Caroline Corby is an exciting young fashion designer from Liverpool who recently graduated from herFashion Design Master program at the University of Salford. The culmination of this work is Caroline's collection 'Re-work it out' which she showed in September 2022 during London Fashion Week. I was first introduced to Caroline's work at a DYELOG PR Press Week in October 2022 where her new collection was being exhibited. I instantly gravitated towards her work, the tactile nature of the garments and the assortment of colour on the rail. It was clear to me that this talented designer has a unique intention - to make joyful and wearable sportswear using sustainable design practices.
(Listen to the audio interview here)
University of Salford MA Fashion Design Graduate Show, Photo Nick Harrison @nickharrison
Caroline's fashion journey started in 2014 when she graduated with a BA in Fashion Design at the university of Salford. Caroline then moved to China to pursue a career in childrenswear design which gave her a real grounding in the practice. Upon returning to the UK in 2018, the young designer started her own line of festival wear which she sold at pop-ups in music festivals all over the country with great success. Caroline looks back at those days with fond memories and great experiences; festivals were a place where she established her very own tribe of followers who loved wearing her designs. It's no surprise that this chapter would serve as inspiration for her designs later on.
Caroline Corby, Photo Nick Harrison @nickharrison
As a fashion designer, Caroline Corby, combines her passion for nature, people and planet with circular fashion principles to produce truly unique garments for the urban fashionista. This mission is evident in her clothing - bright bold colours, cool effortless silhouettes and the inventive use of textiles. Alongside designing for her line, Caroline is a very spiritual person. She has practiced reiki and yoga for many years and is a true believer in the healing powers of body work and its profound benefits on our mental health.
Caroline seeks to evoke a place or a state of mind in her work, be it through her love of textures, elements of garments that inspire her or the simple use of draping. Often she may work off of samples and drape rather than pattern cut as an 'in' to the design process. Her sportswear embraces nature, texture and passion for movement. Starting from a vision of creating something new, 'Re-work it out' was born.
As a concept, the collection 'Re-work it out' was driven by creativity and necessity whilst studying for her MA in Fashion Design at University of Salford. As the world ground to a halt during the covid pandemic it became very difficult to source fabrics for the collection. With that in mind, Caroline had to think outside the box and look for solutions to the shortage in fabrics. She put out requests for fabrics via social media and bought roll ends from studios as well as repurposing tents from festivals. Using surplus and preloved fabrics, she began to play with these materials and refine her design ideas before she started work on her graduate collection.
Photos Nick Harrison @nickharrison
As a designer, Caroline loves the idea of developing something new from something which already exists, and she sees it as a challenge to produce a wearable eco-conscious garment. Tents emerged as a source of materials for her collection so she began to deconstruct them with the aim to use as many components as possible in her designs. Technical details within the tent structure would spark an idea, like a guyline becoming a drawstring. She found peace in this method of repurposing textiles and hardware for fashion, and this way of working helped to keep to a budget when launching a collection can be such an expense for a young designer.
The bomber jackets in the collection are made from thick ground sheets and the foam of yoga mats and another is constructed entirely from foil sheets. It's an extraordinary use of functional materials which we would never associate with fashion yet manipulated in the right way, create cool and comfortable clothing. A far cry from their previous life, abandoned in the post-apocalyptic fields of music festivals!
This practice has been so popular that Caroline is now taking commissions to transform clients' tents into bespoke pieces of designer clothing. How cool is that? That bright pink tent I salvaged from Benicassim Festival in 2008 might be making its way to Liverpool very soon!
So what's next for Caroline Corby? Well, her work has only just begun. Alongside a career in fashion design, Caroline volunteers at a social enterprise, helping to make a positive impact by empowering her local community. In 2023, she plans to build her brand and introduce it to customers through luxury retail.
If you would like to discuss buying or design requests with Caroline Corby,
please contact her at email@example.com
Follow her on Instagram @caroline_corby
You can view the 'Re-Work it out' collection portfolio here
Thank you to Caroline Corby for her time during this interview and to Nick Harrison for the photographic contributions.