Rosella May sees fashion as a means to bridge the gap between creative vision and social commentary; her SS19 collection ‘Stigma’ used sartorial expression to break down the taboos surrounding mental health. Experimenting with a zero-waste policy, the designer incorporated all waste fabric into the production of her SS19 collection. ‘Stigma’ focused on sustainably produced denim, with bold and eye-catching looks to raise awareness for mental health issues. In contrast, the collection was colourful and playful, conveying the importance of an open approach to discussion of mental heath through a bright palette of pinks and pastel yellows in stunning abstract patterns.
Pockets were loud, proud, and adorned everything from skirts to ankle-skimming trousers; Rosella May used playful pastels against a background of monochrome patchwork prints and dazzling white denim on retro-inspired polo dresses, loose-fit twill culottes, and oversized jean jackets. May’s graduate collection focused on sustainably produced denim, which not only won her the British Councils Graduate Fashion Week International Residency Award, but also led to a role working for Calvin Klein Jeans in Amsterdam; a role which was instrumental to the development of her eponymous denim brand.
‘Stigma’ explored new techniques in printing on twill, moving away from traditional indigos in favour of sugary pinks and buttercup yellows on white denim. The aesthetic was sporty, with clean silhouettes and androgynous pieces in unexpected colours. Models took turns snapping pictures of themselves and each other with pastel-coloured Instax cameras, rocking major 80s vibes in printed denim and teased out hair. Full of oversized vests and deconstructed interpretations of classic silhouettes; from gender neutral boiler suits in abstract prints to a Jackson Pollock-esque cropped co-ord, the brand used classic denim and twill in new and innovative ways.