Guest Post: Katie Bowkett on creating handmade textiles

by Sasha Wilkins on June 11, 2014 · 3 comments

Katie Bowkett bags

Some of you may know that Katie has been one of my assistants on LLG during her years at LCF. She helps out at London Fashion Week, and covers when my EA is away. We met when she was volunteering for OXFAM and was my model for the day on this project (that’s her on the right in the photo on the link). I was so impressed with both her work ethic and her charm that I asked her to stay in touch, and six months later she was assisting me with a giant project at London Fashion Week. She’s just about to finish her undergraduate degree at LCF, and I asked her if she’d like to write a post about her final project.

Over to you Katie!

The last four years at the London College of Fashion studying BA Fashion Textiles have been something of a whirlwind, from having the opportunity to design the RHS Centenary Chelsea Flower show logo last year to completing a graduate collection without my feet touching the ground.

Katie Bowkett bags

The most recent project that I’ve been involved in has been the Ten Stores Challenge, a charity shopping event to raise money and awareness for Hopes and Homes for Children that took place on the 1st of June. For the event I was asked to design a limited edition range of products that would be sold at the London College of Fashion pop up shop. I decided to create a bag collection using hand woven materials developed as part of my graduate collection, inspired by traditional craft artistry.

Katie Bowkett bags

Complex textiles have continued to dominate fashion trends over the past few years, with many collections dominated by some form of adornment be it print, embroidery or knit, so it seemed relevant and fitting to create an accessories line focussing on playful surface texture.

The fabrics for the pouches are created using a hand woven technique made from luxury yarns and materials such as cashmere and tweeds alongside metallic leathers and fastenings. Each piece of material takes around eight hours to produce by hand and has the option to be combined with leather or to be a fully woven clutch bag.

Katie Bowkett bags

So often handbags can be a hugely expensive investment and each season it seems there’s another one that ‘we must buy’. I wanted to create a bag that reflects craftsmanship and longevity, whilst remaining practical with an emphasis on surface texture, that transcends across the season. Integral to the creation of the bags is the idea of creating a bespoke product that is completely exclusive and combines both craft and embroidery to form a unique textile in a variety of different colourways.

Katie Bowkett bags

And so my time at London College of Fashion draws to a close and although I won’t be spending hours and hours in the embroidery classrooms devising a collection and working through the night hand embroidering sequins to mens suiting (yes, really). One thing is for certain that I will continue producing products that reflect my enthusiasm for intricate design and innovative textiles.

I’m sure you’ll all join with me in wishing Katie every success in her job hunt to start her future career in the fashion industry!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen June 11, 2014 at 16:36

Beautiful

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Sarah June 11, 2014 at 22:01

Where, oh where can I get one of these beautiful bags? Absolutely stunning.

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Katie June 12, 2014 at 23:05

Thank you, so glad that you like the bags!! If you would like anymore details about the bags you can email me at katie@katiebowkett.com.

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