Design Museum: Waste Age Exhibition

January was the month I had chance to visit the Waste Age exhibition at the Design Museum, so it’s taken a few weeks to get around to writing up the experience. Nevertheless, I’m excited to look back at the pieces that piqued my interest to capture and reflect on it now.

In no chronological order of the exhibition, but the one I’m starting with, is this Stella McCartney outfit. I’ve always loved the brand for its determination and pioneering of sustainability, even before sustainability became a trend or tick to check off for high-end fashion labels.

The look itself is made from econyl®, made from ocean and factory waste, it is a regenerated nylon. As one of the most sustainable synthetics stood before me, I was actually more intrigued by the zip detailing. Running down either sleeve and trouser legs, I thought the zipper line had simplicity yet effectiveness, creating a cohesive look.

‘A fragment textile technique’

Phoebe English is another designer I follow closely, so to see just a couple of her garments, felt like a special moment. One reason for being so inspired by her is because of the technique ‘fragment textile’ she has developed. In short, English uses off-cuts from her own studio’s textile waste back into new work. The second look in the image above is from the collection ‘Nothing New Part 2’ and made with reclaimed silk wool, stuffed with silk off-cuts. You would have no idea the fabric was deemed as ‘waste’ before English designed it back into the system. This repurposing of fabric is something I want to keep as an important factor within my own design work.

I first heard about a circular fashion solution like the one pictured above, when I was studying as an undergraduate a couple years ago. But I didn’t fully understand the process, how could it truly work? Being at the Design museum allowed me to revisit the concept.

Above pictures a ‘service shirt’, a garment designed to last 50 years. In our current throwaway society, I find this concept fascinating and one I want to explore further. The idea is that it has chance to evolve through remanufacturing. Starting as a white shirt, then transforming to a patterned one, a black shirt, to a jacket lining before finally an accessory. The idea one item could hold so much longevity, is definitely a solution the industry needs to get behind. Even if it’s too big of an ask for designers to implement that many transformations within one garment right now, I think it’s still manageable for them to consider the overall longevity of garments in the design process.

Evidently less so garment-fashion related but nevertheless interesting, were these paper bags that sat centrally within one of the exhibition spaces. Artist Celia Pym practises visible repairing, in this case mending paper bags from her food shopping. The concept behind the project was to give hope that something damaged and deemed as ‘worthless’ could be repaired to become significant again. I found it mesmerising to examine the detail and work that had gone into mending something as simple as a paper bag. But putting it into the context of fashion, I envisioned socks on the same level as the above paper bags. When a sock gets a hole, I don’t see the value in the item to repair it, I’d just replace it. In today’s world, that is an unacceptable attitude on my part and I’m then, therefore part of the problem. Seeing the bags above forced me into to attaching a greater value to my own items. So the next time a hole appears in one of my socks, I’ll let you know how good my darning is to mend it.

If you missed the Waste Age exhibition at the Design Museum, I urge you to keep a close eye on their page for upcoming events that might pique your interest. It was incredibly interesting to understand what design, in the wider context (not just fashion), can do for our throwaway culture.

My Fashion Resolutions for 2022

Is it too late to announce resolutions? For the sake of this blog, we’re going to say a resounding no.

We’re also going to slide right past my inability to keep up a blogging schedule. But new year, new me, right? Anyways, as it’s hard not to this time of year, I was contemplating how I could be a better person. Not in a general sense, cause that’s a lot to take on. But within the fashion sphere. As a creative, I strive to do everything in the most sustainable way. So it’s equally important to acknowledge how to maintain that standard in my personal life. The life that gets to enjoy fashion, rather than create it.

Mend and Repair

In a world of overconsumption, the key is, well, stop consuming. Hold on to what we already have and make it last. I’d predict there’s many of us who arguably do hold on to what’s in our wardrobes, but what percentage is worn? We’re all guilty of it. But clothing underutilisation is a huge problem. So the jacket that no longer fits my style? Re-dye it. The trousers that don’t fit well on the waist? Take them in. 2022 will be the year I fully commit to looking after each item in my wardrobe.

And whilst I was recently at the Design Museum in London, I came across this book ‘Wear, Repair, Repurpose’ by Lily Fulop. It was beautiful from cover to cover and I’m still ever so slightly reeling to have left it on the shelf. Obviously it’s been added to my wish-list and I cannot wait to purchase it ASAP in order to help me on my mending journey. (But I did discover the author on instagram @mindful_mending so that’s helping for now.)

