ALEXANDER MCQUEEN IN WALES
The AW20 collection was taken to Wales for the young people to utilise in the workshops and photoshoot — almost back to where it started. 'The collection is a love letter to women and families, colleagues and friends. We went to Wales and were inspired by the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage, by its folklore and the soul of its craft. The woman is courageous, grounded, bold: heroic. There is a sense of protection in the clothes, of safety and comfort, evoked through quilting and blankets. The hearts are a symbol of togetherness, of being there for others.' - Sarah Burton, Creative Director
The young people’s responses - through their sketches, research with their families, writing, embroidery, photographs and fittings conducted with the McQueen atelier - culminated in a four-day location shoot by Clémentine and Charlotte around locations in Wales such as Brynmawr, Abertillery Park, Blaina, Keeper’s Pond Blaenavon and Ogmore-by-Sea. One year later, we published a book which documents the entire project; a celebration of the creative energy of the young people, the support from families, youth workers in the town neighbourhood, and to Charlotte and Clémentine’s vision of bringing insight into fashion and the creative arts into their community.
'To us, fashion has never been a goal in itself, but more an excuse to generate ideas and opportunities. Our main focus has always been photography and creative workshops in the broadest sense. We try to raise an awareness, and sense of familiarity with creative skills and art in general through the workshops and the photography shoots.' - Clémentine Schneidermann
'We’ve been working with most of the young people for six years, including their families and youth workers. They attend Rotary Brynmawr, Coed Cae Interact Club and Gellideg Foundation group, which are youth organisations in The Valleys. Our aim with the workshops and photoshoots has been to give young people an understanding of the creative industries, the ability to create in their own environment while collaborating with us and other artists.' - Charlotte James