This week we’re joined by Fashion Design student Hannah Jones who spoke to us about using her fashion to be a voice for change in the queer community, musical theatre and the perks of a nice warm bath!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Hey Hannah, thanks for giving us some of your time. We’d love to hear about the work you create?
HANNAH JONES: At the moment my work is strictly digital fashion designs and concepts. However, before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was creating high end, physical garments. I produce collections and designs inspired mostly by queer culture and take huge inspiration from any and every queer reference possible!
STUDENTS’ UNION: With the history that queer culture has I imagine that there’s a lot to pull from! Could you tell us a bit more about how it inspires you?
HANNAH JONES: It sounds cliche, but to see queer people expressing their gender and sexuality freely and in their own way makes me inspired to see queer liberation and growth. To see queer people transition through life (not necessarily regarding gender) and find themselves is so inspiring and a lot of my work is inspired by the queer journey and queer lives!
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s beautiful to hear. Does that contribute to the message that you want your work to convey?
HANNAH JONES: I would say so. I want my work to start the conversation on gender expression and the elimination of gender in fashion. To start a conversation in society on gender is super important to me and it makes me so proud to see non-queer people starting to speak about queer lives and stories.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s a great message to get across because everyone deserves to be represented. It’s definitely important for people outside of the queer community to help positively amplify the voices of the queer community where they can because everyone should be seen and heard across the board.
STUDENTS’ UNION: What does your working process look like?
HANNAH JONES: Usually I have a rough design idea in my head when I have a brief in mind, however, I like to get a good body of visual research under my belt before I properly start my design process. After that, I start to compile the visual research and narrow my inspiration down and start to consider fabrics, designs and shapes.
STUDENTS’ UNION: What would you say helps to get you in your most creative space of mind?
HANNAH JONES: I feel most creative after a long bath. It sounds stupid but I feel like a bath resets your batteries. I find that having a bath completely cleanses my mind and gets my creativity reflowing, especially when I have creators block!
STUDENTS’ UNION: There’s nothing more relaxing than a nice warm bath. I definitely get what you mean when you say that a bath helps to reset your batteries because there’s something about feeling the water wash over your body that makes you feel renewed. What do you listen to whilst working?
HANNAH JONES: Anything from pop artists like Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish, to country artists like Kacey Musgraves and Dolly Parton. However, I mostly listen to musical theatre! My heart is in the theatre so listening to any musicals makes me super energised and inspired!! I’m also a massive podcast fan. I’m currently listening to old episodes of the Jenna and Julien podcast, the Frenemies podcast, and I’m really loving Louis Theroux’s podcast at the moment too.
STUDENTS’ UNION: I guess it’s safe to say that you’re interests are pretty wide and varied then haha. I’m sure some of our readers (as well as us) will be giving some of those podcasts a listen.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Where do you hope your art takes you?
HANNAH JONES: I hope my art takes me into queer activism. I would love for my designs to open me up to the queer media world and would love to push my queer activism forward. Debating and giving information is one of my favourite things when in conversation about queer subjects, so hopefully, I can be taken into that world with my work.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s amazing to hear and we definitely hope that it works out for you! Lastly, if you weren’t an artist, what would you see yourself doing?
HANNAH JONES: If I wasn't an artist, I would genuinely see myself going down the queer activism route. I would love to debate queer topics in media and would hope to move queer rights and liberation into a clearer space and make moving around the world easier for queer people.
To be a visible representation of the queer community to the world would be incredible. I'm not saying this won’t happen, but if I wasn't an artist I would absolutely be focusing on this for my life path!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well it sounds like it’s a path that you’re already working towards and the opportunity is there for you to get the message across with your fashion as well as your words.