Probably my most difficult resolution to work on, is this one. I rarely shop, but this year when I do, I’d like it to be second hand. The difficulty being that if I’m shopping, I’m doing it with an item in mind. Which doesn’t really work when you’re trawling through second hand garments. I can practically hear you screaming ‘DEPOP’ or you know any other selling site that’s also available. It just doesn’t work for me, I can search for hours for what I think I’m looking for, but to no avail. I’ll admit, that’s probably a me problem, imagining a garment that literally does not exist, anywhere. This year, I think I’m going to try changing tactics, using the second hand market as a rare ‘treat’, going in with an open mind and *hopefully* end up with an unexpected treasure or two.

Purchase with Intention

This next one is less of a resolution and more of a keep-it-up. Last year, I got into the habit of purchasing with intention. In other words, only buying a garment after I’d really thought about it. How many uses would I get out of it? Could I wear it year round? Is it well made? Do I trust the brand I’m potentially buying from? Or respect what they stand for? Lastly, do I truly want it? And to answer the last one, I have to still be thinking about it one month on, or in some cases 3 months (if I purchase said item, I’ll let you know why I contemplated it for so long).

But my biggest tip for organising purchase temptations is Pinterest. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to items I’m thinking about, or items I think would fit in a capsule wardrobe (but I can’t purchase because I have something similar). It makes it easy for it all to be in one place, visually it looks good and ultimately I can keep returning to it to see how I feel about those garments changes *if at all* over time.


In a bid to consume less, now is the time to get creative with my wardrobe. Last year, I met some people who have really inspired me with their style and it’s since piqued my interest to look at my wardrobe differently. It’s my goal this year to step out of my comfort zone with styling. Really take in what I have already and style together pieces I have yet to. I definitely fall back on the standard ‘jeans and a nice top’ too often day-to-day and I want to push myself to make a little effort and convey myself as someone with an interest in fashion.

The image above is from the Summer, when I decided to style my outfit with one of my Dads’ suit jackets. We all know that oversized, menswear trend was in (still set to continue through 2022) and I wanted to try it for myself. I’ll be honest, I felt like it was slightly too oversized for me to get away with, but admittedly, I liked the outcome in images. So again, maybe its about experimenting with what I have and just going with it anyway?


Something I’ve already started this year, is routinely making time to catch up on the news within the Fashion industry. My go to’s so far are The Business of Fashion and Vogue Business. I’ve come to realise how important it is to be aware of what’s going on and it should be a standard activity considering this is the industry I want to be working in. I also haven’t found it difficult to integrate with the combination of having a decent commute time and already having a deep interest in the industry. Overall, my last fashion related resolution for this year, is to continue to educate myself, stay in the loop and visit more exhibitions I find interesting*.

*literally any exhibition because its nice to be out the house after the last couple years we’ve had.

Understandably, these resolutions can be viewed to be the most over-used, obvious solutions we could all be trying out. But the point is, not all of us are, and it’s showing. Also, it was either this or career goals, but sometimes it’s best to keep your cards close to your chest right?

A Proud Sista Collaboration

Every other week seems like a manageable task to upload, right? That’s what we’re aiming for here.

Anyways, I’m back for the second time since my hiatus to talk about my collaboration with Proud Sista. Founded by Cheryl and Heather small, (formerly part of the band M People) I was set the task of designing an outfit to match a Proud Sista piece that would walk the catwalk at Bolton Fashion Festival. Here was the process…

It started with a mood board, looking at Proud Sista as a brand, their consumer and ideas to style the garments. Proud Sista isn’t a gender specific brand so I had to keep this in mind when coming up with a concept. Working with the deadstock fabric I had available, it became apparent denim should inspire the direction of the outfit. Ultimately, the mood board headed into street style and demonstrates me working out how to inject colour into the outfit (the answer is: patchwork together other fabrics).

Above highlights the final technical drawing I put together so I knew exactly what I was doing when it came to construction. I based the patterns off my graduate collection with slight alterations. I also wanted to keep a signature piece that works itself into everything I do; the detachable pocket. The tech drawing gave an overall idea of what I was aiming for. But did it end up looking anything like that?

You can decide that one. This was the finished look, modelled by moi, and I was pretty happy with the outcome. I thought the patchwork worked better than expected and I love that the idea of having a cut-out back to show the Proud Sista t-shirt came to life.

And this was the final look that ran the catwalk. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work with such a cool brand like Proud Sista but also the chance to showcase it thanks to Bolton Fashion Festival. Who knows when another opportunity like this will come along, maybe I should finish this degree first though..

See you next week *potentially*

Where I’ve Been…

You know when you blink and then all of a sudden 322 days have passed without writing a blog post on a site you spent years loving and caring for?

