The Process: Collaging, Lost Photographs and 80’s Hair with Australian Fashion Graduate Jordyn Smith

For Australian fashion graduate Jordyn Smith the best word to describe her work’s aesthetic is ‘mess’. Not meant in a condescending way, the condition of disorder and confusion describes perfectly her design process. Through assemblage and collaging, and including some elements like discarded clothes, thrifted fabrics, found photographs and the colour green into the mix, Jordyn has created a method she fondly refers to as ‘Frankensteining’.

A look into Jordyn’s ‘messy’ work’s aesthetic and design process, self-described as ‘Frankensteining’

From her hometown of Ballarat, she has undertaken to keep a sustainable practice, connecting with her rural town’s creative network and working with the few local, remaining textile manufacturers.

The result from this methodology can be seen in her RMIT University Graduate collection, ‘Fashion’s Prometheus’. The starting point was an exploration of ephemera and lost and forgotten photographs Jordyn purchased at antique shops in her hometown, in order to embed them into the garment as a way to creatively engage and repurpose once forgotten memories.

An old picture of her mum (as referenced below in this article) turned into a knitwear collaboration with local manufacturer ‘Interknit

Additionally, making creative connections with manufacturers and suppliers from Ballarat whilst commuting to Melbourne for university has allowed Jordyn to create further narrative around the garments from this collection, adding value and longevity to the ownerships of these items.

Here, honouring her working method, Jordyn dissects the inspirations and influences that have been involved in the creation of her first collection.

All images provided by Jordyn Smith

‘Fashion is Spinach’ by Elizabeth Hawes

“Hawes was before her time, her method of practice and forward thinking ideas about sustainability, gender and fashion’s role in society is very similar to ideas we here today..but Hawes was pushing these ideas back in the 1930s. Hawes is top of my list of if I could have a dinner party with someone who’s no longer with us – I could listen to her ideas all day. I try to design my work with her ideals at the back of my mind.”

Mötley Crüe and my mum’s hair

“LOL, I was really having an 80’s moment at the beginning of my graduate year. The hair, my goodness, THE HAIR. Whilst collecting ideas and images for my graduate collection I was also scouring the internet for vintage t-shirts. This really solidified my need to use my mum’s high school portrait in my collection somewhere.”

Mercedes Helnwein

“One of my favourite artists, Helnwein’s pieces just encapsulate everything I hope my work will too someday. The enigmatic pastel pieces, with references to found imagery from decades before, and the combination of colours. It’s eery, it’s nostalgic, and you can’t look away.”

Found photographs

“It all started with this one particular photograph that I purchased several years ago for $1 from an antique store. I just wanted to know more about their stories, how these photos ended up here, and how I could give them a second chance. I could spend hours looking for these photos.” 

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