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Cameron Lyall - Fashion & Textiles

Models on Balmedie beach wearing Textile Design Student, Cameron Lyall's outer clothing collection, 'No Place'.
A journey to discover headspace amidst the Covid pandemic led Fashion & Textile Design student, Cameron Lyall, to Balmedie beach, Aberdeenshire. Here he took inspiration to create a dynamic unisex collection of outerwear.

21 year-old Cameron, grew up in the seaside town of Arbroath, joining Grays as a second-year direct entry in 2018. After leaving school Cameron knew he wanted to do something in the arts.

Cameron initially found he had a knack for CAD design, 3D modelling and fashion photography, designing mock campaigns for his favourite music artists, designers and streetwear brands.   A conversation with a college tutor encouraged Cameron to change direction and to study Fashion & Textiles at Grays as Cameron explains:

“I originally wanted to study Graphic Design until one fateful conversation with the advisor at my college. He suggested that since I wanted to make things to go on t-shirts, maybe I should give fashion and textiles a go. The rest is history – making that decision to do fashion over graphic design was the most impactful decision of my life thus far, as without that conversation I may be half the creative that I am today.”

Cameron’s fashion-based Unisex collection of clothing was inspired by a need to escape the day-to-day mundane lockdown life of 2020 and to find a place to release his creative energies.   A trip to a desolate location on Balmedie beach, north of Aberdeen helped him find this peace in a spot he describes as his ‘NO-PLACE’.

“My project was inspired by the physical journey one must take to get to this NO-PLACE. Uneven terrain and sporadic weather combined with the hefty trek on foot means that you better be prepared for every outcome and my collection reflects that.”

“In the fashion industry as a young designer amidst a global pandemic and worldwide injustice, it’s easy to feel small and unworthy, overwhelmed by the odds. Your journey into life and your own future isn’t dictated by where you’ll end up, but rather the journey to the destination. My project became a metaphor, applicable to many more than just me –not knowing what’s coming, not knowing how it’ll end yet finding comfort in that lack of understanding.”

Cameron’s fashion collection features a 3-minute screening, set in a dimly-lit atrium, where the viewer is invited to sit on their own, on a single bench and to reflect on their own ‘NO-PLACE’.

“The room is intended to be a disconnect. Rather than overload you with information, I want you to sit in serenity, to absorb and to reflect for a short time, before leaving the room to continue the rest of the show.

“Perhaps you’ll read this before the show and know what to expect, or perhaps you’ll go into the space with a fresh set of eyes. The screening does not change, but the experience does. Your journey through my project may start and end within this 3-minute space, but I invite you to ask yourself where your NO-PLACE might be, and how you’ll know that you’ve made it there.”

Now that Cameron is graduating, he plans to do a Look Again Entrepreneurial short course this summer and wants to add more to his NO-PLACE fashion collection.   He also hopes to work with other designers and host an independent fashion show.  

“In the spirit of the NO-PLACE, I cannot really say where I’ll end up after all of that. I’d like to establish my own Atelier and produce my own work. I’d also like to work with companies at the forefront of environmentally aware fashion – particularly outerwear. I’ve got a big bucket list, but I’m in no rush. I’m comfortable knowing that as long as I continue this mindset, I’ll end up exactly where I’m meant to be.”

As for others hoping to study at Grays, Cameron says: “Don’t waste the opportunity and community that Grays provides. Build your network. Stop and chat with folk as you pass in the corridors. Interact with the staff across departments – and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The community within Grays, across the fine art and design departments, is like no other – enhance that support network by actively contributing to it.”

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