Sadie Willams's work is a celebration of maximalist resourcefulness. One man's trash is this woman's treasure.
PHOTOGRAPHy_ JOE CRUZ
STYLIST_ SADIE WILLIAMS
My work is very personal in many ways, and reflective of who and how I am. I'm always interested in juxtapositions, mixing sporty with feminine, tomboyishness with girlishness, decoration with simplicity, and modernity with craft. I'm very resourceful yet exploratory at the same time, and find true enjoyment in working with texture, pattern and color.
Taking something discarded/surplus/left-over/destined-for-landfill or forever sitting in a warehouse/attic/studio and reworking those materials into something purposeful, positive and new.
I love hunting, acquiring and scavenging for things that are often cheap/tacky/old/vintage and innovate something original and special out of them. I collect and accumulate materials (fabrics, trims, charms, buckles, badges, buttons, second hand clothes, deadstock and left-overs etc) and organise them in my studio, so I always have a rich bank of stuff to play with when I'm approaching making something new. I've become increasingly resourceful in working in this way.
I think there is no blanket prescription of what and how a designer should be. I do not feel that designers should feel forced into fulfilling a particular role, as this only breeds inauthenticity. Designers should follow their own path and recognise that this role comes with a certain amount of responsibility, in terms of not only their output/carbon footprint, but also the messages they send out to the world. Hopefully current global circumstances lead designers to acknowledge the importance and take action of ethical practices, but I'm wary that a pressure to fulfil this role can lead to brand messaging values that don't align completely with their conduct.
The fast, relentless pace and sheer waste that derives from the industry's schedule and expectation to create and produce seasonal collections; I moved away from creating seasonal collections almost two years ago and so have many many other brands, so hopefully this continues.
I would also like to somehow magically eradicate a lot of bullshit! Sometimes there is so much game-playing, so much spin, so many half-truths (especially with 'green-washing') and a lot of smoke and mirrors. Occasionally people lose sight of what matters (people, friendships, truth) and have no qualms in behaving mistrustfully, and frankly sometimes ruthlessly, when they're seduced by this industry's never ending game.
Having said that, it does make you realise and feel grateful that there are also so many deeply kind, talented, generous and brilliant people in this industry; and we genuinely want to raise each other up and move things forwards in the right direction.