skip to main content

Essential coronavirus info
Your safety is our first priority.

Alice O'Mahoney

Profession
BA Fashion Textiles: Embroidery Alum
College
London College of Fashion
Person Type
Alumni
Student work by Alice O'Mahoney | BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery | London College of Fashion | 2021
Alice  O'Mahoney

Biography

Please introduce yourself and say a bit about your work.

Hello! I’m Alice, and I like to think of myself as a multi-disciplinary artist with an embroidery specialism. My work often centres around finding innovative, sustainable and durable textile techniques that have a strong visual narrative. I use drawing, sculpture and painting to explore concepts which I then translate into wearable textiles and textile art.

Congratulations on graduating from BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery. How have you found this year’s virtual graduation process?

I think the online Graduate Showcase was a fair way to give all students a chance to show their work in a safe environment but honestly, I would have still preferred a physical showcase and graduation!

What inspired your Graduate Showcase project The Labour of Nature?

The title ‘The Labour of Nature’ was formed when analysing the growing process of crops and how through sowing, growing and reaping, man and nature form an unspoken collaboration of labour.

I knew I always wanted to create a project based around my love for growing and making things from scratch but found it difficult to sum this broad subject into an interesting project, so the summer before my final year of university, after the first lockdown restrictions, I went to work on a farm for two months! This experience gave me tons of visual imagery but also a true insight into the life of someone growing and building as a lifestyle and not just a hobby like myself.

I was especially inspired by the visual imagery of farm machinery, metal hardware, bundles of hay tied together, foot prints in the mud, the lone silhouette of the farmer in the distance looking over his fields. From this inspiration I also created symbolic motifs to reflect the unbounded physical toils of our natural earth.

What impact do you hope this project will have?

‘The Labour of Nature’ reflects on self-sufficiency and the importance of knowing how to craft, build and grow in the current turbulent times and has the aim of paying tribute to the farmers and craftsmen who sustain our communities. I hope this project will help us reflect on where the food we eat comes from but I would also love this to encourage others to start their own mini ‘urban farms’ in their homes.

On your showcase portfolio you mention upcycling and repairable clothing. What does sustainability mean for you in the context of your work?

For me, sustainability means designing and creating mindfully, considering the environmental and ethical impacts of the creation and aftercare process whilst also making sure textiles created are as practical and affordable as possible!

For example, textiles for my graduate collection have been created mindfully by using fabric remnants wherever possible, biodegradable fabrics, avoids the use of small plastics such as beads and sequins, and instead, uses metal hardware such as washers and nuts which can easily be detached and repurposed. Natural fabrics have been naturally dyed with shibori techniques, resulting in ombre effects and unexpected marks.

I personally find it intimidating to wear and create textiles that can’t be worn without worrying they could be damaged, so I hope that my choice of durable fabric and imperfect marks encourages consumer ideals to move away from pristine perfection towards wearable and repairable clothing.

What attracted you to LCF and why did you study BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery?

When applying for universities I already had my mind set on embroidery and I loved how LCF had a course specifically focused on this, and the range in embroidery machines was also very exciting. I also really liked the focus on collaboration throughout the entire course as I wanted to make sure I was as industry ready as possible, and these collaborations really helped this!

Has your work been included in any publications, competitions or external curations?

I really hope to be able to physically exhibit my graduate project one day but as of now my 2nd year project titled ‘Bend, Don’t Break’, which is inspired by the resilience and tenacity shown by protestors around the world, was exhibited at the Loopholes Embroidery Exhibition at Craft Central in August 2021!

What excites you the most about stepping into the fashion industry?

During my Final Major Project, I also collaborated with Bethany Williams for her “All Our Stories” collection on an embroidered suit inspired by illustrator Mellissa Kitty Jarram’s illustrations. This was a lovely project to be a part of, and I am really excited to meet and collaborate with all the different mindful designers and artists working in the industry.

Think five years into the future – what would you love to be doing?

I would love to be an embroidery freelancer helping brands and designers with creating sustainable textiles whilst also managing my own embroidery and clothing brand!

One piece of advice you’d give to new BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery students?

I am definitely one to overthink everything, and I can see now how much that has held me back in my earlier work so I would definitely say try not to stress or overthink too much! To just sit down and work, even if you feel like everything you do isn’t how you would like it to be, just keep going. If you put enough time into your project, it will come out amazing!

Also, make as many friends as you can, not just for networking, but to create a support system you can rely on when it gets close to hand-ins!

Links

View Alice’s Graduate Showcase portfolio

Follow Alice on Instagram