Models walking down the runway in Rebecca Ward’s Palinopsia Spring Summer 2013 collection

Models walking down the runway in Rebecca Ward’s Palinopsia Spring Summer 2013 collection

Image sourced from Fashion Art Expression

Born in New Zealand with a desire to create, Rebecca Ward has created an absolutely innovative self-titled women’s clothing label.  Her designs provoke the eye to go beyond the intended designs with each garment utilising intriguing patterns, materials and abstract imagery. Completing her undergraduate in New Zealand at Massey University, Rebecca set off to Europe to further her love for fashion at the prestigious Central St Martins in London. After finishing her studies in London, to further her understanding in design she attended the Fashion Institute of ArtEZ in the Netherlands. Both her design practice and growth have paid off as the budding designer has showcased her fantastical garments on the Amsterdam Fashion Week for the past three years, with fashionistas writing rave reviews on her collections.

Models walking down the runway at Rebecca Ward’s The Magic Theatre Autumn Winter 2014 runwayModels walking down the runway at Rebecca Ward’s The Magic Theatre Autumn Winter 2014 runway

Models walking down the runway at Rebecca Ward’s The Magic Theatre Autumn Winter 2014 runway

Image sourced from Rebecca Ward’s Website

Her designs harbor a dark avant-garde quality with bold structural qualities; Rebecca loves to make fashion design not only spark a strong emotional response but also an intellectual curiosity. Each design showcases the depth of knowledge she has gained from her studies along with her internships at design houses Iris Van Herpen and And Beyond. These practical experiences are seen in her designs, as they push boundaries outside the norm.

In 2013 at Amsterdam Fashion Week, Rebecca’s collection PARASOMNIA is described in her own words as a “manifestation of the psychological, as the brain stirs from slow wave sleep. This collection blurs the boundary between the real and the intangible, the physical and the ethereal.” (see Rebecca’s inspirations via her website here) Just as the collection name means a sleeping disorder where sleepwalking and confused awakening from sleep occurs, the collection plays between the world of reality and the imaginary. With a dark grey and black color palette fused with leathers and a recurring haunting rose print, the garments in Parasomnia evoke a fantastical beauty.

Rebecca Ward’s PARASOMNIA collection walking the Amsterdam runway Rebecca Ward’s PARASOMNIA collection walking the Amsterdam runway - image 2

Rebecca Ward’s PARASOMNIA collection walking the Amsterdam runway

Image sourced from Rebecca Ward’s Website

Rebecca’s third showcasing at Amsterdam had models strutting in her Autumn Winter 2014 collection, The Magic Theatre. With classic and elegant silhouettes created by printed silks covered in delicate laser-cut designs to ruffled skirts. Taking inspiration from Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, as Ward reflects on her design influence “this collection lies in between these acts, reassembling familiar narratives in a way that is both striking and inimitable.” (see Rebecca’s inspirations via her website here) The designs played with emotions of love and fear intermixing within a fantasy world, showcasing black birds soaring on nude dress designs with an upside down forest print in a blue, red, and black hue.

Details of frilling details from Rebecca Ward’s The Magic Theatre collection image7

Details of frilling details from Rebecca Ward’s The Magic Theatre collection

Not only does she push conventions of design with each collection but her craftsmanship in clothing design transcends into her love for drawing. With two art collections tilted R.E.B.C.C.A and Collages One, Rebecca plays with surreal themes in black and white to create a fantasy world. The R.E.B.C.C.A collection consists of 6 pieces of art with a corresponding poem, each drawing representing a letter of her name, as she describes on her website “from a humble and structured starting point, limitations then fall away, and new ideas, stories and worlds materialize. It is the structure of the alphabet which lays the starting point for my collection: R.E.B.E.C.C.A.” With so many talents under her belt, make sure to keep Rebecca Ward in your design sights via her social media links:

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Fashion Writer: Aicha Robertson
Editor: Florence Bailey