• vanessa.menrad


In this Fashion Feature, we are meeting Siwar Dridi.

The young designer is graduating from Birmingham City University and is currently working on her graduate collection.

She answered some questions about how consumerism, her childhood, and Erin Armstrong have influenced and inspired her collection and gave us some tips on how to get hold of dead-stock.

If you would like to hear more about Siwar's designs or want to collaborate, you can contact her through her Instagram.

As seen on your Instagram, you are very involved with repurposing unwanted fabrics and materials in the fashion industry, could you talk to us a little about what inspired you to take this path?

As a student/graduate, we are the generation that will shape the future fashion industry. It saddens me that most of this generation consumes so much and lacks knowledge of what, where, and who takes care of those leftover textiles/materials.

As a designer, considering environmental, economic and social issues when it comes to choosing fabrics and trimmings is a starting point of making a sustainable collection. Using leftover unwanted materials and components contributes to reducing less waste in landfill sites, helps me build my pattern, manufacturing and designing skills, as well as knowledge along the way.

Could you tell us a little about your current project? What's the concept behind it?

Inspired by a figurative artist, Erin Armstrong, I recreated my own starting point of inspiration by collaging my childhood pictures and working on top of it, using similar style and techniques as the artists work for my Womenswear collection.

Sustainably sourced, the collection consists of tailored pieces, fun and dynamic garments as such; mitten gloves, kimono gathered dress and colourful buttons which are made of dead-stock, unwanted materials and components that were sourced from previous internships and luxury brand labels.

What's your advice on getting hold of dead-stock?

Communication and contacts are key! Email and contact designers, manufacturers and anybody that you know holds unwanted fabrics and materials. Reach out via social media, create posters offline as well as online.

How do you research when starting a new project, where do you draw inspiration from?

Artists, photographers, people and cultures. Honestly, I'm naturally inspired when I watch a documentary, a film, visiting new places and even from a conversation I'm having with someone. Inspiration is all around when I start a new project, I dig deep into it and explore it further in order to create a deeper understanding of my own research and collection.

And finally, how are you dealing with the current situation of having to finish university from home? Any tips for fellow creatives?

It's like I've finished Uni but still doing Uni work. I find it quite difficult to stay motivated with what's happening around the world with COVID-19 but I try to keep busy with developing illustration skills, writing a blog to share advice with creatives and others and making the most of my time to develop my zero-waste pattern cutting and manufacturing skills.

It's really important as creatives that we use this time to better our knowledge and skills so that we are ready to face the industry! Make the most of it.


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images//Provided by Siwar Dridi

article//Edited by Chloe Payne