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Matthew Sims

Sketch of delicate fashion design by MA Fashion student Matthew Sims
Sketch of delicate fashion design by MA Fashion student Matthew Sims
Sketch of delicate fashion design by MA Fashion student Matthew Sims

My design practice is focussed on reinventing the ‘Golden age of Couture’ 1947-1957 for contemporary markets, including the rise of interest in nostalgia and vintage.

I am fascinated with the era and have built up a body of technical and cultural  research into this well-known period of design, personified perhaps by Dior’s New Look.  I am a craftsman and love the haptic act of making and so this almost entirely handmade crafted body of work fits my philosophy and desire to explore the industry around nostalgia.

The idea behind this project is to create one of the most iconic garments of this post war boom, the ball gown. I had chosen to make three based, influenced and inspired by my favourite films these being: A trip to the moon (1902), A place in the Sun (1951) and Calamity Jane (1953). Looking at the studio costume designers; Edith Head, Howard Shoup and Helen Rose I wanted to see if I could translate their costumes into couture.

In a culture (or industry) that is often focussed on the ‘next trend’ – looking forward. I aim to show people what the past has to offer, to appreciate more where we came from in terms of design, craft and concept.

Lizzie Starling