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Anneleise Hatt

The designer talks to Dazed about how the novel, 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' by Stieg Larsson was the initial inspiration for her graduate collection of garments

Heavily inspired by the novel ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, recent graduate Anneliese Hatt’s collection ‘Without a Voice’ displays artful distortions of material to represent the imprisoned female characters of the story. Taking fashion as a tool of communication, Nottingham Trent alumni Annelisese Hatt, 22, drew reference from the novel by Stieg Larsson, confronting hard-hitting subject matter of the hidden emotional trauma of imprisoned and tortured women.

Revealing their imagined stories through garments and an innovative use of symbolism, she subverted these dark complex plights into empowered silhouettes and structures, retaining a feminine sophistication and delicate melancholia. We caught up with the designer, currently interning with Richard Nicoll, to talk through the controversial themes of her work and challenges of materialising emotion through fashion design.

Dazed Digital: What was the concept behind your graduate collection?
Anneleise Hatt: It was my intention to capture imprisoned women who can never tell their story of pain. My garments act as wearable prisons, I used iron gates as a motif to emphasize confinement, with intention to create a visible yet wearable cage. Butterflies trapped in resin mouthpieces beautifully silenced the models emphasizing their feminine and delicate existence

DD: Did you watch the film ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
Anneleise Hatt:
I did actually watch the Swedish film. The book was my initial inspiration.

DD: How did you imagine the female character from the book aesthetically?
Anneleise Hatt: I imagined her very tomboyish with a gothic streak. It wasn’t her character that inspired me as much, more the prisoners.

DD: Your work is very conceptual and emotive, what is your work process for translating feelings into fabric and fashion design?
Anneleise Hatt: I submerse myself in my concept. I created sunken shoulders and exaggerated raglan sleeves to communicate vulnerability.

DD: Do you identify with the work of Alexander McQueen who took subjects such as rape and violence as themes in his work?
Anneleise Hatt: I have great respect for McQueen, not only did he make beautiful clothes but they always had a deeper meaning or touched on a political issue. My collection comments on the mistreatment of women.

DD: What materials do you find the most interesting to work with?
Anneleise Hatt: Leather, its structure and how versatile it can be.

DD: How did you create the skillfully crafted leather fabrics?
Anneleise Hatt: All leather pieces were laser cut, the cream jacket was a multitude of layered iron gate motifs, the belt straps originated from a straight jacket and the rigid cage-jacket was a very thick leather intended to resemble the butterflies prison.

DD: How did you come across the trapped butterfly technique?
Anneleise Hatt: I collected real butterflies from a butterfly farm; I painted them first in resin and attached the insect to a plate of Perspex, then set that in resin and grew on a mouth plate.

DD: Is it inspired by silence of the lambs?
Anneleise Hatt: I haven't seen this film, I do remember seeing the moth on the mouth, however I saw butterflies alike to the women, they cannot communicate sound and begin their lives in a cocooned prison - with such similarities the two paired in harmony.

DD: How would you see your designs displayed in a store window?
Anneleise Hatt: I imagine my garments to be amongst pipes and iron bars.

DD: What was the last book / film that inspired you?
Anneleise Hatt: I recently saw Pans Labyrinth, which was really inspiring.

DD: Who are your female role models?
Anneleise Hatt:
I like strong women; Marilyn Monroe is really my true icon.

DD: How do you feel as a recent graduate in the current job market?
Anneleise Hatt:
Excited, it’s a tough industry and I’m going in with my eyes open but dedication always leads to good thing.

Text by Dimitra Sotirchos
Photography by Ashley Reynolds