Photography / Editorial / Print

Hannah Duckworth is a young British womenswear designer and a BA (Hons) Fashion Design student at the University of Westminster currently working and living in London. Born in Tyne and Wear in the North East of England, she was surrounded by creativity from a very young age, encouraged by her fine artist mother. This has influenced her to draw inspiration from modern art and sculpture which leads her to the signature clean, minimalist style she has become known for. Hannah has worked for well-established designer Christopher Kane on his AW11, Resort 12 and SS12 collections, assisting the team in the Paris showroom and is now in her final year of studies - her graduate collection debuted at the University of Westminster graduate runway show on the 24 May.  We asked Hannah about when she first started designing?

I’ve always been interested in clothes, drawing and designing from as early as I can remember – I used to steal my nana’s ballroom shoes and change my outfit about 6 times a day. I think this naturally progressed as I got older and realised I could turn that passion and creativity into my career.

What is it about fashion that you love?

I have always loved clothes and fashion. I guess everyone dresses to feel a certain way, whether that’s the comfort of jeans and a fine knit jumper or floor length black fur coat, sequins and buffalos, clothes have the unique ability to make you feel a certain way. Fashion is communication; I’ve always been interested in the choices people make in terms of dressing themselves, purely as to what statement they’re trying to make.

What have you learnt from your course at Westminster?

I’ve learnt so much from my time there, it’s taught me to push myself as a designer and constantly challenge myself creatively.  I think the course has really set me up with all the vital skills and knowledge for a successful career in the industry.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

As a designer I draw my inspiration from all sorts of places, usually art and film. I’m a modernist at heart, from a fine art background, so I always keep an eye on contemporary art and sculpture for ideas and moods. I also look to the street for ideas, it is important to be aware of subcultures and what’s happening around us socially.

What is your favourite or most indispensable item of clothing?

I’m the kind of person who will wear the same outfit for two weeks in a row, so my basics are indispensable to me. But my most beloved item is my Christopher Kane Aqua Bag which was given to me as a gift when I left the company having interned during my year out.

What fashion look on the street do you adore?

I’m quite wary of trends, I think as a designer it is inbuilt not to follow but to create and stay one step ahead. I love individuality, I’ll often ask my class mates where they bought something, like a hair bobble and they’ll tell me ‘oh it was 99p next to the lollies at that little shop on the corner.’ I think being able to create your own distinct look is an art.

Your favourite music track?

Right now I’m listening to loads of old ‘Tribe Called Quest’ and I’ve got the ‘Drive’ soundtrack on repeat! But my favourite track of the moment is the acoustic version of ‘Love you so’ by Delilah which she did for i-D online’s i-N session.

Tell us about your design process and your most recent collection?

My design process usually begins with a certain mood or aesthetic that I’m interested in at the time. I’ll then spend a lot of time researching particular imagery from which I’ll begin sketching ideas and sourcing fabrics. Usually I’ll have quite a strong vision in terms of silhouette and fabrics then it’s a case of marrying the two. My most recent collection is inspired by the juxtaposition of artfully structured three-dimensional garments and austere graphic shapes. I wanted to pioneer new and exciting shapes to bridge the gap between cerebral and playful using an experimental colour palette and rigorous attention to cut, detail and manufacture.

Describe your life or work in six words?

A conflict of pleasure and success.

What are you looking forward to in the remainder of 2012?

I’m looking forward to taking the next step in my career, landing the job of my dreams and meeting some fantastic people. Oh, and a long blow out holiday.

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 08


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