Words by Josh Milton
“Bold” and “exciting” are adjectives that are part and parcel of press release culture. Every new designer is, “emerging with bold designs” despite how the only thing bold about it all is the typeface. Journalists are hit with each wave of these up and coming designers, with many looking more like the remains of Debarge’s garage sale than anything. But fashion journalists remain hopeful. Waiting in abeyance for the new.
So, when the exciting, “bold” designer Hope Macaulay landed into our inboxes, we sighed with relief. The Northern Irish designer – a recent University for the Creative Arts in Rochester graduate –showed at Graduate Fashion Week 2018 with a fantasmic display of clothing.
Her collection, titled, ‘A Surreal Rome’, looked as if it was pulled straight out of De Quincey’s daydreams. With clothing, Hope threads together a hallucinogenic world in which standard definitions of colour, form, and function are blown out of proportion. In Hope’s reality, no longer are the figures of historical myth and cultural fiction static or merely words on a yellowing library book. She lifts them from the page expressive paintings and collage photographs into a colourful, vibrant world of printed gowns, detailed beadings, and surreally chunky knits. From the interiors of Palazzo Diora Pamphilj to the Picasso Museum, Macaulay transforms these into brilliant skirts, suits, and busy dresses.
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