Yeah that happened to me.

I never stopped thinking about my little place on the internet (cue the violins) and I did give this site a little make over at some point in the last year. However, never being able to prioritise this blog along with having other life commitments, meant it fell to the wayside. I’m not sure why I think now is a good time to come back, being busier than ever, but some force has given me the push.

For now, I’m attempting to make a return, it may be *temporary *permanent *long-ish term (I’ll pick one that fits as we go along) because ultimately I always come back to this place. It’s mine. It’s familiar. And let’s be honest it’s a permanent space for my thoughts/life/career events than Instagram’s terrible algorithm ever will be.

So enough of me guiltily excusing myself to the Internet, where have I been?


Finally, after three years of hard work I graduated from University of Bolton with a First Class Honours Fashion Degree. That meant the beginning of this year was spent working my a** off trying to get the best grade I could possibly achieve. Without giving too much away, *blog post of the day incoming* I’m pretty happy with myself and the collection I created. It’s been an unexpected transition to get used to life without working towards such a creative degree and I’m still trying to process the emotions attached to that. But I’ve managed to not quite escape the education system just yet…

Entering the ‘Real World of Work’

I try to stand by the mindset of everything you put into life, is what you’ll get out of it *imagine a more succinct version of that quote here*. For example, a time doesn’t come to mind when I’ve ever turned something down because you just never know what saying yes will lead you on to. It’s also basically the no.1 rule of a graduate that you take every opportunity offered to you because they won’t come around often.

It was through making contacts with different people that lead me to my first part time position in the working world. I’ve learnt a lot in such a short space of time and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’ll *hopefully* have a post uploaded fully introducing the role, what it entails and how I’ve been multi-tasking. And if you are too eager to find out who I’ve been working with, I did upload an instagram post announcing it a few weeks ago (@sophiesamantha_fashion).

Back to Uni

It’s an intimidating prospect to have to decide what to do with your future, at any stage. But when it came to finishing my undergrad, I knew I wasn’t quite finished with education. Weird, I know. There’s still so much I want to learn, I knew studying an MA had to be on the cards. Cutting a very, long story short, I started studying at Nottingham Trent University in International Fashion Management. Ultimately, because I want to learn the business side of the industry and understand how I could potentially one day manage my own brand. It’s a huge culture shock and a completely different educational framework to what I’m used to but I just have to focus on the end goal, reminding myself why I’m here. Overall, I’m still in the early stages of the course but it is really interesting. However, trying not to burn out early on in the semester is proving a real balancing act, so wish me luck on that one.


Coming back to this blog has been less daunting than anticipated and a comfort to fall back into the rhythm of writing. The important question is, how long will it last?

See you next week, I hope.

Portfolio Access

If you’d like a preview of my portfolio showcasing my graduate collection ‘PWR-FL Femininity’ you can check out my arts thread by following this link:

Moreover, I post regular updates over on Instagram. To follow, click the following link:

If you’d like access to my digital portfolio, please email me at

In Pursuit of Fashion: A New York Exhibition

At the start of the year, I was fortunate enough to get to New York before the world came to a standstill. And whilst it feels like it was a lifetime ago- thanks corona– I couldn’t not share one of my favourite exhibitions.

Can we start with where it was? Only the flippin’ Metropolitan Museum of Art. My brain isn’t sure what to reference first, Blair and Serena on the steps, ‘The METS suck’ – FRIENDS fans will understand- or of course the MET Gala, one of the biggest Fashion Events of the year. If you didn’t understand any of those, I apologise, but I can assure you standing on those steps, I definitely shed a few happy tears inside.

Anyways, onto the exhibition itself. It was titled ‘In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection’ and the 80 pieces on show were an incredible archive of Fashion’s history.

Christian Dior ‘Du Barry’ Evening Dress Autumn/Winter 1957-58

Starting with one of my favourites, I adore everything about this one; the silhouette; the bow detailing and of course the pale blue silk satin. For some reason, Cinderella vibes come to mind?

Moschino Cheap and Chic ‘Art is Love’ dress Spring/Summer 1993

Apparently taking inspiration from YSL, Moschino replicated the modernist art. The complexity of ownership is arguably highlighted with this piece.

Charles James Evening Dress 1952-54

I love the elegance of this garment, with the head piece only adding to its beauty. OBSESSED. Also majorly appreciate the layers of tulle adding depth, yes please.

Whilst I think one positive to come out of this year is the accessibility of exhibitions and events after the shift to online platforms. And I hope that doesn’t ever disappear. I’ll be very happy to step inside a museum/gallery/anywhere different at this point. Future note to myself to not take for granted new experiences ever again.

