Blue Collection

May, Katherine. 2015 - ongoing Blue Collection. [Project]

Item Type:

Creators: May, Katherine
Abstract or Description:

Blue Collection was an investigation, delivered and developed through participatory workshops, challenging modes of production and consumption within the fashion industry. Each workshop – Dalston Garden (2015); Schumacher College (2016) and Blackhorse Lane Ateliers (2017) – generated a set of outcomes which form a body of reflexive knowledge. This work engaged with discourses and practices of alternative fashion systems, care practices, embodiment and cooperation, through a set of initial questions: Can we redefine what is meant by understandings and practices of care, through our work as designers? Can we imagine new ways of practicing design by examining the role of repair, maintenance, growing and mending? Can we craft affective engagement?

Blue Collection used the language of fashion practice – collection, seasonal garments and the ‘lookbook’ – as space to subvert established definitions and understandings. A natural indigo dye process was employed in order to disrupt conventional notions of time and labour, and of materials and resources. Co-creation was fostered through the workshops, which involved growing the dye plants, making and tending to the dye vat, and collective use of the dye vat to renew old clothes. The research used these methods to reconnect the fashion season to the seasonality of the indigo plant cycle. Practices of care and commitment were developed through working from seed to cloth, creating a new engagement with the garments.

Although the workshops moved location, they left behind garments, a dye garden / allotment and a catalogue of clothes, stories and processes. First and foremost, the work was shared with and between the participants, who received a catalogue documenting each group and place, their garments and making processes. Presentation of the work included an exhibition at Stroud Textile Festival (2015), and the book, ‘Makers of East London’, by Katie Treggiden (Hoxton Mini Press, 2015) and in Goldsmiths Fashion Index (2015).

Departments, Centres and Research Units: Design
Date range: 2015 - ongoing
Related URL:,,
Item ID: 25342
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2021 15:58


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