Becki Ball 

My submission was created during lockdown at home, using materials and equipment I already owned, by making use of my garden and the location I live in. My sister – who lives with me – assisted me with this shoot by taking the photos, which was a collaboration I really enjoyed, as it also helped to strengthen our bond and relationship. 

I decided to shoot my final outfit I made as part of my final collection for my university degree, as I wanted to stay creative during lockdown and share the work I had made. The final piece was made with tulle and duchess satin for the top, and printed fabric for the cargo trousers I designed, with the prints created using alcohol ink paintings I made, illustrations, primary images and Japanese text. The collection is titled ‘Ikigai’, a Japanese concept about having meaning in life, finding a passion to wake up to everyday. The collection, for me, has been my own ikigai, as designing and making clothes is something I really enjoy doing and I can channel my creativity through this. It is an aspect I have found has helped to keep me busy during the lockdown, as I have been continuing to practise my skills learnt from my degree by making clothes and finishing my collection at home. 

By shooting this outfit at home it has made me appreciate where I live and to find beauty within my surroundings. Initially I would never have thought that I would be shooting my final piece in my garden, when I had aspirations to shoot collaboratively with a big team of people in Shoreditch, London! However, I had to make use of what I already had, and I think after shooting I realised that sometimes there are still great opportunities and locations at home which can be used. The flower blossoms in my garden really complimented the soft femininity of the tulle and demonstrated how my work can provide a variety of looks in different settings. I wanted to showcase movement in the piece too, so I think that being outside and surrounded by nature worked well. In contrast, I used a concrete wall in my garden for a background, as I wanted to portray the theme of urbanity, which was a key inspiration in the creation of my prints.  

Although I was not travelling all the way to London to shoot this piece, I still found myself out of my comfort zone by trying to shoot it at home, as it was an option I had not considered before, thinking it would never work as a location. Lockdown has made me appreciate my home and where I live, and to be more creative, resilient and hardworking. I want to show that it is possible to be creative, even as we adapt…together at home, with the help of my sister, I was able to continue being creative.  

Words: Becki Ball, Fashion Design, @beccifashion

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