Finally don’t forget if you want regular updates, Instagram usually sees it first: @sophiesamantha_fashion

What I Learnt from Fashion Revolution’s FREE Online Course…

On the 22nd of May I finished my second year of University. And by the 13th June I had completed Fashion Revolution’s 4 week course on Fashion’s Future and the Sustainable Development Goals. Some might say I couldn’t bare the thought of having zero form of education. Realistically, I just had to take advantage of the resources available before Future Learn made me pay into a subscription- #poorstudentlife.

Anyways, I thought it would be beneficial to document somewhat of an overview of the month. For my own reference, and with the possibility that something sparks an interest or at the very least, sits in your subconscious until triggered.

Week 1

The first week seemed to be a general introduction into how sustainability can be defined; holistically in the industry and generally how it should be achieved within planetary boundaries (Johan Rockström, 2007). Finally, briefly including which of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) would coincide with the course- circled above.

Week 2

The second week dived into SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality). The Fashion industry- in particular fast fashion- have arguably a lot to answer for when it comes to garment workers receiving in most cases, a ‘below the living standard’ income. Deloitte Access Economics for Oxfam found that 4% of the price of a piece of clothing is estimated to make it back to the workers. Side note: If you haven’t been following #PayUp on Instagram, then get to it! The pandemic has caused BIG brands to cancel BILLIONS of dollars worth of orders, leaving garment workers in crisis mode.

Meanwhile, I found it equally as interesting that CARE International included 1 in 3 women working in garment factories had reported sexually harassing behaviour in the last year. That already doesn’t sit right with me, without thinking about all the times it wasn’t reported. However, one initiative worth researching is the Good Business Lab. Their projects include; unlocking female labour; improving work environment; closing the skill gap and building holistic health.

Week 3

From the third week, I was learning about the damaging, waste culture of the industry. For example, its estimated the fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2e a year. With clothing as the 4th largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food in the U.K (WRAP).

More specifically at SDG 14: conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, are made up of microfibres that can shed over its lifetime, particularly when put in the washing machine (Environmental Audit Committee, 2019). 35% of all microplastics come from clothing and textiles and its expected by 2050 for there to be more plastic than fish in the sea. Fortunately from the course, I learnt that France are leading the way for improvement. In February 2020, the country brought in legislative steps for microfibre pollution. Including that by January 2025, all new washing machines will have to include a filter to catch the microfibres before they’re released into water systems.

Week 4

By the final week it was time to look at the industry’s options. The initiatives already in place such as Lenzing’s ‘Refibra Tencel’ fabric that uses pre-consumer cotton scraps and wood pulp. Or Swedish government proposed a 50% tax break for repair on shoes, clothes and bikes which supports the ‘make do and mend’ mentality we should have. Finally, the industry should try to implement circularity through rental or resale. Furthermore, circularity through manufacturing which would phase out hazardous chemicals.

Overall, I was thoroughly fascinated by the Fashion Revolution course, through the amount of topics covered and the quality of content. Moreover, because of its impact, I’ll be uploading another post based on one of the assignments I had to complete for the course. Until then, as Fashion Revolution states:

Be Curious. Find Out. Do Something.

Easley Magazine – 2019

What I Wore in New York

Like many isolating from home, I’m thinking of all the day-to-day tasks I was taking for granted; being able to shop without restrictions, leave the house for longer than an hour and having social interactions with someone outside of my household. Of course I’m willing to comply for as long as needs be to ensure the change that ultimately slows down this deadly virus.

However, whilst it may feel as though we’ve been on lockdown an eternity, (how have two weeks felt so long?!) the U.K in particular had the first couple months of 2020 to enjoy. Personally, the start of my year couldn’t have gone better with a trip to New York in the back end of January. And whilst I’m not here to ignore Covid-19, I want to continue what this blog once was, a space to share my interest in fashion.  Meanwhile I’m sure posts on the virus will appear, just once I’ve collated the right words to use…



Speaking to those who’d been to the city, all advised the same thing; LAYERS, LAYERS AND EXTRA LAYERS. So I tried to go for warmth as much as possible with my wardrobe to ensure I could comfortably explore New York. For the first full day, I had the idea to experiment with layers visually rather than thinking about practicality and thermals. Pinterest and Instagram are my go to sources for streetwear inspiration, so it must have subconsciously stored in my brain at some point to layer a roll neck under a jumpsuit. Quickly, this jumpsuit has become a favourite of mine because of its versatility, being able to layer underneath with different weights of garments or on its own. Trying to keep your wardrobe to key pieces can be done through finding garments that can be flexible through seasons.

xdf       Outfit Details:

  • Jumpsuit: Topshop
  • Roll Neck: Zara
  • Boots: ASOS
  •  Coat: Topshop


7Throughout the trip, we were really fortunate with the weather, I’m pretty certain it didn’t rain during the day and whilst it was cold it wasn’t unbearable. I was really happy with the styling of this outfit, I think the beige and white work well, going with the earth tones vibe. With the white jeans, it was a purchase I really took my time over, I wanted to know I was sure I’d be able to pair it with a lot. But I think it effectively contrasts with the other garments and balances well with the black coat.


