The fashion industry can be utilised as a platform to communicate and bring attention to wider issues, with collections sometimes inspired by social discussions, such as Vivienne Westwood’s recent climate revolution campaign aimed towards sustainable fashion. Simultaneously, mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression remain extremely common, with little understanding and effective communication in order to combat them, meaning people deal with these issues, ‘under the rug.’ Young Scottish designer, Imogen Evans, combined the two in the presentation of her autumn/winter 2017 collection last Friday, ‘The Skeletons in My Closet.’
The collection was presented at Lauriston Hall in Edinburgh, and highlighted a “a visual articulation of Evans’ perception of mental health… just as poor mental health can assume authority of a person’s mind, the pieces domineer the wearer’s body.” In order to communicate this and provide a fluidity amongst the collection, models wore duct tape ‘crosses’ across their mouths and chest, some bound at the wrists – visually and poignantly communicating the entrapment that the mind truly can have over the body.
We loved the visual intricacies that were evident across the pieces, demonstrated by the structure of the garments consuming the models’ bodies through the use of netting, hazard tape and signs, and creative pattern cutting techniques. The colour ways were largely dark, perhaps mirroring the darkness that the state of mind can take, when grappling with issues that we see no way out of. Although based around mental illness, the collection proved a sense of versatility and wear ability bridging the gap between a haute-couture social statement, and wearable fashion.
Following the success of her AW17 collection, we are excited to see what Evans will present in the future, ensuing our admiration with her braveness in producing a collection that attempts to bring awareness to, and tackle established and unestablished mental health issues populations globally, face every day.
Words: Julia Cohen