Visual artist Sadie Williams’ eponymous label creates bold, graphic designs heavily inspired by colour, print and textile experimentation. She fuses classic silhouettes with eye-catching, often tactile avant-garde fabric manipulations, in a manner that seems entirely inherent to her. The ‘Forbes 30 Under 30 for The Arts’ holder is inculcating a conscious shift in production— no longer presenting seasonal collections dictated by the fashion industry, she is instead weaving upcycled material seamlessly into her craft.
If designing a line for Selfridges, and later having a window on Oxford Street wasn’t brag-worthy enough, Sadie was invited to give Mattel’s Barbie doll a limited-edition makeover in a signature shimmery A-line dress!
Sadie attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins for a specialisation in Print Design with a prior art foundation. She didn’t dream of being a fashion designer but felt inclined towards art and print design. “"I took a year out and did some internships and realised that I did want to work on fashion design. My love for clothes and dressing up got the best of me.”
Style and Inspiration
Sadie’s personal style is an interesting blend of feminine tomboy- playful with big skirts and sweatshirts, and mixing sportswear with vintage.
She claims to be an avid admirer of folk art. “On my bookshelf I have quite a few old popular craft books, look and learn books; there’s this book on Amish quilts which has always been quite inspirational because it’s so graphic, at the same time as being quite crude—I like that mix.” She also enjoys collaging and its hands-on approach that guides her eclectic visual sense. She finds direction in the journey of narrowing down from a multitude of ideas.
“I always like to have some pieces that are more of a show piece, or pieces that play with the textile, because it’s kind of what I love most.”
“I do not like to pigeon hole how and where I research my collections.” She follows an instinctual method and allows herself to truly immerse in a multimedia moodboard that holds everything ranging from swatches and trims, postcards, photocopies from photography books and magazines, to images of garments.
(Image: Sadie Williams)
Sadie admits to having found pattern cutting a tricky ordeal. She owes the approach of design through textile to her finally feeling confident in the apparel space. Her entire first year was spent in endless trial and error, and learning from her mistakes.
“I think if you are true to yourself and continue to work creatively then your signature develops and speaks for itself without you premeditating any kind of brand vision in advance.”
Now and Next
Sadie’s most recent exploration is one-of-a-kind hand-collaged patchwork sweatshirts. The quilt-inspired designs are made from waste fabric, and appliqued onto upcycled deadstock garments. A sustained deep-dive into pattern is only furthering her creative resolve and abilities, whether it takes shape through paint, set design, repurposed Swarovski crystal hair clips or stop motion animation.
Future opportunities she would be interested in lending her aesthetic to vary from sportswear to costume for stage and film.
On advice to ambitious designers, she says, “Be prepared to work hard! Establish your own design identity and way of working, because you will have to answer to yourself and create something original. Always ask for help and advice along the way.”
Image Credit: Sadie Williams
Feature Credit: Simran Khera