Jennifer Sands Follows Katharine Hamnett’s Political Pattern

April 6th, 2011 by Wordpress Administrator
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Jennifer Sands

As Jennifer Sands began to conceptualize her collection, she took a slightly different approach with her Masters of Design muse Katharine Hamnett.

“I chose to embrace her use of political themes in her work rather than replicate her specific looks,” Jennifer noted.

Jennifer doesn’t take a fine arts approach to fashion design, it might be fairer to say that the double major takes a fashion approach to fine arts.

As a fine artist Jennifer is drawn to fiber arts and surface design, so she added a Fashion Design major to her curriculum to gain a better mastery of working with fabrics and sewing.

Jennifer handmade rope from fair-trade yarns.

Her Fine Arts senior thesis exhibition (displayed in fall 2010) explored themes of consumerism and its influence on young girls. She created mixed-media pieces that also included jewelry and fiber arts. For her Fashion Design collection, she is exploring similar themes.

With one piece she developed ropes out of yarn into a top.

“The ropes are symbolic of being bound to a profession,” Jennifer explained. “People in sweatshops are bound to their work and don’t have professional choices.”

Another look is more high-end and incorporates metallics to represent the abundance that Americans enjoy.

In developing her collection she was less concerned with creating something that could be mass produced, and more concerned with creating wearable fiber arts pieces that conveyed a message.

In addition to approaching her work with a message, she chose materials that reflected her views. The yarns and wools she used for her rope and crocheted pieces are fair trade and hand dyed and spun. The use of fair-trade materials is parallel to Katharine Hamnett’s crusade to encourage more designers and manufacturers to use organic cotton and fair-trade practices.

Katharine Hamnett is known for her block letter Ts with political messages.

Hamnett has long used fashion to convey a political message. Most famously she launched popular block letter, oversized T-shirts with messages like “Peace” and “I Use a Condom.” The 1980s British pop duo Wham was seen wearing her CHOOSE LIFE shirts in their Wake Me Up Before You Go Go video (the reference was directed at the issues of drug abuse and suicide). Her popular style was also famously “borrowed” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood with their “Frankie Says …” T-shirts.

Jennifer’s choice in Masters of Design muse was a good mesh with her artistic voice, but she still had the challenge of creating a fashion collection—combining her fine arts point of view with a fashion design perspective to create something that is wearable.

Jennifer's collection illustrations.

“My collection is avant garde and conceptual. It is for someone that is not afraid to wear something a little crazy,” explained Jennifer.

On May 13 Jennifer will see her second thesis of the academic year come down the runway.

Following her runway show, Jennifer will continue her fine arts pursuits through an artist’s residency in Iceland

Tickets to CCAD’s May 13 Fashion Show event can be purchased online at

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The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.

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One Response to “Jennifer Sands Follows Katharine Hamnett’s Political Pattern”

  1. [...] on the CCAD Fashion show blog! Today the CCAD Fashion show blog featured me as a designer. It explains my collection as a whole, as well as my inspirations. The [...]