To understand the work of this week’s Young Blood designer, Angela Syrett Roper, there has to be an appreciation for timeworn garments and utilitarian design. Reworked military uniforms are central to Roper’s work, and by nature, there’s little room for captivating flamboyancy. Instead, it’s her love for classic denim, texture treatments and the relationship between people and fashion that makes the English designer so charming.
Based in South Norfolk, Roper works mainly with denim and heavy canvas materials to underscore the masculine and rough-hewn aesthetic of her eponymous brand. Coats and jackets appear bleached and dyed several times over, their surfaces wrinkled with tactile ridges and valleys. And while we’ve seen raw-cut denim before, Roper’s patchwork is so much bolder in it’s forthright maximalism that it’s almost crude.
Like books written with pen and paper, our clothes, too, have their own humble story to tell. They might be trivial and hardly worth mentioning, like a wine stain from an earnest and humiliating first date. Or perhaps, more telling, like the well-worn hand-me-downs from your late father that you keep in the back of your wardrobe. The physical changes in our clothes reflects the experiences we’ve had wearing them. Roper stresses this relationship not only as a designer, but also as an artist.