Collaborator: Heidi Stuttard
We first encountered East London designer Heidi Stuttard, of brand Heidi Stutt, out and about in the UK's underground electronic music scene. Always impressed by her talent to upcycle and remake vintage garments (not to mention her fantastic halloween costumes), we decided to partner with Heidi on a capsule design made from fabric remnants in our studio.
Heidi possesses an impressive breadth of technical knowledge of fashion, across both womenswear and menswear design. She designs, cuts, sews, embroiders, and makes garments with ease and a smile - it was a privilege to work with her and rework our custom fabrics under a new pair of eyes.
Blue Nude: When did your design journey begin - how did you discover your love of fashion?
Heidi Stuttard: My love of textiles began from a young age. I would take my sketchpad everywhere - I'd sit on the mats on the edge of dance competitions drawing out costume ideas.
I would often spend my lunchtimes at college in the textiles room playing around with the dyes and trying out new sewing techniques.
In college I spent a summer in LA. My friend Cheeks and I went on an adventure to the fabric shops in DTLA, where there were huge warehouses filled to the roof with fabrics. I felt like I was in Aladdin's cave. I filled my suitcase with all these different fabrics and when I got home I started making sweatpants for all my friends in different colour ways, with each one being individual. After that I applied for Fashion School, at UCA, where I properly learnt how to design and pattern cut.
BN: What creatives are currently inspiring you?
HS: I have a great love of reworking garments and sustainable design. For those reasons I’m really into Christopher Raeburn, Bode and ClothSurgeon.
There's a textile artist I recently met called Emily Gubby. She makes these amazing fabric prints from natural dyes and flowers - her work is stunning.
BN: What is your favourite colour?
HS: Green, sometimes it's red and sometimes it's blue. It changes.
BN: What music are you currently listening to?
HS: Azymuth - Last Summer In Rio.
BN: What is something unexpected that inspires you?
HS: House dance culture. Seeing what the dancers are wearing for classes and in training sessions, and also in battles. I like to watch [channel] 'Summer Dance Forever' on Youtube and there’s a good film too - Maestro by Josell Ramos. One of my main priorities when I’m designing a piece is “can I dance in this?”
BN: What's your take on working with artist-painted textiles?
HS: I think it's really fun. The painting takes on a new form once it's printed on to fabric and worn on the body. We’re so used to viewing paintings flat on a wall, when it's on this fluid bamboo fabric, like the one used for the Mesa Halter Top, it adds another dimension to it. At first it seems like a striped fabric then up close you notice the detail and the desert plateau that inspired the painting.
BN: What's next for you on your creative adventure?
HS: I want to make some more ready-to-wear pieces to sell in limited releases/small drops. Also to continue to work with sustainable materials, reworking vintage items, and produce one-off special pieces too.
You can purchase our collaborative design, the Mesa Halter Top, here.
Heidi drafting patterns in her East London studio.