Fashion careers: Q&A with LFW fashion designer, Sinead Gorey
By Aileen Yu
11 Oct 2019
Hailing from South East London, fashion designer Sinead Gorey is a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion Womenswear course. Her label is a fusion of technical rave wear and tailoring. The SS20 collection revolves around sexual empowerment, spiritual fulfilment, technical fabrications and nostalgic elevation. Her designs have already been worn by rising pop culture icons Zara Larson and Jorja Smith. Just fresh off of revealing her latest collection at London Fashion Week in September, Sinead talks to FashionUnited on how she combines technical training with an individual aesthetic as a budding fashion designer.
What is your process when designing a collection?
For each collection I will spend a long time researching and reading books on the subject of the concept. Then from this, I create loads of mash-up research pages where I collage and blow up small elements of my research which I can turn into garment features. I also use the Pantone colour app to create a palette from my research. Initially, I like to spend a lot of time quickly sketching loads of silhouette ideas, then developing these sketches into more technical drawings where I focus in on details and construction of the garment. Once I begin to create some signature elements to the collection, I will develop these design features to work throughout the collection to make it cohesive. I think it's important to have a variety of more wearable/sellable pieces and then some mental pieces that are purely one-offs.
What does your average working week look like?
My working week is always pretty fun (and long), I will be in my studio quite a lot working on orders, custom looks and PR stuff. I also do quite a lot of freelance work, mainly styling jobs, assisting on music videos, editorials, celebrity appearances-which all seem to seamlessly fit around my working on my brand. Then on the weekend, I go raving or to the pub!
Did you have to make any investments into your career so far as a designer?
Creating a collection costs a lot of money; however, I am lucky that I created my studio a couple of years ago, investing in industrial machinery. Therefore I am able to do all the sample production in my studio rather than outsourcing. Then the cost of fabric, trims, and all the costs associated with putting on a presentation I feel is an investment and has to be done in order for the brand to progress forward.
You recently graduated from the London College of Fashion. What did you study?
I studied Womenswear Design Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours).
How relevant is what you learned during your studies in practice?
Before I started my course I could hardly even use a sewing machine and didn’t know anything about pattern cutting. I’ve learned a lot of technical skills during my course as well as different ways of approaching creating a concept for a collection.
Does the artistic approach of art education sufficiently fit in with the commercial world you find yourself in now?
I feel that to be able to fit within the commercial fashion industry, it’s so important to have a unique artistic flair and creative approach to being a designer. In order to stand out, I feel you must have an individual aesthetic which I personally was able to develop by being in art education for four years.
What are the milestones in your fashion career since graduating?
Since graduating I have been approached with many opportunities, the biggest milestone was being able to show my SS20 collection at London Fashion Week in the BFC Discovery lab. This happened just two months after I graduated from my BA and is something I’m extremely grateful for.
What is your message as a designer and what do you feel like you have to fight for?
Rave culture! As young people in 2019, I feel most of us are uncertain about our futures, the government system is a mess and it’s so important to have an escape. So many clubs are being closed within London, so I feel like it's so important to keep illegal rave culture going strong.
Who do you see wearing this collection?
In my head when I design, I am designing for a cult of raver girls. I use friends of mine as muses, take elements from the raving lifestyle to inform functionality within the garments.
What are you working on next?
At the moment, I have some custom looks lined up for some exciting artists. I am working on pushing the brand to a wider audience, gaining stockists, and researching/designing for FW20 in February.
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