When fashion designer Emily Walton set out to create her university project, she didn't just want to make a collection, she wanted to establish a brand. From that, Civestism was born.
Interesting prints, silky fabrics and defined silhouettes are the essence of Civestism's identity. However there is much more than meets the eye in terms of what exactly inspires Walton to create her bespoke pieces. I spoke to Emily to find out why domed roofing, the world, and circles are at the forefront of her mind when she's at the sewing machine.
So I have to ask, what actually is Civestism, what does it mean?
The word Civestism means 'strange and obscure clothing.' A concept known as circular cut is what I heavily lean towards when designing. It is a concept that was derived and developed through research into architecture. Architecture is taken into consideration when designing, ensuring each design is unique and has an element of circular cut. It is reflected in the clothing in the form of carefully placed seams, raised hems and informed drape. I take this whole concept into consideration when designing for Civestism. Inspired by circles, I'm about creating new silhouettes without distorting or misshaping the body.
When did you start your collection?
I started it in October 2012, from my penultimate university project. I'm hoping to continue and develop it into my final collection in 2013 and then hopefully even further after I graduate.
How did you get to where you are today?
I got to where I am today due to my love for fashion and art. From a young age I was always drawing and colouring, and when I took up textiles in high school I instantly fell in love. When I turned 16 I joined a sewing class and bought my first sewing machine, so I could pursue my dreams of making my first garment. Continuing textiles through college, I made the decision to further my passion and study at university. Some people laughed at first, which just made me want to work harder and prove them wrong. I obtained a place at my first choice university, which has broadened my knowledge, enabling me to know most of things I know today.
How would you describe your label?
Civestism has its own identity. It is both unusual yet traditional, taking inspiration from the natural world. It is dark and mysterious, yet playful and adventurous. I aim for my clothes to be subtle, yet eye catching.
Who is Civestism aimed at?
My clothes are aimed at anyone who is fashion forward and dare to wear something different. The market level I am designing into is he designer diffusion level.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration has come from several places. The shape of my clothes originally came from architecture, and in particular domed roofing. I am currently working on designing my own print to reflect Civestism. This is inspired by the natural world, but not necessarily just pretty flowers. I look at the world as a circle in itself: It's born, it lives, it dies. Taking this into account I set about on various trips to places, where nature is free to grow in it's own weird and wonderful ways. From this I have derived a series of photos which I am in the process of photoshopping together to create the print.
Is there anything that your particularly proud of?
I guess I'm proud of most things that I've done, it's all been one big learning curve. But I think I'll be most proud when I see my final collection go down the catwalk. I'll probably cry!
What do you enjoy about fashion design?
I enjoy the final result when it comes to designing. The process between the initial design and the finished piece is usually quite long. Seeing the end result is always so rewarding. When I hear someone say they love a garment I've made, it makes me feel amazing!
Do you have a favourite piece?
I do have a favourite piece, although it isn't actually made yet. I've practiced making a jacket, but not in the final fabric. I want to use real leather that has a foil effect, in a bleached gold colour, it's going to be a key piece in the final collection.
What does the future hold for Civestism?
In the future I would love for my label to be desirable. To see women wearing it on a day to day basis. Although I know there's a long way to go from now until then.
Finally, what advice would you give to other aspiring fashion designers?
To follow your dreams, don't let anyone get in the way and don't ever look back...
I must say that writing this piece, for me, was incredibly interesting, I feel like Emily has taught me something I didn't know about before. I'm not a fashion designer myself, but I see the way the design process works in a whole new light. The obscure and odd items that some may see as nothing, become a whole concept and act as inspiration in a person's label. I wish her the best of luck in completing her final collection, and when the time comes, have tissues at the ready!