I accidentally stumbled upon Emily Giles when she posted a pair of shoes from her graduate collection entitled 'Ride Away' on a Facebook group I'm on. That lead me to her profile on Not Just a Label and the rest as they say is history. I was particularly interested in Giles as a newly graduated fashion student from the Queensland University of Technology and having grown up in a small rural town. While it's not uncommon for me to discuss graduate collections there has been a notable absence from the class of 2014 (I hope to rectify this). It would seem that isolation nourished her creativity rather than stamped it out and in response to a lack of commercially available clothing she focuses on traditional handy crafts. The kind which are passed down from generation to generation. As a result many pieces within her collection feature a cacophony of embroidery, knitting, weaving, beading and quilting. I've always been rather jealous of anyone who could knit and was taught by a relative and felt like it was something missing from my own life. However, these techniques are far from gentrified and instead reinvigorated by an experimental veil of colour and mystique.
'Ride Away' was heavily influenced by the 1953 film, 'The Wild One', hence the interplay between masculine and feminine elements as explored through over sized proportions and dropped shoulders. This idea of identity shifting through time was also emphasized with the number of different coloured wigs used throughout the photo shoot. The large coats and cigarette motif reminded me of espionage films and the film noir genre re-imagined with generous colours and layered outfits. I loved how the subtleties of the details on this coat in particular were highlighted using metallic thread and draped across the shoulder but the pink jacket was what captured my imagination and fueled my passions. All the pieces were made using natural fibers including wool, silk and fur. From afar the texture of these pieces is indeterminate but on closer inspection different materials have been so well matched one element blends seamlessly against another. One can only imagine the wonders Giles will go on to achieve and what joys her next collection may bring, whatever that may be.