Back Designer Statement

Robert Whitehurst

After Midnight

Fairy tales are often our first shared fantasies, pumpkins turning into gleaming carriages, a sleeping princess awoken by a first kiss. Yet there is a dark side to these stories. As a child, my parents would read to me from a book of illustrated fairy tales. There was magic in them that captivated me. It was not until many years later I discovered many fairy tales in their original telling are dark and macabre. This duality is what inspires my thesis collection.

With my garments, I craft my own fantasy world, with surface treatments that respond to the ecologies they emerge from and enter into -- from the juxtaposition of pristine untouched fabric, to the worn and ragged surface treatments expressing a sultry romanticism and a patina of use. The marks on these garments also represent the tragedy that have painted our lives for the past year. A period of introspection. A translation of emotions, wants, and fears in this moment of time that inevitably took hold, and transformed my work like a witch’s spell.

Overall, this period of time has allowed us emerging designers to be well versed with the act of resilience. My collection points towards how the raw and the wicked can entwine and merge with the beautiful and the sublime.