Fashion Futures 2013, graduating from BA (Hons) Textiles, Edinburgh College of Art
‘Fashion Futures helped me understand the design process from start to finish. Learning about each stage and putting it into practice helped me to structure my projects at school, college and university,’ begins Ruby Stern, who took part in FAD Fashion Futures back in 2013. ‘The practical skills we learnt, from pattern cutting to industrial sewing machines, were more in depth than I was taught at school and the tutors at FAD were always on hand to help ensure my work was of a professional standard. I still have the calico toile dress I made during Fashion Futures. A few years ago I was asked to bring a finished garment to an internship interview so I brought this toile along with a portfolio and got the job!’
Since her time with FAD, Ruby has completed an art, design and media foundation year at Ravensbourne and is just finishing a BA in Textiles at the University of Edinburgh. ‘Going to university was hugely beneficial,’ she continues. ‘It helped me gain independence and confidence, broaden my friendship circle and learn about myself as an individual and as a designer.’
For her final collection, Exposure, Ruby has been exploring the relationship that exists between the female form and the materials that adorn it and has spent time looking at how a fabric folds, gathers and manipulates over the figure. ‘My process started with photography, capturing the intimate relationship between skin, body and materials using 35mm film photography,’ she says, delving into the story behind the pieces, which she logged on her Instagram and website.
‘I developed a collection of unusual and ethereal images inspiring my design for fabric and using double exposures, I layered the photographs manually, creating new patterns, unexpected colour combinations and the illusion of moving image. I then used a varied range of textile techniques to respond to my photography, including screen and digital printing, devoré and laser cutting and developed a technique of printing with liquid latex to push the boundaries of how this material can be applied, creating prints that add both stretch and texture to the fabric.’
With her university degree show fast approaching and with an exhibit confirmed at this year’s New Designers, Ruby is looking forward to networking with industry professionals and seeing where the future takes her. ‘Ask lots of questions,’ Ruby concludes, offering her advice to others. ‘The tutors are professionals with lots of knowledge, and their experience could help you.’