Apr 27, 2017 | By Lourdes Linares
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2015 has been a great year for emerging denim design talent, with students across the UK looking to the fabric as inspiration for their graduate collections. So far on the WGSN denim blog we’ve already featured 3 impressive design students who were sponsored by Japanese mill Kaihara, as well as the ambitious Hollie Ward who set about hand-weaving her own denims for her final collection.
Recently I was contacted by yet another student who wanted to share her love of labour with me after her graduate presentation at the London Design Centre. Like Hollie Ward, Nicole Ajimal took on the challenging and painstaking task of weaving her own denims as part of her BA textile design course at the The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
An indigo lover herself, Nicole delved deep into the storied history of indigo and the various traditions from across the globe to inspire her own handwoven pieces. Taking reference from the stunning antique indigo patterns of Japan and intricate Ikat’s of Southeast Asia, along with British Punk and Rude Boy cultures, Nicole set about creating her own take on these heirloom fabrics.
The collection consists of a mix of single and double cloth looks that range from boro-inspired patchworks, through to intricate Ikat patterns. Taking a traditional approach to the process Nicole hand dyed her yarns before with indigo (in her back yard) before hand weaving them on her own 24 shaft loom. Each swatch took her around two days to make, and much of the process was very much about experimentation, trial and error. But as you can see the results are pretty impressive.
It’s truly inspirational to see such a fruitful year of aspiring denim talent and to see how these fresh graduate designers continue to prove themselves as the fashion influencers of the future.
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