I sat down with the brilliantly fashionable Hannah Sykes –
who was wearing a black jumpsuit from Ted Baker – to talk about her new
What is the name of
your new collection?
The Razzle Dazzle collection, maybe. I don’t really have a
name for it yet, so we’ll go with that one.
What was the thinking
behind this colourful bright collection?
I found a print, when I worked in China for three months,
and I had a conversation with my neighbour and he said the print reminded him
of the dazzle camouflage that was used in World War One that depicts the outline
of a ship. I went with that technical idea and I really enjoyed having that
intelligence in my designs. That’s why with this theme of camouflage came with
a story because that is what inspires me. There’s this woman pretending to be a man in
order to be with her husband at war so that is why the collection is quite
utilitarian and androgynous: The clothing is quite masculine and looks like
menswear. Being in the war, you had to make use of what you have so all
clothing had to be versatile so I have made everything reversible and all of
the jackets can be turned into rucksacks, everything is dual purpose and very
functional. I brought in an innovative camouflage print that changes colour in
the rain. All of the rucksacks and jackets change colour in the rain, so I am
going to chuck some water over them before they go onto the catwalk.
How long have you been
a designer for?
I graduated last year from the Manchester School of Art, I
graduated in July so this is my graduate collection which won me the Innovation
award at Graduate Fashion Week which I was super excited about. I am still
trying to promote this collection at the moment and I am in talks with people
about starting my new collection. I want to push the colour changing, push the
technology and have something that is complex yet still easy and wearable with
all of the technology inside. I am trying to do that all in spare time as well
What is the Hannah
Sykes Story, What makes you the designer you are today?
I think it is because I had never done fashion before,
that’s what makes this so much more fun because I have never tackled this
before. I had never really been interested in fashion but I was always
interested in 3D, Art and Maths and fashion is how I combined them all. 3D
helped me transfer 2D to 3D and to visualise things. I would say my designs are
more like products than garments. And having studied Maths helps me with the
technological side of things and working out the patterns. I am not just a
fashion designer and neither are my products. They are fashion pieces with a
little bit of intelligence behind them too.
And my last question is, where is your outfit from?
(Her Black Jumpsuit) It’s from Ted Baker, It’s three years
old now. I used to work in Ted Baker in Manchester. It’s a classic piece that I
purchased from their and I wear it all the time. It’s kind of my go-to High
Interviewing Hannah was an absolute pleasure. She was so
warm and welcoming and very eloquent in her answers. Want to learn more about
this brilliant young woman? Check out her amazingly streamline website here.