.”

Rachel has used industrial materials such as duck tape, latex rubber and plastic film within her collection, making extensive use of a heat press to fuse materials together alongside a needle puncher to give them a perforated quality and a worn look.

She added: “I love the imagery I collected from the sites - bricks all tightly packaged in plastic, tape plastered all over entrances, dusted surfaces, dried concrete, plastic safety covers on scaffolding. Also, the transformation over time of the site from a skeleton to a finished building really appealed to me.

“I wanted to take industrial materials and put them into a slightly ironic context. I wanted people to see my textile and fashion pieces and not be able to work out how and what they are made from.”

Rachel’s work is currently on display as part of the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, which runs until Saturday (June 27), before taking the collection to New Designers in London.

“I've achieve something I never envisioned from the start but I am pleased with my outcomes,” she said. “Some textile experimentations just don't work in a fashion context so putting my collection together has been a process of elimination.

“I've loved the freedom we have as students at Gray’s to go between departments and I feel this freedom has really shaped how adventurous I've been with the development of my textiles.”

The 2015 Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, sponsored by BP for the twelfth year, will run at the art school on Garthdee Road, Aberdeen until June 27.

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