Bethany Williams sees her work as a product of the communities she surrounds herself with and gives back to.
For her latest range, the London-based designer turned to the Magpie Project, a charity helping homeless women and children to which she has been donating 20 percent of her fledgling label’s profits for several seasons now.
She also joined forces with artist Melissa Kitty Jarram to run a series of storytelling workshops with the families supported by the charity.
The childhood stories they narrated inspired Jarram to create a series of childlike, abstract illustrations, which then made their way onto slim-cut trousers, tailored jackets, as well as airy summer dresses and corsets — marking Williams’ first foray into women’s wear.
The bright patterns and fuss-free silhouettes made for an upbeat, optimistic collection that embodied Williams’ ethos of kindness and giving back.
For all the childlike innocence that runs through the clothes, there was also a more grown-up feel with more tailoring pieces sprinkled in for the first time.
Knitwear was another standout. There were crafty, patchwork-style sweaters made in partnership with the social cooperative Manusa and using industry waste sourced by Mending for Good, a sustainability-led platform.
“It’s a really collaborative approach. We never really know what it will end up looking like until the end, because we are all contributing to the work. That kind of mentality of ‘I am the designer and I decide everything’ doesn’t work for me, I don’t want to be run by ego,” added Williams.