Class Of 2020: Elise Keeling

Name: Elise Keeling.                                                                                                                                                                                         Age: 24.                                                                                                                                                                                                    University: UCA Rochester.                                                                                                                                                                        Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print .                                                                                                                                                    Describe your design aesthetic in 3 words?  Bold prints, Colourful, Fun.

What message or story do your designs portray?My initial idea stemmed from my experiences at music festivals for the ‘Pretty - Ugly Festival’ collection. It is a contrast between the beauty of a festival and the chaos it leaves behind. I wanted to c…

Whatmessage or story do your designs portray?

My initialidea stemmed from my experiences at music festivals for the ‘Pretty - UglyFestival’ collection. It is a contrast between the beauty of a festival and thechaos it leaves behind. I wanted to create a body of work that shows the beautyof a festival: the getting ready, the make-up, the glittered outfits, music,joyfulness, fun, but also that grungy chaos side that occurs slowly whereeverything left behind is a mess. Rubbish is left, sleeping bags have beendragged through the mud and tents are sprawled across the fields deserted withrubbish and dirty laundry. Also, the mess of lack of sleep, no washing, alcoholand drugs and loud music can do to change someone’s appearance.

My primaryfocus was the personal transformation: from beauty to chaos and mess; thesecondary was about the ecological sustainability awareness of the world. Themetaphor of physically wrapping ourselves up in rubbish at the festival and theworld being bound up and choked by waste. My concept addresses sustainabilityand ethical practice through encouraging young people to be more sustainablyaware of their detritus, littering the once beautiful landscape. I get you tothink about how humans transform what is beautiful and orderly into somethingwhich is ugly and chaotic.

My message is to protect the beauty of nature andthe natural world and to create a constant discourse around the need for sustainabilityboth in fashion - and in society. We need to recognize the need for change whenit comes to handling festival waste, and come up with more solutions to suggeston how to combat against it. This collection is very fashion forward, abeautiful high fashion statement, created using recycled sleeping bags andother sustainable materials that have been taken apart and reconstructed backtogether, the sustainability also comes through in my prints showing the trashand waste that has been left behind.


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

I would like to achieve a successful brand,that stems from this collection, for ages 16 – 24, for young women who want todress bright and colourful, who want to create an energetic and positiveimpact, by wearing printed clothing that has a message.


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

 I think the biggest issue facing the fashionindustry today is that retailers must provide fashion that is affordable to allincome brackets while respecting their societal responsibilities forsustainable production.


 How do you think the pandemicis going to change the way we consume fashion? I feel thepandemic will change the way we consume fashion because I feel we will thinkmore about the price and the cost. We may even start to reuse the fashion wealready have. I think people will buy less and take care of what fashion theyalready have. I feel more people are shopping on second-hand clothing sites andshops, and this may develop further after the pandemic.


Howis your concept design going to translate to something people can wear ineveryday life?

The brandcreates killer looks that takes the festival message to another level. EGKTextiles aims to create confidence in women, while expanding on the messagefrom ‘Pretty - Ugly Festival’ collection, translating my bold colourful printsand using them to create young everyday fashion that young women can expressthemselves with.


Whathas been your biggest inspiration to create fashion?

 I think my biggest inspiration hasbeen the previous graduates that have graduated before me. Watching themachieve their own brands and watching them show their work at Graduate FashionWeek, always inspired me to do the same.  


Wheredo you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

 I see myself with a successfulcreative brand, creating different statement collections that hopefully appearon catwalks and in magazines, while creating commercial fashion that youngwomen want to wear, with my printed fashion brightening up the fashionindustry.