‘I feel like the fashion industry as a whole can be elitist, and everyone has this one perception of what things have to look like,’ explains FAD finalist Emmanuella Yiadom-Boakye, who is currently putting the finishing touches to her garment. ‘A lot of things look the same and and I don’t like that you have to follow a trend. It makes sense, because whatever’s trending sells, but I don’t like that aspect of it.’
This September, during London Fashion Week, Emmanuella will unveil pieces to an audience at Freemason’s Hall. ‘At the V&A I saw this curtain that derived from India,’ she says, sharing her inspiration for the piece. ‘I found it interesting how the British Empire took inspiration from Indian fabrics and my specific theme was abstract shapes, and so wanted a lot of shapes to be on it too.’
She’s also been sure to inject her own heritage in there. ‘I don’t have anyone in fashion in my family but I always see my mum in certain fabrics and that influences me a lot,’ she says. ‘I’m also from Ghana and so when I go back there, that inspires me too.’
During her time with FAD she feels she’s learnt a lot, from technical skills down to self-expression. ‘Growing up I always thought there was just fashion design, but FAD has shown me that there are a lot of different pathways. I can do pattern-cutting, garment technology. There are a lot of different options aside from fashion design.
‘In terms of creativity I’ve found that you can find influence from various places, and you can make something great from the weirdest things. Also being able to present my work. At school we don’t do that much but having the illustrations and being able to talk about your work, I wouldn’t have been able to do that before.’