PSFK’s Creative of the Week, chosen from the ARTS THREAD online portfolios, is Sinéad Lawlor, a recent MFA graduate of the Fashion Design and Society program at Parsons, New York whose work shows a sophisticated use of colour and pattern.
Why we like Sinéad’s work: Sinéad’s work has a 3D depth to it through her mix of textures and patterns, yet the pieces have a lightness and elegance that makes them extremely wearable.
Tell us about yourself, your background and inspirations
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve always been surrounded by art, fashion and craft as I grew up. My first involvement with fashion was probably seeing my grandmother make clothes and sew. My mother also loved to knit so as a child I remember winding yarn for her when she would make her knitwear to sell at craft fairs.
After high-school I went to Limerick School of Art and Design in Ireland where I got to study all the art and design forms. Prior to this I had done a short course in printmaking and graphic design. I finally decided to specialise in fashion as I liked the idea of incorporating the craft of making with design, as well as being able to draw and develop prints. After doing internships in London, I graduated from my BA in Fashion Design in Ireland before moving to Istanbul to work in fashion for a few years there for Marks and Spencer, and Turkish designer Gamze Saracoglu. After Istanbul I went on to start my MFA in Fashion Design and Society in Parsons, New York. In the summer between my first and the second year of my Masters I did an internship at Diane Von Furstenberg as part of the embellishment team.
I have always been inspired by people, their behaviour, society, culture…from the streets of New York to the street of Dublin or Istanbul. If I ever get a creative block the best thing I find to cure it is to go take photographs or what I like and see, go to an art gallery, exhibition or library. Another thing that constantly inspires me is National Geographic magazines, even as a child I loved them.
My final MFA collection which was shown at New York Fashion Week in September 2012. This collection was developed after I began examining the idea of self-camouflage and how we wear colours and prints to distract or enhance something. In my hunt for colours and the monochromatic range of one colour I discovered buckets of colour co-ordinated buttons that had been collected at a Psychiatric hospital over the years and I began to photograph them. The collection consists of digital printed pieces that I flock printed on top of. I used lace that I had also flock printed. I then embellished on top of the silk and chiffon shirts, pants and dresses to add more depth.
Between my first and second year of my MFA I did a knitwear collection of three pieces where I was sponsored by the yarn company Zegna Baruffa. That summer while interning at DVF this collection was exhibited at Pitti Filati in Florence Italy and an exhibition in Tokyo. Last year the same collection was exhibited at ‘Emerging Talents: International Fashion Showcase 2012’ at London Fashion Week in February 2012. This collection was originally inspired by African tribes and traditions. I began researching different African tribes and their rituals. From the bright colours and prints they wear to how the Himba tribe wrap their hair in a mixture of butter fat and ochre. I found it all extremely inspiring.
The final collection in my ARTS THREAD portfolio is based on the same inspiration as the knitwear collection only with this collection it was mostly woven and consisted of digitally printed pieces that were tailored following the lines of the prints. This collection was done at the end of the first year of my Masters.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working freelance and working with an exciting new label. After having a break since Fashion Week from my own design work, I am now, as of the new year, starting to work on a new collection for my own label. I’m also trying to get my website up and running.
How can people get in contact with you? What work are you looking for?
Via my email, it’s on my website sineadlawlor.com. I’m currently looking for work where I get to work with exciting, talented teams who are driven and fun. I would like to continue working on my own collections and collaborating with artists and designers. The inspiring people I’ve met in New York give me new ideas for new collections everyday.