Courtney  Howard


Ruffles and metallics are an addiction in the fresh playful world of Courtney Howard


I was born and raised in Luton which is located just outside of London. I studied fashion at Manchester’s School of Art.

What has been your main source of inspiration to design the pieces in your graduate collection?

I’ve been lucky enough to have some great internships whilst studying. I had a placement at Hellavagirl. Here I learnt a great deal of my pattern cutting skills and tricks which really helped to inform my techniques and style of construction. I then interned for Mother of Pearl with the Production department, however working closely with their collection influenced my designs and illustrations. 

Tell me about your choice of fabrics and textiles.

My research for my final project was inspired by people’s personal space and living areas with in the 1980s. I was particularly interested in Nick Waplington and Richard Billinghams photography work as they looked at raw, real family encounters and space. This influenced my fabric choice as a lot of denim was worn during this era and is still worn globally today. Soft furniture and decor in these family homes informed my fabric choice and patterns as I felt they also represented the era I was researching.

I decided to work with leather and latex towards the end of my research and design. I began to explore different construction methods and finishing techniques. In particular, my denim and leather jackets are finished with a scalloped raw edge. This added a feminine twist to a masculine silhouette as well as signifying a material finish which can be found on interiors or upholstery.

I then moved onto working with latex as the construction of latex garments are slightly similar to using leather as you can join seams in the same manor and you can leave the edges raw. However I chose to use this material because it was sustainable. Choosing this fabric added a sensual element to my androgynous collection because of the texture and transparency of the material.  

Credits: Zoey Hughes, Manchester School of art, photography Sven Kristian