“Garment ‘use’ and our relationship with clothes is a consistent theme of this body of work and has been considered through illustration, written dialogue and fabric manipulation.”
Garment Design, Construction and Illustration
BA (Hons) Fashion Design
Glasgow School of Art
“Illustration, writing and garment construction together form the basis of my work. Though currently based in Musselburgh, I spent the last few years in Glasgow as a student at the Glasgow School of Art, working on a range of functional and abstract clothing, illustrating the everyday, and researching social and environmental issues in the fashion industry. This work has resulted in a set of books, illustrations and a collection called ‘Memories of Dress’ which draws from stories of garment ‘use’, a series of illustrated interviews about our most valued clothes. Each piece of the collection has been developed from these stories of our most loved clothes and takes the key elements of comfort, security, identity and childhood memory. The aesthetic draws from hand-me-downs, abstract artwork and 60s interiors. Functional accessories are intertwined with this abstract aesthetic – resulting in fashion design that considers wearability, function and desirability.
Garment ‘use’ and our relationship with clothes is a consistent theme of this work and has been considered through illustration, written dialogue and fabric manipulation. I always come back to this topic because it is personal and relatable, as the simplicity of a worn garment is something we all have in common. Each garment can provide an insight to identity, behaviour, gender differences, age, occupational roles, culture, religion and wealth. I believe that understanding garment ‘use’ is an important area to consider in the design process, particularly if emotional durability is the desired outcome. Of course, the ‘use’ of a garment is most often unpredictable and cannot be established in the design process. However, small considerations of things such as comfort, the effects of wear and weather, and the social implications of each design, can all contribute towards a more valuable outcome.
In light of the issues surrounding obsolete design, and the constant consumption and disposal of objects, the need to find value in our things is as essential as ever. Talking to people about their clothes and communicating the ways in which we use garments, are just small ways in bringing value to our things. The more we understand about object-use, the less we are likely to consume things impulsively. To understand ‘use’ value means understanding the role that clothing plays in our identity, our sense of self, and our relationship with others. Finding this value potentially contributes to a change in the way we consume material things, and opens up conversations about our social and environmental responsibility. The collection ‘Memories of Dress’ and book ‘Garment Stories’ are just the beginnings of an idea that addresses some of these issues.”
Materials and Techniques
“For the clothing, the materials are a combination of new and old. From Yorkshire wool, Scottish linen, to an old shirt, bed sheets and a forgotten sari – each garment is produced from carefully sourced fabrics to encourage a lower environmental impact whilst sustaining a desirable and durable outcome. Some garments have been wadded with recycled plastic bottles and stitched to form quilted, comfortable structures. Patterns have been adjusted, small pieces of fabric utilised and all of the striped garments have been hand-drawn to reduce fabric waste. Throughout the collection you can find aspects of tailoring, abstract form, hidden pockets and other functional details like bags that grow into the garment.
My Books have been made using hand binding methods filled with pencil illustrations.”
Awards, Exhibitions and News
Based between Edinburgh and London.
Working as a freelance designer and illustrator.
Employed by a childrenswear company in London called Petit Pli (www.petitpli.com).
Working on collaborative projects with other textile/fashion designers and photographers based in both Scotland and London.
Recently exhibited at the Scottish Graduate Craft Awards for Inches Carr Trust at the V&A Dundee.
Morag is continuing to write and develop a handbook guide for the fashion design process and collect interviews for her ‘Garment Stories’ project.
She is also developing new designs, creating bespoke tailored garments for clients and striving to find more solutions for reducing environmental impact in the pattern cutting process.
“Memories of Dress draws from stories of garment ‘use’, a series of illustrated interviews about our most valued clothes. Talking to people about their clothes and communicating the ways in which we use garments, are just small ways in bringing value to our things “