African tribes and body art inspire one student collection at Graduate Fashion Week

Date 16.11.2015

​In the run up to Graduate Fashion Week, which starts on Saturday 30 May, we are featuring some of our students who will be showcasing their collections on the catwalk. ​

Final year Fashion student, Herjot Garcha talks about the inspiration behind her collection. ​”I think I was around the age of 16 when I decided I wanted to get into fashion as I was studying Fine Art and Textiles and then started to think more seriously about what I wanted to do.

The idea for my collection has been inspired by African tribes and in particular scarification as that’s something that hasn’t really been touched on as a design concept. It’s something that interests me so I wanted to find out more about it, how it’s done and the reasons behind it.  Therefore I began looking into scarification and slowly moved on to looking at body art, as body art is another way that tribes use to represent and distinguish themselves.

My prints represent the tribe itself and as my main focus is body paint and scarification, which is cutting the skin and this, is what I want to reflect onto the fabrics, hence why I have used the grey cut out fabric. I have linked the colours in my work with the African tribes as these colours are commonly found in Africa for example; Red ochre, yellow sulphur and grey ash are common minerals in the area. I have loved working with silk, but now one of my favourite materials is jersey as its fits really nicely and gives nice shape to the figure. When I started using jersey, I did have difficulties as it’s hard to keep it in place as it rolls over so that was quite challenging, but I have learned how to work with it over time.

I chose the University of Northampton so I could stay close to home and I loved that we had the opportunity to choose a pathway when we were in our first year as it gave us a taster of what we wanted to carry on with.

After University, I plan to go back to Delhi in India and set my own label, but I also want work in different countries around the world and build up my cultural experience.”

Find out more about the students involved with Graduate Fashion Week.