I'm republishing today an interview I originally did for Zoot Magazine with Bath Spa University Fashion Design graduate Chloe Jones.
Gothic architecture and stained glass windows are just two of the main inspirations behind Chloe Jones' graduate collection. Entitled "Our Father Who Art in Heaven", the collection is a mixture of sporty and casual inspirations combined with couture elements in a prevalently grey palette from charcoal to dove.
The collection includes floor-length gowns dresses with organza hoodies decorated with metallic embroideries (for that added Medieval twist...) and won Jones two prestigious prizes at Graduate Fashion Week - the Gold Award and the Womenswear Awards. Three looks from Jones' collection were also featured in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase that took place on the opening day of London Fashion Week.
Can you tell us more about your background?
Chloe Jones: I was born in Leamington Spa, but have lived in Murcott, Oxfordshire, for the last 18 years. I went to Gosford Hill School in Oxfordshire before moving on to study Fashion Design BA(Hons) at Bath Spa University.
Who has been the greatest influence on your career choices?
Chloe Jones: I'm hugely influenced by many people, and from all aspects of the industry. I particularly admire the work that Christopher Bailey has done at Burberry, he's a real inspiration as I start my career.
How was showcasing your collection at the Graduate Fashion Week show where you also won two major awards?
Chloe Jones: It was such a privilege to be able to show at GFW, let alone be nominated for an award. To come away with both the Womenswear and Gold Award was such an honour! We were incredibly lucky to have George as sponsors, and it's really exciting that they have decided to sponsor the event again next year. It's such an amazing showcase of graduate talent. The feedback has been really positive, for all our graduates actually. Having worked so closely on a collection for so long, to have it received so well is incredibly rewarding - especially from the people on the judging panels who I have such respect and admiration for. I'm very excited to enter the industry and for what lies ahead.
Can you tell us more about your creative process?
Chloe Jones: I think the most important thing is that the creative process starts with something personal - a subject or interest that I can't help but explore and delve further into. There has to be meaning and substance in order to spark the creative ideas, and then it just all goes from there. Once the ideas and mood of a collection has been established, I think it's so important to start working in 3-D as soon as possible, which is when you can get a true idea of how something is working. From here, it's so exciting to realise those initial ideas and work on the details and refinement of a collection in order to produce something really special.
Can you tell us more about your collection and in particular about the main theme behind it?
Chloe Jones: It all started with my love for Gothic and Cathedral Architecture - there's something so atmospheric about it. The whole subject is so intriguing, so I began to look at things such as religious imagery, monks, stained glass windows, and the idea of bringing the figures that inhabit these windows to life. I wanted to keep the collection modern which is when I brought in the sportswear element, but in a way that was more ethereal and elegant than is usually seen. I wanted to created a collection that had a 'soul', playing on the idea of bringing these ethereal figures to life in the modern day. It's about somebody who is strong, powerful and urban, but with a more ethereal, serene quality that isn't always seen in this type of clothing. The collection features a lot of sweat shirt jersey to keep that essence of sportswear, but in new shapes and silhouettes that isn't typical of this type of clothing. I used the jersey alongside long, voluminous silk dresses to juxtapose the sportswear with a more luxe feel. The collection also features a lot of metallic leaves which are hand cut and embroidered onto the hoodies and hems of dresses, before being heavily beaded and embellished.
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What are your future plans?
Chloe Jones: I'm very excited about the opportunities that are arising from GFW. I'm hoping to get straight into the industry and start working. It's all very overwhelming at the moment, but I can't wait for what lies ahead!
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