Fashion & Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery

Fashion &
Freedom

Sadie Williams

Sadie Williams is a fashion and textile designer, born and based in London. She studied on the Central Saint Martins MA Fashion course and her work is characterised by playful juxtapositions of material, colour, texture and form. After graduating, in 2013, she went on to become one of Selfridges’ Bright Young Things, showcasing a range of embossed mini-dresses and lurex print sweatshirts. A selection of her MA collection dresses were put on display in a window at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. The dresses were made from a new shimmering textile Williams innovated.

2016
Polyester lurex bonded to cotton track-suiting

“I took inspiration from the colours and clean shapes of Red Cross uniforms from the First World War. Yet I wanted to steer away from practicality and instead create an angelic glistening gown as homage to these super women, complete with the Red Cross symbol proudly adorning the chest, like a super-hero emblem.”

For Fashion & Freedom, Williams has created a new work from this textile as an homage to women working for the Red Cross as Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) during the First World War. “I found it very moving to think of all these women signing up to protect sick and wounded victims of war, putting on their nursing uniforms and proudly bearing the Red Cross emblem on their chests.

“I’ve always been very drawn to bold print arrangements and graphic motifs, and the symbol of the Red Cross is something I find very inspirational for many reasons. It’s incredibly visually impactful whilst signifying both protection and neutrality.”

Illustration courtesy the designer
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