Showcasing the freshest talent in the city, the final year students of Manchester Metropolitan University here assert their infinite creativity and imagination across disciplines varying from architecture, photography, and art. And this is a particularly special occasion, as my dear friend Laura J Hardman has the opportunity to unveil her innovative yet playful textile designs to the public, bringing a youthful aesthetic to contemporary fashion design.
Laura’s work is both bold and imaginative. Think Lazy Oaf and Shrimps with more of a cartoonish edge. Linear uses of colour strike an intriguing interplay between space and texture, with applications of cotton, monofilament and tulle offering a thought-provoking approach to structural integrity. Along with layers of print and e-wrap, the end result is delightfully carefree, and embraces the spiritedness born from the simple act of doodling.
‘The naïve aesthetic of my work allows it to be both playful and energetic in the exploration of creating a fun and lively approach to knitted textiles and fashion. [I] use child-like doodles and mark making as a source of inspiration.’
Laura aims to toy with the concept of innocence, and its scope as a visual concept. Its plentiful interpretations, here captured in animated form though the use of characteristic illustrations, offer a sense of freedom and vivacity that provides an overarching narrative to her work. Bright colours and open, gestural lines inspired by the rhythmic sounds of classical music combine effectively to create an energetic, engaging piece.
Not only a winner of the Belly Button Award for Design, Laura also enjoys the privilege of becoming one of the few students who have been selected to exhibit their work at the New Designers event in London, which showcases the very best new talent in the fashion industry. With these accolades under her belt before officially finishing university, its safe to say that there’s a very bright future ahead of this wonderfully talented individual.
Manchester School of Art will be hosting the annual art degree show until 21st June. Laura J Hardman’s work will be featuring in the New Designers exhibition at The Business Design Centre, London from 28th June to 1st July.
To keep updated with Laura’s designs, you can find her on Instagram: laurajhardmanknit