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Chloe Ball

16th May 2021

Fashion Design BA student Chloe Ball is a knitwear specialist drawn to texture and detail as a way to express initial ideas through creating her own unique fabrics with stitch and yarn exploration. Chloe said: “I feel that fashion has become a platform for people to self-express and create an identity for themselves. I want to amplify this through knitwear, continuing to explore knit to innovate new details and styles to attract a wider market.”  

Chloe’s follow-on collection ‘Counting the Hours’ is inspired by Michael Cunningham’s 1998 novel and subsequent film ‘The Hours’, which illustrates how three women are linked together by the struggles they face through their emotions and mental health whilst appearing as though everything is fine on the outside. Chloe used quotes from ‘The Hours’ as a starting point such as “We carry our problems like heavy objects” and “We can’t heal if we keep pretending we are not hurt” to explore how if taken in a literal sense the wearer can be weighed down by heavy and oversized bags, fabrics, trims and details. Analysing how the silhouette and overall mood changed depending on the weight of the baggage, both physically and emotionally, inspired the garments within her collection. 

As a hands-on designer who enjoys sampling, moulage, and drawing, Chloe’s tactile approach to research and development helps to push innovation in her ideas, gaining a deep understanding of construction along the way. With a strong focus on mental health, Chloe has used this physical approach to research to explore the compelling concept for her collection. She said: “The pandemic has been an uncertain and worrying time for us all, therefore my collection focuses on how apprehension can affect our day to day lives, and how it can be turned into a physical form." She has taken this year as an opportunity to grow as a designer despite the challenges arising from the pandemic, using a trial & error approach to quickly move onto the next idea, keep the momentum and strengthening her skills. 

Chloe has experimented with cables, ropes and other knitted structures to portray a physical representation of an overspill of emotions. The colours of the collection are earthy, dark, and moody, inspired by the tones of decaying flowers in the novel “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. Layering of the garments within each look of the collection has been considered in terms of yarn composition and structure, with delicate and fine silk yarns on the inside and heavier cotton blends on the outside. This conceptual theme is balanced by keeping a minimal muse in mind whilst designing, to create a wearable yet innovative collection. 

 

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