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GFW19: Lauren Price on Sustainability and the Superb Bird of Paradise


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Sustainability is a big topic in the fashion industry of late, with more and more people becoming aware of the effects not just of fast fashion but of the materials used to make our clothes.

One animal's habitat that has been affected - and the one that Graduate Fashion Week designer Lauren Price has chosen to focus her work on - is the Superb Bird of Paradise.

Image Credit: Kevin Foster

Lauren, a graduate from Norwich University for the Arts, says she "was inspired by the Envisions 2030 for fashion and the predictions for fashion and how we can improve it".

#Envision2030 is a United Nations initiative that lays out 17 goals to transform the world for persons with disabilities.

It's obvious that for Lauren, to 'improve' fashion means to focus on how we can make it more sustainable.

Lauren explains how she looked to Goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals, Life on Land, and how the fashion industry has caused damage in this area, for inspiration in her work.

It was her "interpretation of the colours, the face" and "the textures" that led to her most recent design.

What is so breathtaking about her work are the headpieces: "I’m quite inspired by millinery, I worked with Philip Treacy for a while so I learnt it from him," she tells me.

On his website, it is detailed how 'Philip Treacy has become the world's most in-demand hat designer. His hats are as popular with European aristocrats as with Hollywood royalty. Widely credited for changing the perception of the hat, he designs hats to flatter and enhance the wearer.'

Was there a particular reason why Lauren chose to work with Goal 15? She explains how she "thought it was quite interesting how the industry, we sort of hide behind the prettiness, we don't really look behind at the uglier aspect.

"I think the industry and society have changed, (in) how we view animals and the world.

"Obviously I love millinery and millinery is inspired by feathers, so it's quite a nice contradiction to look at the two."

Lauren believes that in creating her Superb Bird of Paradise it would have been "a bit contradictory to use the feathers" of the actual bird, and that she could "get better textures from the fabrics" anyway - so, despite her themes, she opted for the latter.

Image credit: Danny Ovens

"I think sustainability is obviously quite a big issue we have in fashion right now," she says, "and it's important that as graduates we explore that so we can take it into the industry later on."

Lauren now has a bright future ahead of her, working for luxury British footwear and accessories company Fairfax and Favor. I think we can all agree that it's very encouraging to have fashion graduates that are so tuned in to the need for sustainability in their craft.

Lead Image Credit: Kevin Foster

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