Freshly graduated from the Glasgow School of Art, Alice Pinchbeck is a clothing designer of capacity and command. Previously an intern for Mary Katrantzou, she has recently relocated to London to work on upcoming fashion projects.
Alice’s graduate collection references Dadaist couple Sophie Tauber-Arp and Hans Arp (or Jean Arp), particularly their abstracted aesthetic and favouring of nonsensical forms. Garments are an animated blend of colour, shape and texture creating a collection of vibrancy and dynamism.
Alice herself poses a fine art approach to design, taking notes from Robert Morris’ folded yet buxom felt forms, she created foam sculptures as design research. The collection’s relationship to other abstract ideals is also evident, whilst silhouettes allude to Sophie Tauber-Arp’s languorous costumes – relaxed, easy and smooth, Alice reimagines Hans Arp’s reliefs in a dress context. The latter are directly called upon as sculptural reliefs laser cut from wood and varnished in a host of tawny tones, functioning as eyelets, they are looped with wraps of fabric, intertwining and connecting paired garments. Elsewhere, woodcuts create a sculptural belt, rhythmic as its wear walks. The flat abstraction of wood details met with rounds of soft fabric is notable. Collectively through this building of elements, Alice creates a succinct composition – with each relief, form, panel and texture artfully placed.
In terms of colour, a matching of primary and soft tones is as bold as it is sensitive, handled with self-assurance. Meanwhile the combinations of textures and opacity add intricacy; heavy obscuring cloth gives way to peeps of skin beneath delicate, sheer chiffon. Perceptively, Alice translates the aesthetic qualities of abstraction into her method of pattern cutting. Panels of colour are fluid and undefined – where one garment ends and another begins is unclear adding to the distinctive personality of the collection. Despite the amalgams of shapes, textures and techniques, Alice is as controlled and composed as she is experimental in her design approach.
Photographed in the Glasgow School of Art’s Reid Building by Molly Mae Whawell and showcased at McLellan Galleries as part of the Glasgow School of Art Degree show, the clothes, worn by Emmi Keane, are undoubtedly bright and courageous, a testament to Alice’s perceptive design skill.