Throughout my final year printed textiles collection, I looked at what it means to be “ladylike”. Historically, it described women who were polite, fragile and subdued. However, growing up surrounded by women, from a young age I understood womanhood to mean strong-willed and independent, and realised the stark contrast between society’s image of women and women’s lived experience. Our understanding of femininity today allows women to embrace their strength and confidence, while still retaining their more delicate self.
This collection celebrates the unique and interesting aesthetic that is created through the relationship of gentle and powerful femininity. Detailed floral patterns and placements are contrasted with graphic motifs, and printed on draped silks and satins, delicate chiffons, structured suiting cottons and heavy-duty leathers, to fully capture the contrast and co-existence of fragile beauty and feminine strength, and what it means to be ‘LadyLike’ in the world today.