What does it take to pull ideas and final looks together on a fashion degree?
Tom’s part-way through his Fashion Menswear degree- he takes five to give us the inside story.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from Jamaica but I grew up in East London, Shoreditch, basically all my life. I chose my A levels in textiles, media and theatre studies. But I ended up doing a BTEC in Art & Design so from there I really found the love for making clothes and textile fabrics.
How would you describe your work?
As a designer/artist I’m really into everything that’s African. A lot of my themes and my moods are from different tribes. Recent ones would be the Izikothane tribe in South Africa whose style is a recycled throw away fashion from the west, they layer things and make beautiful patterns, prints and textures. I feel like Africa has a wealth of knowledge and research, I really love getting ideas from the many different cultures.
Tell us about something you’re working on right now
This project we have at the moment is to pitch an idea to a brand that we’ve chosen. So, we had the options of Gucci, JW Anderson, Walter van Beirendonck, Prada. I’m looking into the theme of Hyena men – my personal research. Hyena men are a tribe in Nigeria. They have the most beautifully put together outfits with their pet hyenas.
I’ll be making the textiles for this as it’s part of the brief but also thinking of what the silhouettes look like but keeping in mind that you’re you’re making something with your research, in the style of the brand you’ve chosen.
I think it’s probably my favourite project because on my foundation we did a lot of textiles so that’s really cool to get the chance to experiment with textiles again. It’s a little more challenging because we have less time and we’re making three garments.
What inspires you?
Like I said before, my biggest inspiration are the tribes and cultures in Africa- limitless in terms of silhouettes and different textiles and shapes that they use.
In terms of current artists or designers, I get a lot of inspiration from Craig Green just because I love the whole idea of having one idea or starting point and developing it for seasons and seasons. Almost like you’re having one thing and you’re making it better each time. And I kind of think that’s what I see in my work and see myself doing. Even if it’s like a niche audience, having that getting better as I progress. I think with fashion you could work on a piece of clothing forever. You know it’s never done. I kind of like that idea that I could have a style and let it run.
I think what’s cool about Craig is he did textiles before he went to fashion. I love the fact that his first collection is made from calico. No one makes clothes out of calico! He’s super innovative with his ideas and I love the fact- I went to a talk that he did- that he was never I, I, I – he was always about team work. I like the idea of being a collective, because you’re never going to be perfect at everything, so let me perfect at this and get someone else who’s perfect at that.
I really want to dabble with everything including PR and writing about fashion; To have a full scope of the fashion world and eventually have my own brand.
Follow Tom on Instagram: @thomasharvey__
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