After a long, hot summer, the prospect of Autumn approaching is getting all the more enticing. We’re starting to think about reshuffling our wardrobes - with blouses making way for roll necks, sandals for boots and so on. It’s easy to get carried away at this time of the year - impulse purchasing new season clothes to give our wardrobes a fresh lease of life. Glasshouse friend and collaborator Amy Ward is a woman on a mission to get us thinking more carefully about our clothing habits, perhaps rethinking that Autumn shopping haul for a more conscious alternative.
We’ve sung the praises of Amy’s linen easy wear brand Bug Clothing before - her East-London-made pieces demand to be worn, loved and cherished. She makes them by hand and her dresses, tops and jumpsuits are worn by some of her most admired female circle. With wearability, functionality and sustainability at the forefront, Amy has launched her first ever pair of trousers - the Magda Pant - and photographed a group of women wearing them, with Glasshouse director Olivia in charge of hair and makeup.
“I created a pair of trousers that I think is flattering to many bodies, so I wanted to use women with beautiful bodies, which aren’t a conventional ‘one size’ - because no-one is” Amy told us, “I would like to be as inclusive as I can be. As much as there are a whole bunch of tall, super slim women buying my clothes, there are also women with larger hips, bigger butts and ‘non-traditional’ shapes. I don’t like to promote the common notion that we are supposed to be a certain size, so I won’t do it!”
Her ‘models’ were picked individually and they are pretty much always people she knows: “Because it’s more honest” she says, “I design with people I know in mind, people who I think are cool and wonderful and who would wear my garments. One of the models Nadine was a customer of mine and I asked her if we could photograph her, because she has a wonderful energy on top of being very beautiful, so to me that makes much more sense than asking a total stranger.”
Amy designs her clothes with longevity in mind, using strong seams, timeless styles and colours and deadstock materials from designer factory waste. Recently the designer has been vocal about the costs involved with producing her designs and running an independent business as a whole, listing a breakdown of every cost involved in creating a Bug piece - from the time it takes to the profit she makes at the end of it.
“I do this because I’d like to make people aware of what goes in to every little thing that we own” explains Amy, “If you aren’t a maker, you might not be aware of what goes into making something; the hidden costs, the cost of a studio, machinery, servicing, taxes, rents, bills, tools - all of it adds up and small businesses don’t always have a mark up that’s sustainable. I try to be honest about these things so that people buy fewer and appreciate more.”
We’ve always admired Amy’s open and environmentally-aware approach to the fashion industry, a market that’s arguably lacking in the kind of ethics and transparency Bug represents. Her latest shoot feels like a culmination of all the values she holds close, with a beautiful pair of trousers at the centre of it all.
Try on and pre-order the Magda Pants this Saturday 8th September between 11am-5pm at InNeoss, 86 Stoke Newington Church Street N16 60P
Photography: Sarah Victoria Bates Stylist: Chelsea Clarke Hair and makeup: Olivia Crighton Models: Jala Wahid, Nadine Mohammed, Yumna Al Arashi, Jessica Ellis
Words: Lucy Vincent