I owe many of my creative outcomes to technology
and the internet, and I wanted to explore
how these technologies could elevate creative concepts…
Meet Brittany Glassey, a recent fashion design graduate from New Zealand. Inspired by Japanese street fashion and technology, Brittany regularly incorporates the two into her designs. Her latest collection “Creativity Gets an Upgrade” makes use of laser cutting, LED lighting, and iPhones! The COMM caught up with this up-and-coming designer to discuss her fashion journey, technology as an expression of creativity, and how to be more sustainable within the community.
Please introduce yourself to The COMMunity.
Hello all! Brittany here, I love bright colours and making things—whether that be art, fashion, or anything in between! I have just finished my final year of study towards a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design).
Tell us about your first encounter with Japanese street fashion.
My first encounter was online. I was a big follower of dress-up games and virtual fashion communities in my preteens and I would see people’s avatars wearing bright outfits and arranging dozens of Decora-esque accessories in their hair. I started making friends with these people who loved the style, but were unable to express it in real-life, which is why their avatar showed their ultimate fashion fantasy instead.
What made you choose to study fashion?
I’ve always enjoyed the creative process, whether that be sewing, sculpting, or drawing. I used to sew clothing for my dolls, and make new toys to play with as a child. I also have various medical problems growing up, which means that a lot of store clothing did not fit me like normal which would limit my style options. Over time, I started falling in love with designing wearable clothing, which led me into pursuing fashion as a career.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your recent collection.
My mini-collection “Creativity Gets an Upgrade” focuses on how digital technologies can be used to aid the creative expression of modern youth, within the context of fashion.
I owe many of my creative outcomes to technology and the internet, and I wanted to explore how these technologies could elevate creative concepts in a way that could not be replicated otherwise. My research led me to the The COMM’s various articles on technology in street fashion. I liked the perspective of how anyone can use technology in fashion, and I wanted to use this concept of accessibility (particularly for youth) and have it play a role in my collection.
Each look focuses on utilising digital technologies in different ways, with the full collection existing as an example for how these technologies can be used. But it also offers the opportunity for others to use these techniques to create their own new fashion.
However, I do not believe that digital technologies should replace traditional methods of creative expression—rather that it generates a different result.
For better or worse, “sustainability” has become a buzzword in the fashion industry. What is your approach to fashion design and textile sourcing as we grapple with climate change?
It cannot be ignored that there are issues in the fashion industry in regards to sustainability. I source natural fibres or more sustainable fabrics when possible for making my garments.
I fully acknowledge that there are synthetic materials used in my garments, and when that is the case, I use as little of the material as possible to minimise wastage. I also like to source synthetic materials from second-hand sources over purchasing them new, such as a dress I made last year using old teddy bears.
Sustainability isn’t only about the environment—finding a way to maintain the social and economic elements of true sustainability is an incredible challenge. While my methods benefit from small runs and one-off garments, it would be impossible to replicate at a large scale. As I continue to make garments in the future, I want to have this concept of sustainability become more integral to my creative process.
Do you have any tips for how Japanese street fashion lovers can enjoy fashion consciously?
Personalisation and customisation are such fundamental elements of street fashion. I love the challenge of finding a garment at the thrift store and changing it up to feel more like yours than someone else’s. Learning how to sew is an excellent starting point for being able to customise ready-made garments to either make them fit better or change them up to become something different.
Any last words?
In an industry as turbulent as fashion, when the focus is often to compete in order to stay on top, I really admire when we are able to work together and support one another as a community. And I think The COMM is doing a wonderful job at showcasing just that. Thank you for the opportunity to present my work here, and I look forward to seeing future creatives express themselves here, too!
Introduction and questions by Anna.
Featured image courtesy of Art Institute.