You can see Natalie Dawson’s work during FASHIONCLASH Festival at the Heritage Exhibition (July 1 + 2 at SAMdecorfabriek) and Heritage Show + Talk (July 3 at Gebouw M, Tapijnkazerne).
Q&A with Natalie Dawson
When did you realise you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I came to fashion late in life. I originally came from a curating /fine art photography background but when I was 24 I took a dressmaking class then enrolled in a fashion design course. I haven't looked back after that.
What are your main achievements in your career at this moment?
Showcasing my work at the House of Parliament in London and at a showcase in Ningbo China. Fashion has taken me to places I would have never thought I would ever get to.
In what projects are you involved at this moment?
I'm currently teaching Fashion at Manchester School of Art and in the process of applying for my MA.
Finding your own voice is difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing; during the design process)?
I find my voice through my mixed Mexican-American heritage. I look at old family photographs and at folk art from both of my cultures. I keep my design personal.
What challenges did you face during the design process?
I get fully immersed into sampling, and becomes very hard to stop. I have to eventually set a cutoff point to start designing.
'... when you see someone wearing something colorful it shocks the viewer for a moment and instills confidence in the wearer.'
|photo by Tristan Fewings|
What do you want to communicate with your designs in general?
I want to communicate a colorful existence through my garments. Where I live in England at the moment the weather is always grey and drab, but when you see someone wearing something colorful it shocks the viewer for a moment and instills confidence in the wearer.
What does your collection try to communicate (what is it about)?
A positive meeting of Mexican American heritage. Silhouettes are from the 1950's American teenager and textile details are from Mexican folk costumes.
|photo by Jessica Bachmann|
Compared to other international fashion shows and exhibits it features creative and temporary designers.
What can we expect from you at the festival?
Color, color, color!
Can you tell us something about your heritage?
I'm from a working class Texan family. My mom is from Laredo, Mexico and my Dad is from Dallas, Texas, USA.
How is the theme Heritage related to your work (can be also preferred to previous work)?
Heritage is a topic I constantly refer to in my work because it is authentic to myself. As a child I was moved from location to location and never had a place of my own by making my work personal it allows me to create my own space in the world.
(How) do you reflect your personal heritage into your design(s)?
I take inspiration from Mexican indigenous clothing and American vintage for silhouette ideas. For embroidery and color I look at folk art like Mexican nicho boxes and American quilts.
If you could trade your heritage, for what would you trade it?
I wouldn't trade it for the world.
|photo by Amy Lidgett|
Describe yourself in three words.
Mixed race delinquent
Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
What is your bad habit?
Are you a people's person or a loner?
Do you have a pet?
Two Black Cats, Siouxsie and Wilko.
What’s your favourite city?
I haven't visited it yet, but I do like Barcelona and Hamburg.
What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?
Read more about Natalie here: http://www.nataliedawson.co.uk/