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We spoke with 2020 graduate Pedro Trindade about his projects, inspirations, experiences on the Graduate Diploma FDT course, and advice for new students.
My name is Pedro Trindade, I'm a menswear fashion designer from Brazil. I work with gender performances - specifically with masculinity, how it is used as a commodity in social media today and how historically in Brazil it built a lot of our understanding of gender and possibilities.
I did my Bachelor in Brazil and then I worked in Surface Design with wallpaper. Then my sister-in-law launched a high-end sex shop brand, with a focus on fashion and I worked with her on that.
I felt like my studies in Brazil were lacking in a lot of things, and that maybe I was not ready to do a Masters. The Graduate Diploma was an in between course that fit very well, covering that gap that I needed to work on.
It helped a lot. I think the course was great because we would be guided through our own research and processes. My research is very personal so it's easy for me to get lost in wanting to talk about too many things and explore too many sides of it at once. The course was very helpful in guiding me and making me more critical of what processes I was taking, why I was taking them and how that helped me get more of a clear message.
I love working with photography and my final project started as an exploration of portraiture of men in Brazil in the 70s. I felt like there were images that had a lot of power and a very specific characteristic. They were taken where people had no access to photography, and it was there one opportunity to portray themselves as they wanted to be seen. I then met people that I felt were displaying this heightened masculinity in society today and explored what they were conveying that through. It extended itself to uniforms and service culture in Brazil and how those have very strong iconographies as well as how masculinity is represented. I developed a collection that is masculine, but it plays on women's techniques to enhance the body shape and make it more flattering and sexier, while still maintaining a masculine outlook.
My main interest is communicating with people and taking apart elements from iconographies, in a way that makes people rethink how they are behaving. I believe that if we scrutinise those elements and talk about them often, we can take this construction of gender, which is very much operated unconsciously, and bring it to the forefront of how we build our characters so that it is a more conscientious choice. You can be whatever gender possibility you choose to be, as long as it is something you're aware of doing, and not something that just happens naturally - because that's not how we build the rest of who we are.
Be ready to work and listen.
I think it's very easy to have a mindset of what you think design needs to be and should be. It’s great to have an identity, and my tutors never made me change what I wanted to do, but other people understand things in different ways and they're going to guide you to better communicate your ideas.
I got into the MA Menswear at Central Saint Martins so I'm going to be starting that in October. I plan to continue developing my research. I've been painting a lot as well. I want to join both of these practices together and have a more holistic project. After that the plan would be to work with a few designers and then start my own brand.