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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Graduate Fashion Week Interview: Northumbria’s Stephanie Jayne Price

In another post-Graduate Fashion Week interview, Matt Bramford chats to another of his favourites, Stephanie Jayne Price, about tailoring, the Toon and the stellar line-up of people in the fashion industry she worked with…

Written by Matt Bramford


Barry Flanagan’s Nijinski Hare, treat illustrated by Naomi Law

I recently stepped out of London’s unusually baking sun to enjoy an afternoon visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. On reaching the courtyard, more about the whole place seemed to be in high spirits with Barry Flanagan’s bronze hares prancing around and the ordinarily stern permanent statue sporting a floral sash.


Photograph by Naomi Law

During the largest open exhibition in the UK, the labyrinthine rooms of Burlington House play host to a swarm of artists, from the unknown to the infamous, waiting to surprise visitors around every corner. Everyone is welcome to submit work to the exhibition each year, resulting in a diverse collection ranging from painting to architecture, and sculpture to film. The majority of the works on display are for sale, and although the prices predictably reach the astronomical, there are several pieces accessible to those with more modest purse strings if you take a closer look.

This year’s theme is Raw, which according to David Chipperfield, co-ordinator of the architecture room, signifies ‘vitality, risk taking and a necessary sense of adventure.’ Stephen Chambers, the main co-ordinator of this year’s show, states that raw art is ‘fresh, new, visceral and affirmative. Some of it is fairly scary too’.

Perhaps one of the most talked about pieces in the show is David Mach’s Silver Streak, a ferocious larger-than-life gorilla made entirely from wire coat hangers. These are surprisingly effective in creating a sense of weight and movement – he’s an imposing figure!


David Mach’s Silver Streak, illustrated by Paul Shinn

Mach appears again just behind the gorilla with Babel Towers, a huge and complex collage of an outlandish seaside town with the mountainous ‘tower’ ascending into the clouds.

On entering many of the rooms, your eye is dutifully drawn to plenty of bold and large-scale works. Somehow the flamboyance of these pieces drew my attention to the smaller or less immediately-noticeable pieces, and this is what I have largely chosen to focus on.

My childhood fascination with anything miniature (and consequent hours spent creating minute little things from Fimo) was happily indulged by the collection of architects’ models and drawings in the Lecture Room.

Visitors are treated to views of buildings in their ‘raw’ forms, as seen through the eyes of the architect. The methods of construction and presentation of these models is as fascinating as the designs themselves.

It will come as no surprise that I spent the longest time in the Small Weston Room, which is filled with over two hundred smaller paintings, some no larger than a postcard.

Several otherwise everyday scenes are beautified in oils: Francis Matthews’ The Coombe depicts a Dublin street corner whilst Josephine Greenman uses the familiar blue and white of a traditional dinner service to render miniscule domestic settings in Silence I & II.

Amazing craftsmanship can also be seen in Claire Moynihan’s Moth Balls, 2010; dozens of moths are intricately embroidered onto their own Alpaca wool felt ball.

In the Large Weston Room, David Borrington predicts the state of the high street in 2020 if a certain supermarket is allowed to continue its invasion of our neighbourhoods. Globull Internashll Tescgoows 2020 is a stark reminder of the need to find an alternative.


David Borrington’s Globull Internashll Tescgoows, courtesy of the artist’s website

Just around the corner Oran O’Reilly’s beautifully comic Rizla, after Hokusai shows the famous Great Wave surging from a pack of cigarette papers. Maybe not such an odd pairing considering the prevalence of Hokusai’s wave in poster form in student accommodation up and down the country (admittedly including my own not so long ago).

Also currently on display at the Royal Academy, and well worth seeing, is a collection of work by academicians who have passed away over the last year. I was particularly taken with Michael Kidner’s painstakingly drawn geometric forms in No Thing Nothing.

If you can’t make it to the Royal Academy, you can see work from A-level students selected for the online exhibition here.

All photographs courtesy of the Royal Academy, unless otherwise stated.

Barry Flanagan’s Nijinski Hare, price illustrated by Naomi Law

I recently stepped out of London’s unusually baking sun to enjoy an afternoon visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. On reaching the courtyard, find the whole place seemed to be in high spirits with Barry Flanagan’s bronze hares prancing around and the ordinarily stern permanent statue sporting a floral sash.


