Photo credit:Georgi ball
Oriental Inspiration and Environmental Concept
New Collection by Becki Ball
By Elina Kobzar
24 May 2020
Becki Ball is an emerging designer and founder of an online fashion boutique in the UK. The brand BECCI commenced as a gap year project before the designer began her studies at the Norwich University of the Arts. Becki's collection features a range of lingerie, dresses and jewellery.
The designer believes that starting her brand allowed her to channel creativity into the website design, photoshoots and videos. However, Becki wants to move into less commercial designs, create unique handmade garments and rework her business to be more environmentally conscious.
The designer's interest in fashion began during GCSE where she was introduced to the textiles. Although, she wasn’t sure about her future path, the thought of designing run through her mind. “I then decided to take textiles as an A-level, which I’ve enjoyed. It made me realize there are so many new techniques and skills I could learn in this subject”. The A-level opened the door to Becki as she discovered so many opportunities within the fashion industry.
One of the things Becki loves about fashion is how creative it is as she believes anything can spark inspiration for designing. “Fashion for me is a way to express myself and to keep on learning. I believe that fashion has no boundaries in terms of designing, you can make it as crazy and exciting as you want, or take a minimalistic approach and still make an impact”.
The latest collection is part of Becki's graduation project which was inspired by oriental culture. Oriental involves anything associated with the Eastern part of the world. “The collection I have been working on at the moment,‘Ikigai’, was initially inspired by the glass sculptured by Dale Chihuly at Kew Gardens. I found the translucency and mixtures of colours within the glass beautiful”. In response to this, Becki began creating prints, using alcohol inks and developing them with primary images, illustrations and Japanese text.
The Japanese text has deeper meanings and phrases associated with them. The collection was focused on the Japanese word ‘ikigai’, which is about finding the reason for your being and what makes your life worthwhile. “As a designer, this collection has been my ikigai and consequently it has been a source of motivation for me, to create and channel my identity through my designs”, says Becki.
' This collection has been my ikigai and consequently, it has been a source of motivation for me, to create and channel my identity through my designs '
Becki’s designs feature bright colours where blue and orange predominate, a lot of detail, texture and print.
“I have used alcohol inks as a starting point for my prints as I wanted to try a different medium to work with. These are quite interesting and new to me, I still have a lot of learning to do with the various techniques but that’s what I love about making my prints – it’s all a learning curve”.
Every print is edited digitally and includes primary image, layering and illustrations before it turns into the final design. Not only new techniques and materials but the designer also considers several trends. Although, Becki doesn’t let it define the collection as she likes to step away from what everyone else is doing, she is still ready to educate herself about them.
Designer thinks that sustainability could be seen as one of the trends. Becki doesn’t produce sustainable collections at the moment but wants to find out more on how to be environmentally friendly. She believes that ‘emerging designers should care for the planet”.
Some of the new products on Becki’s website such as the sublimation printed scarves already follow the new ethic of the brand. “Their print method has no water waste. They have also been printed onto offcut pieces which were no longer wanted, therefore I was able to reuse this fabric to make something new, creative and useful”.
Apart from managing online business, university deadlines and a part-time job, Becki is also a SHEIN ambassador.
The issue with SHEIN is that it’s known as the fast-fashion brand. Becki commented on this by saying: “I do not know much about their impact on the environment but I would suggest that the government should impose stricter laws that large fast fashion brands have to follow”. Fast fashion brands like SHEIN should make their policies more clear and follow stricter legal laws that protect the environment.
Taking environmental aspect on the side, Becki received work experience which is crucial for anyone who begins their career. The brand gave Becki an opportunity to work at London pop-up shop and the Graduate Fashion Week which was a great way to meet new people in the industry.
For every designer, it is important to attend events but what is more important is to take part in them. Becci showcased her work at the Norwich Fashion week 2016 and 2017 and Birmingham Fashion Festival. Both events allowed gaining more experience and learning from mistakes.
Following the COVID-19 news, the designer doesn’t know when she will be able to showcase her collections again. “This situation has affected me immensely. I have no longer been able to make my physical final collection for my degree”. Every submission changed drastically and is now in a digital format. The Graduation Fashion Week has been cancelled as well which Becki describes as the “devastating news” as it was something she was looking for since her first day at university.
“I think a lot will change in the industry. I think we will be seeing digital fashion shows and a lot more digital platforms expanding to cater for this. The tech industry will have a lot more pressure on it to be more innovative with the ways fashion can be digitally presented to us”.
The fashion industry will face a lot of negative challenges such as “job losses and many high street stores converting online”, adds Becki.
While talking about the future plans, regardless of the situation, Becki stays positive and wants to continue developing her brand. “I would love to have a successful fashion brand, and work at this full time, selling sustainable pieces I have designed and be part of more shows, hopefully not just the digital ones”.
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