TEXT / EMMA SMIT
Stepping into the worlds of the up and coming designers Mowalola, Sinead Dowry, and Rebecca Jeffs. All 3 designers warp you into a world of their own through body moulding, stereotype-defying and provocative undergarment design elements.
Challenging culture, sexuality and desire
Mowalola is a spicy and stereotype-defying menswear brand that entices audiences all over the world to imagine their own fantasies. The founder, Mowalola Ogunlesi, is a Nigerian-born, London-based fashion designer. She defines her approach to design as ‘a celebration of the black African male and of pan-African masculinity. According to Hero Magazine she took ‘her high-octane aesthetic even further, with a provocative collection centred around the theme of exposure.’ And describes her collection as “an emotional exposure, showing your skin or becoming fully vulnerable.” Her graduation collections, ‘Psychedelic,’ esteems Nigerian themed music as her muse. Encompassing elements of underwear-like designs merged with tantalising leather garments spotted with paint, Mowalola challenges her sense of culture, sexuality and desire.
“an emotional exposure, showing your skin or becoming fully vulnerable.”
From fishnets to shell bras.
Rebecca Jeffs, now working in Paris after graduating from the Central Saint Martin’s Womenswear MA, is defining and understanding what it means to be a woman. Captivated by gender-specific material objects, Rebecca explores the symbolism of femininity and the social standards that womenswear is subjected to. From fishnets to shell bras her work mocks society’s views on what being woman really means, but of course not forgetting her flawless tailoring. She inhabits a fantasy from underwear through her provocative twist merged with a subtle sensitivity. Rebecca paints a dreamlike world that lies slightly beyond our reach, connected through a wilfulness and strength. Charlotte Knowles, Chopova Lowena, and photographer Harley Weir are just some of the talented creators she has collaborated with to bring her unique visions to life.
Don’t hate your droopy breasts.
Stepping away from the fantasy, Sinead Dowry, a RCA MA graduate, desires to create a new kind of ‘normal’. This London based designer applauds every type of body with her wearable silicone sculptures and whimsical fiberglass creations. Sinead has found her desires somewhere between fashion and art as seen in her pieces confronting socially idealized body standards. She travels the realms of the tense connection women have with their bodies in today’s age. Using her own and her loved ones struggles with body dysmorphia as the starting points for her otherworldly conceptual creations. Drooping breasts, dimpled thighs, and love handles are proven to be just as good-looking as a flat stomach and bouncy bum.
Her work moulds the body like no self-love routine ever did, and shells societal expectation. Her use of pioneering techniques, along with her textured, wrinkled and pattern compressed designs explore how fashion has the power to make us feel more exposed than covered.