MA Design graduates 2016: Matea Pelko explores the environmental and human costs of a patriotic symbol

As her final project for the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Matea Pelko investigated what lies beneath the public image of the tie as a symbol of national pride in Croatia.

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How did you decide on neckties as the starting point for your graduation project, and what was your goal for the project?

As I’m originally from Croatia, I wanted to start from my origins and ties were the perfect media to do so. Not so many people know, but the tie was created by Croats, and shortly after it became obligatory wardrobe for French soldiers. The style quickly spread to England, and neckties began [to be] an important part of men’s wardrobes until today. Croats forgot about the tie until 1990, when Marijan Buši, visionary founder of the Croata fashion brand, decided to share his vision and remind the world what is it so special about the Croatian view of the tie, and of the almost forgotten basic values that the cravat or necktie embodies. My goal was to deconstruct that view in order to learn more about my nation, values, and what exactly are we selling to world as a Croatian principle.Read More »

MA Design graduates 2016: Katherine Tse uses home resources to expose the effort behind manufacturing clothes

For her graduation project from the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Yuen Wa Tse (Katherine) took on the laborious task of making silk underwear with home resources, in order to highlight the effort that even the most mundane clothing items require in their manufacturing process. She also aimed to produce items uncoupled from the fetishisation of gender identity:

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How did you decide on fast fashion and gender identity in fashion as the topic for your graduation project?

Fashion is intimately tied to our human bodies and our identity. Fast fashion can been seen as an outgrowth of high fashion in its aim to accommodate a more expressive individuality. I am particularly interested in the authenticity of an individual’s sense of self, gender and sexuality through fashion.Read More »