Boudicca is a British based fashion label which was founded in the year 1997 by the designers Zowie Broach and Brian Kirby. Zowie visited the University of East London and gave a very inspiring lecture about her work and story, to the fashion students. She first explained where the name of the label comes from, and stated that Boudicca was an ancient queen of England that was a warrior and a leader to her people and Boudicca today represents the spirit of a strong woman that makes decisions and has a great influence. Zowie drags inspiration for the themes of her collections from various human sciences such as history, philosophy, mathematics, geography and arts, and she believes that it is essential for people to think back in time and explore the ‘ ghosts’ of the past, those people that achieved the world as it is through their dreams and visions.
When creating her collections, she puts a lot of weight to the tailoring and structure of the garments and referencing some points of the history she finds interesting. She stated that she still keeps sketchbooks and imagery collection, reads books to get informed about new themes and still wants to improve her pattern cutting skills.
She criticized today’s education of fashion institutes and believes that the students should be free to create what they want with no limits from the teachers. She talked about the 80’s, when she was a fashion student at the Middlesex university and said that all the people in her class created eccentric and unwearable clothing and this was the of the creativeness, innovation and the beginning of the global world.
She stressed the importance of technology in the fashion industry and how this can give numerous possibilities for an artist as coding is the language of the future and she advised the students to start being aware of all these possibilities.
She also talked about the labels participation in the catwalks of London, Paris and New York and she said she does not want to do this anymore because the stress is so high that changes people and make them more aggressive, which is a role she does not like.
Today the label creates garments that they distribute via their webpage and mix it with artistic photography and by the use of materials such as spray, celotape and tissues.
Right after the lecture, the students had the opportunity to look through all the catalogues, inspiration books and leaflets of the label as well as have a try of the famous art perfume WOBE.
Broach, Z., 2012. University of East London Lecture: Zowie Broach talks about her fashion brand Boudicca [ speech] ( Personal communication, 20 March 2012).