Photograph by Naomi Law

During the largest open exhibition in the UK, the labyrinthine rooms of Burlington House play host to a swarm of artists, from the unknown to the infamous, waiting to surprise visitors around every corner. Everyone is welcome to submit work to the exhibition each year, resulting in a diverse collection ranging from painting to architecture, and sculpture to film. The majority of the works on display are for sale, and although the prices predictably reach the astronomical, there are several pieces accessible to those with more modest purse strings if you take a closer look.

This year’s theme is Raw, which according to David Chipperfield, co-ordinator of the architecture room, signifies ‘vitality, risk taking and a necessary sense of adventure.’ Stephen Chambers, the main co-ordinator of this year’s show, states that raw art is ‘fresh, new, visceral and affirmative. Some of it is fairly scary too’.

Perhaps one of the most talked about pieces in the show is David Mach’s Silver Streak, a ferocious larger-than-life gorilla made entirely from wire coat hangers. These are surprisingly effective in creating a sense of weight and movement – he’s an imposing figure!


David Mach’s Silver Streak, illustrated by Paul Shinn

Mach appears again just behind the gorilla with Babel Towers, a huge and complex collage of an outlandish seaside town with the mountainous ‘tower’ ascending into the clouds.

On entering many of the rooms, your eye is dutifully drawn to plenty of bold and large-scale works. Somehow the flamboyance of these pieces drew my attention to the smaller or less immediately-noticeable pieces, and this is what I have largely chosen to focus on.

My childhood fascination with anything miniature (and consequent hours spent creating minute little things from Fimo) was happily indulged by the collection of architects’ models and drawings in the Lecture Room.

Visitors are treated to views of buildings in their ‘raw’ forms, as seen through the eyes of the architect. The methods of construction and presentation of these models is as fascinating as the designs themselves.

It will come as no surprise that I spent the longest time in the Small Weston Room, which is filled with over two hundred smaller paintings, some no larger than a postcard.

Several otherwise everyday scenes are beautified in oils: Francis Matthews’ The Coombe depicts a Dublin street corner whilst Josephine Greenman uses the familiar blue and white of a traditional dinner service to render miniscule domestic settings in Silence I & II.

Amazing craftsmanship can also be seen in Claire Moynihan’s Moth Balls, 2010; dozens of moths are intricately embroidered onto their own Alpaca wool felt ball.

In the Large Weston Room, David Borrington predicts the state of the high street in 2020 if a certain supermarket is allowed to continue its invasion of our neighbourhoods. Globull Internashll Tescgoows 2020 is a stark reminder of the need to find an alternative.


David Borrington’s Globull Internashll Tescgoows, courtesy of the artist’s website

Just around the corner Oran O’Reilly’s beautifully comic Rizla, after Hokusai shows the famous Great Wave surging from a pack of cigarette papers. Maybe not such an odd pairing considering the prevalence of Hokusai’s wave in poster form in student accommodation up and down the country (admittedly including my own not so long ago).

Also currently on display at the Royal Academy, and well worth seeing, is a collection of work by academicians who have passed away over the last year. I was particularly taken with Michael Kidner’s painstakingly drawn geometric forms in No Thing Nothing.

If you can’t make it to the Royal Academy, you can see work from A-level students selected for the online exhibition here.

All photographs courtesy of the Royal Academy, unless otherwise stated.

Stephanie Jayne Price‘s slick, buy futuristic collection at Northumbria University‘s Graduate Fashion Week show was a real winner – combining masculine tailoring with feminine quirks. I loved the lines that the creations formed, order and the sophistication of each of the pieces – so much so that I couldn’t wait to have a chat with Miss Price and find out what is was all about.

What are the benefits of showing at Graduate Fashion Week?
GFW is an excellent platform for young designers to exhibit work to the industry. It’s a great opportunity to see what the other schools have been up to and ultimately the future of British fashion. For the individual it provides a chance to show your collection to a much wider audience. After spending a year putting your heart and soul into your work, GFW offers a prestigious and professional setting to exhibit your work. It’s a real honour!


Photographs by Matt Bramford

?Northumbria students put on a show at the Baltic in Newcastle before heading for Earl’s Court – how did the two venues compare?
Oh the Baltic is a wonderful space! I have such a soft spot for it! It was our first fashion show, and it was the entire year; only 25 show at GFW, so it was a really nice way to see all the collections together. After seeing bits and bobs around the studio it is so exciting to see everything and everyone come together! We were really fortunate to have such a good location in Newcastle and it was done really well.
On the other hand, Graduate Fashion Week is on a far larger scale – the catwalk and the space is set up a lot differently.  The raised runway, the models, the lighting – they are more professional I guess. But, I don’t know really. I enjoyed both immensely!
?
What’s your fashion history?
My Grandma was a tailoress, she taught me to sew and it went from there. I always wanted to study fashion. I was in primary school drawing cartoons of my friends, in secondary school drawing ball gowns and making business cards for my future self! And from textiles in school, I became fascinated by it all!

