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Designer Hannah Wallace

Designer Hannah Wallace

By: Samantha Jagger

Samantha Jagger talks to GFW Gold Award winner Hannah Wallace about astronomy, science, subculture and naming her collection after a block of council flats: Pluto Close.

Meet Ms Hannah Wallace, the lady who triumphed at 2015’s Graduate Fashion Week with a set of stunning menswear pieces. Hannah has used extreme amounts of research to develop a collection that has interactive, insulated and breathable fabrics, which enable flexibility and capacity via their construction.

The name of her collection, Pluto Close, was taken from a block of maisonette flats on a council estate in Leicester. The scale of the estate’s architecture impacted on the collection’s digital prints, logos and silhouettes. “I chose the name because space and astronomy were one of many initial concepts so the connection was inexorable. I also wanted to reflect residential areas which were notorious for rebellion and upheaval within my research.” 

Hannah’s research demonstrates an incredible thought process. “A combination of subculture, science and engineering has transformed my exploration through design methods. [Both] the uprising of rioters against the government and astronauts have inspired my collection, especially the protective layers that are necessary to both individuals as they are thought of as second skins.”

The ability to combine and individually recreate significant rebellions throughout history touches upon discovery, change, conflict, uprising, progression, innovation and protection. The courage and freedom that a rioter possesses have influenced her
eccentric designs. 

However, with great success, sometimes, comes great stress. “It has been stressful at some points, especially as I’m trying to keep on top of everything… as well as making the right decisions as to when and which events to take part in.”

Hannah talks of the importance of being independent in the industry. “I have pretty much handled everything myself. It has definitely been a crazy experience, just a taster of what’s to come I suppose.”

Today’s society has supported an increasing number of innovative designers breaking into the industry, “There are platforms out there that do make it easier to get recognised, such as social media, and if you’re persistent and determined it will happen. But, like any business, without the funds behind you it can become extremely difficult.”

I had to ask what was her go-to garb. “I love my Docs! They go with everything and keep my feet super warm in the winter! I also love my gold hoop earrings; I have them in all sizes!”

It’s a well-deserved win for Hannah Wallace. And, though her exemplary collection sets standards high for future graduates, she believes everyone should be able to have a shot. “There’s no age limit on talent (within reason of course)! The industry is so diverse and that should be portrayed through the designers too, not just the collections.