I wanted the outfit to look a bit like the coat of an animal. I chose to exaggerate the shoulders, to emulate the way that horses and dogs move and the muscles that they have. But I only look at these things for inspiration. The outfit isn’t directly based on a specific animal, just bits of different things that I liked and were guiding me. I don’t like it when something is a direct copy, to me, design is all about mixing things together. My motto (from the quote by the chemist Antoine Lavoisier) is, “nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.” It’s all about how you bring elements together and transform them to create something new.
How did you construct the piece? I used a mix of dressmaking skills, costume making and DIY to create it. My mum was a dressmaker so she taught me how to sew. I know how to construct jackets, shirts and trousers but this was totally different. First I made the frame with chicken wire to get the perfect shape. The profile shape was really important in creating a sense of strength, it needed to be really precise. Because I was using human hair which is very heavy, I needed a material that wasn’t going to collapse. I ended up using a thermoplastic material called Worbla, which comes in a rigid sheet but when heated it softens and you can stretch it.