This year we had the pleasure of meeting Faye Clarke, the designer behind Ma’s House – a new label created by the freelance fashion and textile graduate – and showcasing her fabulous new collection on the IJL catwalk. The label unveiled it’s new unique smart labelling system for the blind and visually impaired. This consists of computer chips within clothing labels which, using the app on a mobile phone, give a verbal description of the garments appearance, size and washing instructions. The second part of the labelling system is a quick colour indication label using braille for ease of dressing.
We caught up with Faye to talk about the fascinating collection, her inspiration and what’s next for Ma’s House.
Tell us a little about your collection
My collection is a smart phone interactive fashion collection, verbally communicating WW1 poetry via an app on your phone. It looks at deconstructing structured military dress inspired uniforms through peace and remembrance florals and pattern cutting techniques.
Where did your inspiration come from?
My inspiration for the collection came from my internship at Company of Makers in Portsmouth working with military uniform, deconstructing it to make something new and personalised for the client. Company of Makers “…design and make products inspired by the British military’s influence on pop culture.” And their purpose behind making these products (personalised cushions, bags and aprons using ex/serving, donated or sourced uniforms) is to “… help fund making work shops for ex-service personal and their families who are struggling with life on civvy street.”
Tell us more about the technology used in your collection and how it can help make shopping and fashion more accessible to all
For the last few years I have been working on a smart labelling system initially for the visually impaired but hopefully in the future for other disabilities which help with the issues of identification of clothing and washing. I wanted to create greater independence of choice when choosing clothing and lesser reliance on friends and family, these labels verbally communicate to the user core essentials of garment requirements via an app on your phone.
Why did you choose to incorporate the poppy and military influences?
Within my work I want to incorporate meaning, purpose and a story to all elements of it. So using military influence and remembrance florals and poetry came hand in hand. What I did was to create a further personal touch was to hand draw all my textile designs first then manipulate them into digital textiles. Then I introduced 3d embroidered and laser cut flowers which hold the scannable technology with the poetry on.
What is next for Ma’s House?
At the moment I am studying a masters in research at the University of Portsmouth based on this subject of visual impairment and the issues of identification of clothing. Once I graduate I will be working on my business of initially creating children’s wear aimed at both abled and disabled children with the smart labels inside them and later on broadening into adult clothing.
Follow Faye and her work on Instagram at @mas_houseltd