Georgia Bruton’s collection first caught my eye at Graduate Fashion Week last summer (I had a dash round before I went to work back stage with the university whose graduate collections I was styling). It was bright and shiny so, like the predictable magpie that I am, I made a beeline to where it was hanging on the Northbrook stand. Her sequin, lace-trimmed oversized t-shirt dresses were my favourite pieces, with their clashing colours and bold printed slogans, so I made a note to work with the collection in future. Having recently loaned a number of pieces for an editorial shoot, I was able to discover more about the ideas and influences behind the collection and they certainly go a little deeper than mere sequins and trim.
Georgia’s SS15 collection, ‘Who Gives A Brit’, was sponsored by RTS Textile Recyclers. RTS are a fantastic company who are dedicated to working towards reducing UK landfill to zero; no mean feat when we currently send 1 million tons worth of clothes to landfill each year.
It was then that she approached RTS with her idea to source bulk rag through a local company to turn it into something new. RTS were excited by the prospect of working with a fashion student and allowed her to hand pick her way through the mountain of textiles collected from clothes bins and charity shops.
“There is so much waste in the world, people buy more and more stuff, and don’t see the potential of the old so just chuck it out. It was really satisfying to give the rag a new lease of life! I was really lucky RTS were so open minded and let me hand pick all of the clothing, I couldn’t have done it without them!”
Georgia looked to the idea of waste and recycling to inspire the design process as well as fabric sourcing, creating motifs inspired by the creases in bin bags and beer cans discarded in flower beds. There was also the challenge of re-working pre-existing garments into something new and the restrictions that came with pre-cut fabrics. Rather than fight against this and try to disguise it, Georgia let the shapes inform her pattern cutting, and influence the cut and fit of her garments.
So, where does the Brit influence come from? Moving on from exploring our over consumption, Georgia also took a peek into the bleaker aspects of modern British culture – binge drinking, gambling, and fighting to name a few – and considered the decline of traditional figures of Britishness. The red phone box, for instance, is an enduring symbol of Britain, yet you would be hard pushed to find one that hasn’t become an unofficial public toilet and a mosaic of call girl’s cards. ‘No Rush’, the slogan that graces two of the dresses I’m wearing below, was a part of one lovely lady’s sales pitch on her card but subsequently became an apt tagline for the ‘slow fashion’ path Georgia took. It’s a simple line but, when applied to an industry which is so fascinated with what’s coming next, it becomes a bold statement and a message to live by.