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Graduate Fashion Week: Anna Chandler, University of Brighton student, tells us about her poetic collection


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During our time at Graduate Fashion Week, we got the opportunity to talk to many talented designers about their inspiration.

I got the chance to chat with University of Brighton student Anna Chandler about her incredibly poetic work that was showcased on Tuesday.

So Anna, what was your inspiration for your collection?

“It basically started with my family heritage. I’ve got a few relatives who have worked in the industry and I’m really interested in craft in my work. There’s also craft in the fishing industry  net-making, weaving, knitting — so I’ve worked that into my craft. It’s all made of silk and they’re big gown shapes, and it was based on the idea of aspiration beyond your means and pride in hard work. These women would work so hard to catch these fish, and it was such laborious work. The weaving and the crinolines are all made by hand; I didn’t use a sewing machine for them. So it’s kind of that idea of like a lot of labour has gone into it, like a labour of love kind of thing. And the shape of the crinolines is from lobster cages, so that’s where that idea came from.”

How did you know you wanted to go into fashion?

“I kind of always have known. My mom did costume design and taught me to sew when I was really little. I’ve literally been doing it all my life. I’m kind of lucky that I fell into it.”

How did it make you feel to see your clothes on the runway?

“It was so horrible. I was so nervous. I was sitting there like ‘it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming.’ And then it came down, and there’s so much adrenaline, I could feel my heart. And when they left the stage, I was like ‘oh, thank God. Nothing was wrong, and it was all fine.’”

What are your future career or design goals?

“My dream job? Run Dior, maybe? No, but seriously I definitely want to do making, not necessarily the design side. I enjoy making things, like that side of it. I’m quite interested in couture. Rather than general collections, I’d rather do one garment and make it amazing. Maybe something to do with sustainability, but anything really. Just see where it takes me.”

And finally, why do you think graduate fashion week is important?

“I think it’s important because it gives everyone an opportunity to showcase their work. It’s so nice to see everything going down the catwalk because we hadn’t actually had an opportunity to see everything finished and done together. Without this, I don’t think anyone would have that opportunity really unless you have, like, a uni show. But you don’t get this kind of, like, a show where everyone comes together from all over the world. I just think it’s so important that students get that opportunity.”

Thanks Anna!

Follow Anna's Designs here!

Graduate Fashion Week 2018 is taking place at the Old Truman Brewery between 3rd and 6th June.

The National Student will be reporting from the event daily - see all our coverage here.

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