4 June 2018
Inspired by the city, on show in London: Zaiton Lamat talks fashion design, technology and perseverance
Degree Show Spotlight Series
Following showcasing his work at the bustling Manchester School of Art Fashion Show, BA (Hons) Fashion student Zaiton Lamat discusses his industrial city-inspired collection, the techniques behind it and the experiences at Manchester School of Art that shaped him, ahead of his work's Graduate Fashion Week debut.
Zaiton is part of our Degree Show spotlight series that explores the work and experiences of a selection of talented students that will be exhibiting in this year's show.
'The narrative of my work includes industrial labourers surrounded by the continous ever-changing of the city'
I've entertained the idea of 'mindless working drones' within the society, providing a juxtaposition between anonymity and idenity.
I’ve taken certain shapes derived from the silhouette of the apron (epitomising workwear) and have created interesting patterns that I’ve incorporated into a variety of garment types. The heavy-duty clothing, the oversized silhouettes and recurring water-resistant materials are heavily present in an industrial city. Threading through every alley, building site, underpass, overpass and truck stop.
‘I came to this university to learn, I’m not about to waste my tuition by neglecting available resources.’
I’ve taken advantage of the majority of facilities the art school has to offer such as the print room, laser-cutting, vinyl cutting, AV stores and also have been inducted on specialisms such as knit, print and embroidery.
Having been sponsored by Special Effect and Coating (SXFC), solidified by ability to give my work an innovative twist of adding black 15ᵒc and 27ᵒc Thermochromic ink. The 15ᵒc ink allows a black colour to appear at a lower room temperature or outside, while the 27◦ ink is visible at room temperature, so body heat will be the catalyst to show this colour changing aspect.
I’ve kept craftsmanship in my work by hand coating my garments with said ink. The laying of the inks left a tar-like appearance that contrasts with the bright colours of pink, yellow and white. I’ve also added innovative fastenings such as magnetic zips, Riri Cobrax press and duct tape for clean, professional finishes.
‘I fell into fashion rather late. I only decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer a couple of months before applying to university.’
However, I’ve wholeheartedly gave it my all – and I’m very proud of where I stand now.
First and second year was a massive trial and error. I’ve taken every opportunity to always try out a different style: luxury, military, sportswear etc. Being able to offer different specialisms will be incredibly beneficial after graduation.
In these years, we had opportunities of exhibiting our work through the Guerrilla Fashion Show, collaborative show and gallery exhibitions. My favourite experience was producing a fashion show for the end of a live brief project in second year. I moderated the show, sourced models and organised the venue – it felt professional and I was very proud of it.
In my final year, I’ve focused on developing my technical skills and being able to work three dimensionally has definitely fed into my design thinking. What will technically work and what elements, like fabrics, equipment and finished, are considered during garment construction.
None of this would have come together without a passion for my work. I endlessly pushed myself to work and learnt to prioritise. This may burst some bubbles, but people outside of the industry have no idea what goes on behind the scenes – it really isn’t as glammed up as what’s presented on the catwalk or on an exhibition.
You can see Zaiton's graduate collection at our Degree Show, open from 9-20 June.