Get inspired by the work of Rebecca Violette, a Junior Doctor and Fashion Designer who’s challenging society perceptions through design and fashion.
Here Rebecca tells us what inspired her to create a fashion label dedicated to using fashion as a tool for empowerment:
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Rebecca, I’m a Junior Doctor and a fashion designer. I love art and expressing myself through print and fashion. Anytime I’m not working, I enjoy painting, millinery and designing new prints!
What inspired you to start your fashion label?
I never really thought of it as starting a fashion label… it just evolved. I’ve been working on the concept underpinning ‘Rebecca Violette’ for over a decade. I created a body of work that was experimenting with ‘visual difference’ and how people perceive difference and exploring this through the fabric.
I created several test pieces to experiment with these concepts and throughout my training, the idea developed into print designs. Using print to explore society’s perceptions of ‘difference’. Creating these prints into garments happened naturally. Rebecca Violette was born from there.
Tell us a little bit about the garments in your collection…
The collection is divided into three key areas; The activewear, couture wear and up-cycled pieces. The activewear garments are bright, bold and colourful. There are a few prints inspired by scarring, amputation, mastectomy, vitiligo, alopecia, psoriasis to name but a few. The activewear pieces crossover between menswear, womenswear and unisex garments.
The couture garments are all hand-made and hand-printed. They are inspired by skin in all its beauty and involve hand printing print designs onto soft silky fabrics. The couture range is soft and subtle, yet there is a strong and powerful message behind each print.
The up-cycled pieces are garments I’ve collected that have had a previous life. I’ve reinvented them to create items that tell a story. For example; We have a bodice with densely packed hand embroidery to represent areas of acne. There is also a bodysuit with burn fragile components. These are delicately hand embroidered to represent the fragility and beauty in skin.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate difference?
I think its hugely important to celebrate diversity. Everyone is an individual and the fashion industry, along with much of society is quick to establish what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘abnormal’, what is ‘beautiful’ and what is ‘not beautiful’. In questioning why society has these established perceptions, we can work together to become a more accepting community. We can celebrate ‘differences’ and empower one another to embrace individuality.
How can fashion empower people?
Fashion is hugely important in society. We often choose clothes that reﬂect how we are feeling, our personality, our environment. Rebecca Violette intertwines important messages into the print. I want people to own the print, own the message and be empowered to be the change!
What makes you feel empowered?
Well, I’d have to say my clothes. But other than that, I feel empowered when I see positive change.
I feel empowered when I listen to people’s stories about overcoming stereotypes and battling with society’s perceptions of image. People’s stories are my biggest inspiration. I guess is why the designs seek to capture this sense of empowerment and celebration.
What plans do you have for the future?
In absolute honesty, I’m not sure what will happen – but I’m excited. The launch has been ten years in the making. So it’s a hugely exciting time for the brand. I have some ideas about where I would like to take things from here! Some I can share with you, but for some exciting announcements, you’ll have to watch this space. I hope to explore other concepts through print – including mental health.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting up their own business?
The biggest takeaway message has been, go with your passion. I have been passionate about this concept for so long, but I didn’t know how to get it out there to a wider audience. I just took the leap and hoped that others would see the vision.
Believe in your ideas, believe in yourself and follow your gut.