FASHION, SUBCULTURES & PRINCIPLED LIVING
Clothing is a part of everyday living. However, fashion design can be transformed into powerful symbolism that reflects stimulating values and principles enriching the wearer’s living experience whilst imparting an artistic consciousness to those around. The experience of creative and obscure communities together with eccentric personalities is very much a frequent part of our lives and we have utmost respect for Catherine Rawson, fashion designer of The Old Railway, for transforming her latest collection showcased at Colombo Fashion Week Summer ’19 to epitomize the creative energies of cosmopolitan cities worldover.
Catherine Rawson from Sheffield, United Kingdom moved to Sri Lanka nearly a decade ago and incepted her very own boutique shop in Galle. Catherine has since made a name for herself in the field of fashion, having taken part in a slew of prominent showcases. A graduate from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, London, she studied knitwear and fashion design, specializing in women’s wear. An interest in fine art and fashion photography remains, guiding much of her production today of which her subjects are mused upon as dynamisms of the uncommon to be found in the day to day.
What we admire of Catherine Rawson’s fashion philosophy is her ability to incorporate artistry in every aspect of her design process. Her initial batches of fashion collections were crafted from a selectively collected stock of fabrics that personally inspired her for its unique source or its significance to a particular story of her life. As Catherine worked at an adventure travel company prior to embarking upon her fashion career, they were acquired through her travels around the world. “I had a suitcase full of riveting fabrics that captured my attention for all sorts of reasons. I had to use them, they were too special to be left there” she remarks. The series of The Old Railway fashion collections are eclectic and bohemian, influenced by exotic places to creative inspiration with strong social statements. The name comes from nearby railway tracks that branched out from the Galle Railway Station, which was once under consideration of modernized renovation. Seen as an attempt to preserve its timeless heritage, Catherine named her collection ‘The Old Railway’ to signify its importance. Having been presented with the opportunity to engage in historical realities, Catherine has added layers of meaning to her collection celebrating everyday realities of a conscious creative.
Distinctions may be seen between niche concepts and common sights. Regarding the creativity involved in her studio’s photo shoots, Catherine comments that there isn’t a premeditated, overall and conscious statement for her collections. “I don’t think as a designer you can make fashion. I think fashion creates itself, like trends do, through people with style. Her energy stems from the subcultures that make names for them in honest expression.
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