Thursday, 21 February 2013

FUZE 2013!

Hey Girls and Boys, we hope you really enjoyed Fuze this year, we know we did ! 

So we decided to get together and share our thoughts on Fuze and constructing the exciting new collection and to share some photos from the night, so you lovely lot can get a peak at the new "SILA19" (Summer in LA 2019)
(photography by Jak Flash)
Dionne Thomas - Designer 

Why do Fuze?

I'd noticed Fuze before as I'd had friends (FuudHood) show there a few years ago and it looked professional and the people it attracts I personally think are of a creditable status. I was invited to show at Fuze and was flattered so I saw it as a good opportunity to promote my work and a great platform for my new "SILA2019" collection. 

The new collection?

This collection is a follow on from original Bladerunner theme, I felt that I wanted to take the collection in a new direction, as I decided I wanted to show the Bladerunner influence without it being such an obvious link to the film. 
By having a very different colour palette and new story I could approach a subject matter I really enjoy but in a fresh way. The basic theme of the collection that the Replicants from Bladerunner are in LA (2019) during the summer and there pretending to be human and fit it, with this I wanted to further explore the theme that they are pretending the be something they are not. 

Practical side?

Any new designers out there need to be aware of what goes into a collection like this: 

An important thing to be aware of is the man hours it takes to go from concept to catwalk because of this having a good team in place makes production quicker and more able to produce within the time scale. So working collaboratively is always a good strategy and will improve the quality of the final product.

In an ideal world you would secure funding or a sponsor as its expensive to produce a new collection, as buying completely new stock of fabric and patterns is exciting but you have to be aware of how much value you will get back from the collection, particularly as a collection like this is not design to sell off  as you would want to keep the sample garments for press events and general promotion of the brand. 

This is the way I personally work as my fabric is expensive and my printed pieces are one offs so to produce more is counterproductive to my brand, however if you use simpler fabric you can adapt your selling strategy as its easier to reproduce your collection on a commercial market. This basically is dictated by where you see your work and where you want to sell.

Just like to say a MASSIVE Thank You to the team at Fuze (Maisie Waters, Becky Pile and Alice Johnston) for inviting us to take part in this amazing show, you all did a great job, good luck with the fundraising and your show next year!!!

Also be sure to check out the charity FUZE has been fundraising for the past 10 years!

Unseen is a charity established to disrupt and challenge human trafficking at all levels.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of international crime and is now the second largest illegal trade in the world.

Poverty, gender-based discrimination and a history of sexual and physical violence are all factors that can make women and children vulnerable to traffickers. Some are abducted and sold, some are deceived into consenting by the promise of a better life or job, and some feel that entrusting themselves to traffickers is the only economically viable option.

The UK is a significant destination country for women, children and men to be trafficked into the sex trade.

This year Fuze has chosen to support the fight against human trafficking with all proceeds going to Unseen Uk.

Find out more about Unseen and their work at


Adele Toyne - Intern

What did you learn while you worked on the new "SILA2019" collection?

I found that Dionne's approach to her collection very enlightening as the continuation of a theme but in a new colour scheme and aspect was a clever way of working with the materials and inspiration that she really loved. 
As I also draw a lot of my inspiration from film and theatre so this was something I could understand as you always go back to the same influences you enjoy. 

The hands on experience was really helpful as I was able to pattern cut/make up garments and source materials, as I was able to practice these skills I feel I have improved a lot from when I started and will help me in future with my own projects.

Personal reflections?

On reflection my ability to work under pressure is not fully developed so I would definitely need more practice in working on a large collection before I attempt larger projects in my own work. 

What did you think of Fuze?

I felt that fuze was an amazing opportunity for local designers to show case their work, I particularly enjoyed seeing the work from birdcage and other local shops as it was cool to get to know those places and their style.

The production values of the show were really good and I reflected with the other interns about our own graduate show, so this was a great learning opportunity for us to see how a catwalk was done at a large scale.

Victoria Hobbs - Intern

What did you learn?

While constructing the new "SILA2019" I had the opportunity to learn how to make binding as well as other techniques that are essential to having a professional finish to the garments,

I was also able to focus on complicated pattern cutting challenges such as the panelled catsuits. 
This has really helped me to improve in these areas and to see how a collection of this scale would come together outside of a university environment. 

Personal reflections?

I feel that I would have liked to have worked at a faster pace to ensure that everything was finished to a good standard. 

We had a small margin of error so when mistakes were made, as a team we spent a lot of time unpicking, which used up too much time.

What did you think of  Fuze? 

The collection I liked the most was obviously Puckoo couture, not like I'm bias. :D but also i really loved the unusual elements of the show such as the smoke machines and the dog in Lynda Cooper's collection. 

I felt Fuze was a really good as it is so important to get involved with other artists and people working locally in Bristol, because you should do everything you can to get your work out there. Never turn down an opportunity to show your clothes for free!

Natalie Harvey - Intern

What I learnt?

During my time helping to construct the new "SILA2019" I had to have a more precise approach to my work, so when I pattern cut the new pieces I had to be careful about small pieces and labelling them as we're working collaboratively. 

Because I'm used to making my patterns then going straight into construction I learnt the importance of leaving enough information on the pattern pieces so someone else could work from them.

Personal reflections?

I feel that I would like to improve my efficiency while working on garments, so this is something I want to work on in future. 

What did you think of Fuze?

Shows like this are so important to young designers as you need to showcase your work and this is a really good opportunity for people to see your work, you never know who will see it so its always worth getting involved.

I really like the setting at passenger shed as this was a really cool arena for a fashion show. As this was my first proper fashion show it was really interesting to see how a show like Fuze was presented - the fusion of fashion and dance kept it fun to watch as it broke up the performances and catwalk. 

Kimberley Withington - Intern

What did you learn ?

I personal learnt how to work to a time frame and how this dictates your decision making in terms of the new collection. I mainly focused on making a panelled circular skirt which was a new challenge for me as I hadn't made one before.
Also it was extremely useful to learn how to trace off a commercial pattern which will really help me in future projects

Personal reflections?

I would like to be more efficient so this is something I will be focusing on. However I found being part of the design process very enlightening as seeing how you get from the selection of fabric to the garments being on the catwalk.


I thought that the Fuze show looked really good and had excellent presentation of the garments and the show pulled together really well. The fusion of 
different artistic disciplines was a great showcase of local Bristol talent and was a mutually beneficial event for all involved.

Events like this are really helpful to promote businesses with creative individuals and as I run my own label (Filthy Squirrel) this is the sort of thing I would love to get involved in.


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