?Did you get the chance to work alongside anybody in the industry during your studies?
I’ve been very lucky and done a few placements, and no doubt I’ll be doing a few more! After 1st year, I worked for a month at Philip Treacy. I’ve always had a passion for hats! To be able to meet Philip and work there was amazing! I loved it! Then during our placement year I spent three months working with [friends of Amelia's Magazine] Emilio de la Morena. Then I worked for The Collection, a sampling and textile company, Tatty Devine and Gareth Pugh. Now, I’m really hoping to get involved with another studio before fashion week in September. I’m a bit of a geek for pattern cutting and toiling so I’d like to get stuck in to that!

What inspires you, both for this collection and generally?
Inspiration can come from just about anywhere, but for my own work I am very concept led. There is something very exciting about capturing a meaning, telling a story, and watching it direct ideas. Imagination is a wonderful thing. Generally, it can be when I’m out and about, reading, having a coffee, chatting up with friends… endless possibilities! I love visiting museums and exhibitions… My collection captures the idea of being trapped in a kaleidoscope, which stemmed from considering how we see, travelling light, and light reflecting… I ended up eventually, asking lots of people how they’d feel if they were trapped in a kaleidoscope! I’d initially been focused on building lights into the garments, and it happened for the Newcastle show – sadly there wasn’t time for the London show, but this fusion with technology is something I’d like to further.
?
Your collection mixes masculine tailoring with feminine quirks. Why did you choose the cuts/techniques that you worked with?
Until recently I never really thought about it, but you’re right! It is a bit masculine; you’ve captured it well! I’m not sure really, I think that’s my own personal taste, I’m a bit boyish in my own dress. All the geometric shapes stemmed from cutting, and distorting the body, as though being looked upon inside that kaleidoscopic world. There were lots of triangles too! Kaleidoscopes are triangular mirrors, so the cutting used triangular inserts to push and pull the cloth, and then you put it on a body and you get a whole new dimension!


 
The colour palette is very simple – why didn’t you use colour? (This is a question, not a criticism!)
This was inspired by the concept as well. Since it was based on light, I avoided black – black absorbs light. I wear a lot of black, so I wanted to stay clear of it for this concept. White was too clinical, too bright, so everything was toned down. I wanted it to be soft and unobtrusive and to be honest colour stresses me out a bit! I’m learning to deal with it haha!
 
What did you like about Northumbria and Newcastle? How’s the fashion scene in the Toon?
Well, when I was looking to choose a University, Northumbria was the last place on my mind. I was set on getting far away from home, until I reluctantly came to the open day for Northumbria 5 years ago, and from that day it felt like home. I sat in the old design school and was inspired. I thought, ‘I actually quite like this place… can I stay?!’
I don’t know, is there a scene?!? I haven’t really left the studio much this year to know! Haha!


?
Which fashion designers do you look to for inspiration?
Years ago I started reading about ‘conceptual’ designers, and I have a fascination with Viktor & Rolf. I’d really like to meet them. I think we’d have nice chats! Haha! I’d really like to work for them! I also have admiration for Hussein Chalayan and Rei Kawakubo. Heroes I guess! I’d like to work for both of these as well. I’m a bit of a dreamer!

Did your collection receive positive attention at GFW?
Well I’ve had some lovely blogs and feedback at GFW. On a different occasion I’d been able to present it to a small panel at the BFC and they gave me some really good advice and said some really lovely things.  I was flattered they liked my cutting, and I’ve had feedback from other names from industry with similar comments and interest.

?What do the next few months hold for Stephanie Jayne Price?
At the minute I’m looking into undertaking an MA at the University of Kingston. I met the course leader the other day and she is wonderful! I’m really hoping to continue with the integration of lights and technology fused with this style of cutting and silhouette I’ve developed over the year. Fingers crossed for that! Hopefully I’ll also get involved with some studios to get some more experience – doing some cutting for them, maybe some freelance work. There are a few things to consider really. The world is my oyster!

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