This week I have been sharing images of the Spring Summer 16 collection from Radford University graduate, Steve French, in Accra. We love the collections, now read about what the Steve had to say about it in my interview with him below!
AR- Why did you enroll at Radford University?
SF- I always knew from age 7 that I wanted to be a fashion designer. Growing up I had always wanted an institution that will improve and nurture my basic love for fashion and Radford University College was just the right place to gain fashion knowledge.
AR- What was your experience been like?
SF- The experience in Radford University College has been amazing. There were fun moments and stressful times. But it was an amazing experience at Radford!!
AR- How would you describe your growth if any?
SF- There has been a tremendous and visible change since my coming to Radford University College. I've gained experience in areas such as pattern drafting, sewing techniques, garments construction, fashion marketing, range building and more. Now I do so many things I never knew a thing about. Even my illustrations has improved, my taste for style and creativity has evolved with time spent at Radford University!
AR- Tell me about the journey with your collection and your school syllabus.
SF- It was stressful!!!!!! Its been a tough journey, time and money involving amongst many others, but the tuition has been beneficial to my current growth and development as individual as a fashion designer. It has also helped me appreciate the nature and composition of the industry I find myself in.
AR- What was the inspiration for the collection?
SF- The inspiration behind this collection is the asylum. At age 7, I had already started designing clothes for family and friends. I always had a problem with normal clothing; I would twitch the garment up in all kinds of ways, but the general comment I always had was "you had to insane to be able to wear the things I designed". So in my final year I tried to look into why mental illness was always linked to my creativity.
The association between Mental illness and creativity first appeared in literature in the 1970s. However the link between "madness" and "genius" is much older, dating back to the time of Aristotle. Many famous historical figures gifted with creative talents may have one way or the other been linked with the mental asylum. Ludwig van Beethoven, Ernest Hemingway, Isaac Newton, and Robert Schumann.
In many instances, creatives share common traits, such as a tendency to "think outside the box," flights of ideas, speeding up of thoughts and the heightened perception of visual, auditory and somatic stimuli. Research also showed that top mastermind fashion designers, were associated with mental illness. “Normal people think I’m insane!” Karl Largerfield.
Most often than not, creatives look mentally ill as they have so many things going through their minds. Exceptional ideas are far more likely to be accepted by people because psychology research has shown that people struggle in accepting change or new ideas. "Beautiful Imperfection" SS16 was inspired by something negative as mental illness and seeing beauty in something that is generally regarded as ugly and frightening.
AR- What was your creative direction?
SF- The creative direction for Stephen French, the brand is geared towards Art pieces, avant-garde and limited edition ready to wear clothes.
AR- Do you have plans for the future now that you have graduated?
SF- This is a difficult question because I don't know what is going to happen next but I would like to do my masters sometime soon. Next, Build the Stephen French brand. Work on collaborations with fellow designers and in the future have foundations that will cater for needy children!
A big congratulations to Steve French! I personally can not wait for your next chapter in your career to unravel. The best of luck to you!
Images by Fotodepot Ghana