2021 Graduate Showcase: Mercedes Ridge

“Y2K meets the modern-day.”

To be inspired by one’s Welsh heritage and to experience a sense of ‘Hiraeth’ is to have a sense of one’s rich cultural tapestry, blended with an intense yearning and nostalgia for a time that has now sadly passed. The welsh saying “Mae Hiraeth arna i” translates to ‘there is Hiraeth upon me’; a heightened notion of a nostalgic place you can no longer experience. For me, this is wistful memories of a carefree childhood spent with cousins and siblings exploring the rich green hills that encompassed my family home, which in turn triggers long-dormant feelings. Images flood the mind, reminiscent of Wolfgang Tillman’s nostalgic and raw photography, so true to real-life – unposed and in the moment – exactly as a child would capture a portrait. Polaroid images of children, taken by children; showcasing the dress up and hairstyling of the time. A chronicle of the silhouettes of trends that have come full circle in fashion terms, intermixed with the ever-important annual donning of Welsh costume every March 1st, to mark the celebration of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales. Utilising this traditional concept I have created a seasonless capsule collection; where interchangeable pieces can work together or alone in timeless shapes that work year-in and year-out. Incorporating my passion for sustainable fashion was a must for this collection, which worked well for the concept of timeless pieces that are made to last and are created using materials that are traceable and produced ethically in the UK or are deadstock fabrics. These aspects coincide with my vision to reduce the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry. This collection aims to capture that sense of Hiraeth whilst adding a current day influence, and holding my sustainable beliefs at it’s core. Welcome to ‘Y2K meets the modern-day.’


Name: Mercedes Ridge
Specialism:Fashion Design Womenswear
Internships:FERN, Zimmermann, Richard Malone, Third Edit, FACE (Fashion Academics Creating Equality)

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