A recent guest on IMAGE.ie's fashion podcast Smart Casual, Kildare Village Bursary winner Andrew Bell, who will graduate with an MA in fashion design from the Royal College of Art in London tomorrow, has proved himself to be a designer to watch with an innovative and directional coat he made for me last month (I have an excellent job).
The grey trench-like coat has been created in part using sonic welding and taping technology rather than traditional sewing techniques. When I interviewed Andrew last year, he explained how this technology had become central to his work. "In the first year of my MA I worked on a brief about the development of future systems for the fashion industry, specialising in future manufacturing ideas. From this project I realised that the role of fashion designers is not just to design ‘new clothing’, but to develop and push new systems for the industry as a whole, systems that reframe the way we produce, consume, manufacture and distribute clothing."
Opening my gift from designer Andrew Bell
Andrew began using ultrasonic welding and taping technology as a way of developing new methods of manufacture that would reduce the number of steps and processes used in traditional tailoring methods. This will make the whole process a more sustainable one.
According to Andrew, the bonded zig-zag belt is one of the defining features of this piece. "It gives the coat a structured, lightweight and razor sharp appeal," he explains.
This is the first time I've had a piece made especially for me and it's a pretty special experience; not just receiving the garment but the anticipation of it. I've no doubt in the coming years, I'll add more of Andrew Bell's pieces to my wardrobe (if I can afford them!). He's one to watch for sure.
RELATED Irish fashion student Andrew Bell describes a day in the life of a Royal College of Art student