Ishy Miller graduated from the Textile Design course at The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee earlier this year, she strives to show to beginners interested in dressmaking how the craft can be straightforward and gratifying, as opposed to its often difficult and daunting perceptions. She develops simplified dressmaking kits ideal for first-time sewers as an introduction to the craft.
Are there plans to produce a wider variety of dressmaking kits?
Yes, I do plan to produce a wider variety of dressmaking kits, although they may not appear as they have before. I am about to start a Master’s course at GSA next month where I will be studying Fashion and Textiles. Whilst I want to take the opportunity to experiment with new ideas and concepts, I believe that the new environment and fresh ideas could help develop the kits into something much more unique.
What has inspired you to develop these simple dress-making kits?
Inspiration was generated from several sources. The Fashion Revolution was one: the word ‘sustainability’ only came into my vocabulary during my penultimate year of uni. We had several projects where we encouraged to think about the circular economy and fast fashion. I wanted to encourage change in the way we buy and think about clothes; to appreciate the craftsmanship and time that goes into making clothes and who might be making them.
Another was my friends. Many of my peers were keen to make their own clothes but they felt daunted and confused by dressmaking patterns – my course at university didn’t offer any classes on pattern-cutting or dressmaking because we were straightforward Textile Design. I wanted to show to people that learning how to make clothes isn’t as scary as they had first thought. If I designed a simple pattern and provided the fabric, it would be a great introduction.
Where do you see yourself this time next year?
Hopefully with an MA! This time next year I will be coming to the end of my Master’s course at GSA, perhaps even finished. I am excited to think that I will have designed and made a fashion collection, as I have never had any formal training in pattern-cutting or dressmaking. After the course, I would love to find a job in the industry. I would like to set up my own business one day but I have a few more ideas, concepts and learning to do before I get there.
Which artists inspire you most?
I feel endlessly inspired by Finish design at the moment but particularly Marimekko. I am obsessed with their simple silhouettes in clothing combined with large-scale, bold prints. Throughout this past year, I have been most inspired by Eduardo Paolozzi, David Whitehead and Lucienne Day. It is the strange, mechanical shapes and nostalgic feel that attracts me the most.
Thanks for reading! We will be posting more interviews with our spotted graduates in the coming months!