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#NTUDEGREESHOW Spotlight: Alisha Kumar

This week's Spotlight piece features BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Alisha Kumar

From God's Own Junkyard, Alisha Kumar, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, 2019.
From God's Own Junkyard, Alisha Kumar, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, 2019.

In the run-up to the Art and Design Degree Show, we will be sharing a series of student projects from across the 26 participating courses through #NTUDEGREESHOW Spotlights.

God's Own Junkyard

For my final collection I wanted to create my own personal interpretation of ‘heaven’. This inspiration came from a visit to God’s Own Junkyard, a neon signage exhibition in London. I really loved the visual experience created by the hundreds of signs, the ‘offsetting’ of the lights and reflections along with the colours used; it really created an ethereal, idyllic environment. I wanted to make my collection personal to me and to tell a story, and a massive part of my idea of ‘heaven’ comes from my cultural background and Sikh belief. I loved the contrast of the pop-art style neon signs with the traditional imagery of the Gods and Deities of my Hindu-Punjabi heritage.

I have always been interested in sportswear, so I was interested in combining traditional ethnic silhouettes with contemporary technical fabrics. I focused on using luxurious and tactile fabrics such as velvet and soft shell jersey, as these linked to the ‘heaven-like’ experience I set out to explore. The contrast between contemporary and traditional styles continues throughout my prints and colour palette, using deep tonal colours such as purple and navy with the green and pink hues that I extracted from my initial imagery.

From God's Own Junkyard, Alisha Kumar, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, 2019.
From God's Own Junkyard, Alisha Kumar, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, 2019.

When I visit the Sikh temple back home, people come in wearing traditional Sikh wear but layered with a sporty puffer jacket and air max trainers for comfort. I have always found this functional combination humorous and bashful, and thought it would be an interesting starting point to clash and combine Indian cultural silhouettes with sportswear detailing. Overall, I wanted my collection to be a celebration of my Indian heritage and its rich culture, but with a fun and playful twist.

My goal as a designer is to continue pushing the boundaries of menswear and to build a bridge between culture and fashion. In today’s world of fast fashion, the story behind clothes is often lost in the process of manufacturing and never understood by the wearer. I aim to prolong the lifetime of my collection by creating an emotional connection between the wearer and my garments. The personal stories behind my prints, colours and silhouettes add character to each garment and as a result will lead to the consumer holding onto it for longer, slowing down the process of fashion and minimising the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment.

Alisha Kumar

Watch Alisha's fashion film, God's Own Junkyard, here.

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Fashion Design Degree Show here.

Published on 15 May 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Current students; School of Art & Design