Westminster University graduate Sara Brown’s ethos as a fashion designer is to promote body confidence for everyone. Making a point of not subscribing to the physical form of the traditional fashion model, and instead made her graduate collection for those who would wear her bold, billowing creations with womanly curves and confidence. We spoke to Sara about the influences behind her graduate collection, work experience and the what lies ahead.
Brown attended Leeds College of Art for her Foundation Diploma in Fashion, explaining that she had wanted to embark on a similar course in London, but that to complete her diploma in Leeds was a smaller step away from home. Feeling more confident as a result of this choice, Brown felt able to challenge herself and consequently achieved a distinction. Following this achievement, her dream of studying fashion in London became a reality and saw the aspiring designer embark on a Fashion Design BA at Westminster.Admitting that she struggled initially with the projects she was presented with during her first year, Sara soon discovered her enthusiasm for clashing prints and explosive colour, something which is evident in her collection.
Inspired by the fresh, liberated style of clothing enjoyed by women in the 1920s, which was elegant, and yet spoke of moving into a more modern (and sexual) era. Sara Browns online portfolio is brilliantly colourful and textural: she is accomplished at sketching the human form, and one can easily envisage her designs through the striking mix of collaged photographic images, drawings and digital illustrations. The physical results echo that abundance of bright colours and embellishment, and show a wealth of textural diversity. In a particular look from the collection, velvet sits in close proximity to fuchsia fur and patterned chiffon. Due to the garments silhouettes, Browns creations are resolutely grown up, despite having a distinctly playful quality by combining a multitude of spectacular shades and embellishments.
Her own idea that model sizes don’t exist adds to a growing trend that moves away from the typical recipe of tall and thin which defines most who stalk the catwalk.
After completing various internships, and says that although you need [the experience], it’s hard work. Between 2012 and 2014, she interned at Mary Benson, Meadham Kirchhoff, ASOS, Jonathan Saunders and Hockley: an enviable list, as any fashion grad will tell you.She learned different things at each placement, and while ASOS allowed her to push the boundaries, Hockley taught her about the practicalities of working with fur and leather. Aesthetically, Browns work is in a similar league to Meadham Kirchhoff, whose flamboyant designs were, for Spring/Summer 2015, worn on the catwalk by a multitude of non-models. Their open casting call appealed simply to boys and girls: model looks not required.
Her own idea that model sizes don’t exist adds to a growing trend that moves away from the typical recipe of tall and thin which defines most who stalk the catwalk. In the past few years there has been a rise in agencies which specialise in providing brands with models that are individual both physically and in character. Browns viewpoint on the matter is refreshing, especially in a burgeoning designer for whom the pressure must be overwhelmingly to conform. As a fresh talent (who was awarded sponsorship by the British Fashion Council to fund her collection), one imagines that the future of Sara Brown’s career is destined to be as bright as the clothes she makes.