      Outfit Details:

  •  Jumper: Topshop
  •  Jeans: Topshop
  •  Headband: Topshop


5Come the third day, I switched out my black coat for a much thicker and in turn warmer pink one. This released some pressure over what basics I should wear under my visible outfit because I knew how warm it would and did end up keeping me. With this outfit I turned to black jeans, knowing there was enough going on with the polka dots and pink.

3        Outfit Details:

  • Coat: Topshop
  •  Top: H&M
  •  Jeans: Topshop
  •  Scarf: Topshop



The day we were flying home, I needed a comfortable yet you’re-still-in-new-york outfit. So with leggings being comfortable, they also became a must. Layered with a Jumper and a black top underneath in case I got too warm on the plane.

      Outfit Details:

  • Jumper: Topshop
  •  Leggings: Topshop
  •  Trainers: Topshop

Back soon,


T-Shirt: Cult, Culture, Subversion Exhibition

Seemingly, it doesn’t matter how many posts you’d like to write, if you don’t have enough hours in the day, your blog is slowly going to die a painful death.

New tactic.

To incorporate your degree with your blog, so you can be blogging and still technically be doing uni work.

In all seriousness, my second year at university has kicked up a gear and I’m struggling for time to do anything. My Fashion degree is obviously something that consumes me and therefore needs to filter through into this blog. Starting with a recent visit to a T-Shirt exhibition that was a part of the British Textile Biennial.

The first stand I was drawn to in the exhibition was the selection of climate change t-shirts. They varied from hand drawn pieces overlaying commercial graphics to simple yet effective stand-alone text tees. Luckily, the t-shirts stood for what was printed on them. One read ‘Single Use Plastic is Never Fantastic’ (designed by Henry Holland in collaboration with BRITA) and was made using recycled plastic and salvaged cotton.

4 From climate change to political issues, specifically titled ‘Personal/Political’ deriving from the slogan ‘the personal is political’. I thought that this section in particular covered a lot of issues in one. Which only highlights the aim of the exhibition as a whole to start the discussion of fashion being an avenue for communication and personal expression.


A big influence in the exhibition was the work of Vivienne Westwood. The pefect choice, that I thought encapsulated what the collection stood for. The particular piece above was from Westwood’s runway for Spring/Summer 2018 and I think its a t-shirt in its peak  of importance during a time of awareness against fast fashion.

Another selection of t-shirts came bearing empowering quotes which further highlights the premise of the collection, demonstrating t-shirts being a really impactful communication tool. Whilst I feel the one on the right (‘We should all be feminists‘) has a great importance it has definitely circulated a lot more. Whereas, I particularly loved the left tee ‘What other people think about you is none of your business’.

7Finally finishing with this masterpiece, obviously I adore the quoted t-shirt and once I’ve finished writing this I’ll be googling where I can get my hands on one – a sustainably and ehtically produced one of course. But I just really appreciate the scale in which Vivienne Westwoods face has been printed onto the t-shirt behind. Go big or go home, I guess.



OOTD #30: A Richard Allan x H&M Collaboration?!

It’s probably fair to say that the Richard Allan x H&M collaboration was one we didn’t know we needed. But it has by far excited me the most…

Richard Allan’s bold, abstract prints have been reworked and released with H&M to create the most stunning collection, unlike anything else on the high street.

Outfit Details:

Stand-up Collar Satin Dress

Patterned Scarf

Inspired by the swinging sixties’, along with the most perfect colour scheme, each garment is perfect for Autumn/Winter.

H&M wrote up an interview with Cate Allan (Richard Allan’s daughter) introducing their ‘wearable art’ collaboration. I found it really informative to read, not only for the vibe of the collection but also details of the designer himself. Article linked here.

I am obsessed with this dress and will figure out what to pair it with in the U.K’s colder climate. I’m also going to attempt to get other pieces in the collection, the patterned boiler suit has my attention but who knows if I could pull it off.