Scooping both the George at Asda Gold Award and the Womenswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week, Chloe Jones from Bath Spa University is a name you need to know
Scooping both the George at Asda Gold Award and the Womenswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week, as well as industry support and mentoring, Chloe Jones from Bath Spa University is a name you need to know.
We caught up with her to discuss fashion, inspiration and what to do with her £20,000 prize.
What was the inspiration behind your collection?
It started with my love for gothic and cathedral architecture, it’s so atmospheric. From here I decided to explore the subject in more detail and draw on other religious imagery. I was looking a lot at stained glass windows and had the idea of bringing the ethereal figures within them to life in the modern day.
What was on your moodboard?
Stunning vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, monks, friars, archangels. It was all very raw and emotive.
Do you sketch your ideas?
Yes, to start with I do like to sketch my ideas alongside my research to get an idea of where the collection is going. But it’s when you start to mock up the ideas in 3-D that most of the development happens and you can see the shapes and silhouettes evolve. That’s the exciting part!
How did it feel to see your finished collection on the catwalk?
It’s very rewarding. Of course it’s quite daunting presenting your work to the public having put your heart and soul into it, and you are never really able to step back and enjoy it properly! But I was so lucky that it was received so well.
Talk me through the materials and fabrics you used?
I used typical sweatshirt jerseys alongside silks. I wanted to give the hoodies a couture quality, so they are hand embroidered with metallic leaves and hand beaded and embellished. They are worn with full length, voluminous silk dresses to contrast with a more ethereal quality.
Do you have a favourite piece?
Possibly the cropped hoodie – this is the first piece I designed and worked on, and where the rest of the collection really stemmed from. It’s very heavily embroidered and embellished across the shoulders, almost wing-like. I think it really represents what the collection is about.
Were there many late nights and early mornings?
Everything was done by hand, so it took forever. I think that’s the nature of the industry anyway, and when you are so engrossed in your work you want to put that time and effort in.
Tell me what was going through your mind when your name was announced and you were called up on stage?
It was incredibly surreal. I have a vague recollection of my course mates all jumping up and screaming, but apart from that it was all a bit of a blur! I was completed stunned – I was so chuffed just to be able to show my collection at GFW, so to win both the Womenswear Award and the Gold Award was incredible.
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What do you plan to do with your £20,000 prize money?
I think it’s just the most amazing support to enter the industry with. It means that whatever opportunities come my way, I am now able to pursue which is just invaluable for a graduate.
Who would you like to see wearing your collection?
Somebody youthful who encompasses both the strong, powerful and urban qualities of the sportswear, and the ethereal, vulnerable element of the collection.
Whose style do you admire?
I have always admired Sarah Jessica Parker. She can look incredibly classic, but also be playful and have fun with fashion. Whatever look she goes for, I think she does it well and always looks incredibly stylish.
Do you have a favourite designer?
I admire different people, different seasons. I really love all sorts whether it’s the stunning minimalism of Jil Sander, the richness of Cavalli or the heritage of Burberry. Generally, I love quite classic design but with the little details and touches that make a garment extraordinary and exciting.
What’s next for you?
It’s all very overwhelming at the moment and the interest has been amazing. There are lots of opportunities arising from GFW, so we will have to see. I’m very excited to get into the industry.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Who knows! Engrossed in work and hopefully contributing to this amazing industry in one way or another. I’m open to all opportunities and very excited about the future.