Ruth Chapman

Survival of the Iridescent

‘Survival of the Iridescent’, is an AW19, Menswear collection, with a hunter vs prey concept. Deriving from the theory that iridescence within animals in the natural kingdom is a fundamental survival mechanism. The Iridescent shimmer of fish scales and bird feathers produce striking aesthetics within nature. Recent research into this lustrous shine shows that the characteristic of; ‘interference coloration’ is a key defense mechanism, evolved to dazzle and confuse predators in order to escape capture. The textiles within the collection focus on the texture, colour and patterns within these animals, such as the light reflecting scales of a fish and the lustrous feathers of a Peacock, Pheasant or Hummingbird. This is contradicted through the garment silhouette and construction of the collection, by exploring the clothing worn by a so called ‘predator’ of these iridescent animals; the human, in the form of fishermen and hunters.

The abstract camouflage prints within the collection represent the hunter vs prey concept, and were developed from marks created with fish scales, cropping and enlarging small sections to create textural, abstract prints. Iridescent feathers have been incorporated into the collection through experimental embellishment techniques, focusing on weaving feathers into the fabric using Korowai weaves inspired from the Maori tribe in New Zealand, traditionally a tribe of hunters. The large pocket bags and wide leg, oversized trousers within the collection stem from vintage garment research, studying the silhouette and functionality of the garments for the purpose of fishing and hunting.