Samantha Griffiths is a final year fashion design student who has won Graduate Fashion Week's Tag Your Talent twice this year. She was also featured as one of the Graduate Fashion Foundation’s Talents to watch for 2021!
Here Samantha speaks about her final year collection, designed to make women feel powerful. She took inspiration from her dissertation research on 80’s workwear.
Tell us about the concept for your collection.
"I aimed to capture the image and ethos of the new working woman. To create a range that makes women feel mentally and physically powerful “by projecting a prowess that tells the world its wearer means business even if that is simply getting up, getting dressed and taking on another day” (A D’avignon, the Atlantic, 2017). Not only looking at the 'new working woman' but, how the change of working from home and in the office, can affect your mental health.
The research that supports this design process explores the structure and shape of power dressing in the 80s while looking at the concept of cocooning. I aimed to find the balance between leisure and work wear by creating a connection between the wearer and the garment, allowing working women to bring comfort to the office and the office to their home.
What was your inspiration for this particular piece of work?
My dissertation research on 80s workwear and empowerment was the true inspiration for my collection. I took inspiration from the empowering working women around me, developing my designs and shapes through trial and error, considering their opinions and needs. It was a big help for me by using these inspiring women as my models.
How is sustainability, and an emphasis on wellbeing, embedded in your designs?
Since the beginning of my course, my focus has been on the wearer. I wanted to create garments that allowed someone to feel something when they put it on, reflecting the emotion achieved from a comfort blanket. Through doing this, I decided I only wanted to design collections to focus on my customer's needs instead of by season. That's why I created a circular collection that adapts with the wearer, their occasion, and the weather. By doing this, the customer will get much more wear out of their clothes.
What have you loved most about creating your collection?
I’ve never been so proud of myself as I am about my final collection. Over the last academic year, a standout moment for me was when my final collection came to life. I'd spent weeks talking about how I would make adaptable clothes that necessarily did not look it to the naked eye. After many trials and error, it was a feeling of great achievement when my designs came to life, in the final fabrics, and were successful.
How did it feel to be featured as one of the Graduate Fashion Foundation’s Talents to watch for 2021?
I was shocked when Graduate Fashion Week had allowed me to win Tag Your Talent twice this year, featuring me as one of the talents to watch for 2021. It was a feeling of great achievement. My hard work was clearly recognised."