Class Of 2020: Katie Gedling

Name: Katie Gedling

Age: 23

University: Northumbria University

Course: BA (Hons) Fashion

Describe Your Design Aesthetic In 3 words? Modern, Oversized and Layered.

What message or story do your designs portray? 

Purposeful, responsible design is at the core of my personal practise and underpins the research and development of my graduate collection. My designs not only portray the story of my Grandad’s career in the high-risk industry of coal mining but specifically draws inspiration from the continuous organic cycle between the extraction and exploitation of the earth’s resources. Highlighting the current need for sustainably conscious thinking within design by suggesting how everyday athleisure garments can be developed to fully utilise dead stock materials. 

What is one career aspiration that you’d most like to achieve?

It’s hard to imagine where my career will lead but one thing I’d like to achieve is to work in sustainable and ethical athleisure design. Taking inspiration from the past and combining this with the new to help create innovative products that appeal to the modern consumer and really push my creativity. 

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the fashion industry today?

Sustainability is an ongoing issue we face in the world, and in my opinion, currently the greatest issue to overcome in the fashion industry. With evidence of a large environmental impact, the constant rise in ‘throwaway’ fast fashion and continuous overconsumption, it’s more important than ever to design for longevity and with a garment’s lifespan in mind. I think it’s essential to be as environmentally conscious throughout the design and production process as possible, thinking about both before and after a garment is worn.  

How do you think the pandemic is going to change the way we consume fashion?

Technology has continued to advance so rapidly over the years’ and it’s more than likely that the pandemic is going to make us even more reliant on online platforms for fashion consumption. Internet surfing, social media and mobile apps have never been so instantly accessible, and in a time where physically visiting shops is so restricted, online alternatives must appear much more appealing to consumers.  

How is your concept design going to translate to something people can wear in everyday life?

My aim was to create designs that could easily be adapted and become suitable for everyday wear. Creating oversized silhouettes in technical fabrication with adjustable features and multiple fastenings: to allow the wearer to alter the garments to suit their personal style. Also, developing a minimal waste pattern cutting technique with pattern layouts and mass cutting in mind, to produce as little fabric waste as possible.  What has been your biggest inspiration to create fashion? I’ve always enjoyed art and design: I think it’s the creative freedom that I love so much. When I did Textiles at A-Level, that was the first time I’d ever really taken a textile that step further to create something wearable. That was when I knew I wanted to pursue fashion in order to develop a greater understanding of how to design and construct for the body.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In five years’ time, I’m hoping to have continued gaining experience in the industry asa designer, working as part of a team that strives to create exceptional product with a sustainable mindset and that keeps challenging the boundaries of fashion.

Words: Sophie Roberts