Becci Ball is the owner of Becci, an emerging independent fashion label based in Norfolk, UK. After graduating from the Norwich University of the Arts in Fashion during the pandemic in 2020, She decided to pursue my dream of having a fashion brand. Her label focuses on womenswear pieces that are heavily print based and explore bold yet very feminine silhouettes. She loves working with textured fabrics such as tulle to create very unique and exciting shapes, combined with lots of layers and volume.
BECCI is committed to being sustainably conscious as well all my items being ethically made. All garments on my website are made to order, supporting slow fashion and reducing waste. The brand’s vision is to create statement pieces designed to make the wearer feel empowered and beautiful.
1. How would you describe your brand aesthetic?
My brand’s aesthetic is fun and ultra-feminine, with bold silhouettes and shapes! Texture, colour and vibrant prints are key aspects in my work too, as I love to design my own prints.
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2. What is your first fashion memory?
Probably making an Oriental inspired dress using a gorgeous brown brocade with little baby pink, blue and gold flowers woven into it. This was during my time at high school when I made my first garment, and I found it pretty tricky!
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I love to look at different cultures for inspiration and of course the world around me. I love Oriental culture and the beauty of it, the Japanese word ‘Ikigai’ inspired my third-year work at uni, which was about ‘finding your passion in life’. Japanese words like these are really beautiful to me, as there is no one word equivalent in English, they can instead only be translated as phrases with lovely deep meanings. Not only are the meanings behind the words important, but I love how gorgeous Japanese writing looks! So, these words inspired me for my print designs in garments I made. Architecture is important to me too, urban culture and street style, my last holiday in Lisbon was inspiring as the buildings were very beautiful, and I was inspired by the mosaics in some of the walls of the buildings and even the graffiti.
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4. As a designer what has been your biggest challenge to date?
Getting through my final year at university in lockdown! My biggest challenge was definitely completing my degree last year when covid started… as a lot of big plans and dreams went out the window. It was a devastating time as so much was cancelled, there was no collection, no show, and really not even a proper goodbye to my uni friends. But I did still complete my degree, even if it was at home on my laptop!
5. What is your typical creative process?
I like to look at photos I have taken of the world around me, for example the glass sculptures at Kew Gardens, Lisbon’s architecture, sunsets, the beach, beautiful skies, etc, and then let them inspire me. Sometimes they help to influence my prints, shape or colour choices. From there I start to draw, I think normally I keep in mind what I am after, whether it is a blazer or a dress for example. I start sketching ideas, or start creating my print, and then keep developing it and improving areas. I like to look at fabrics for ideas and I am always ordering samples. Once I am happy with the sketch and my fabric choices, if I am designing for a client, I will make a technical drawing of the piece so that everything is super clear and make sure they are happy with it. When they are happy with it, I then start to put together the patterns. This can take some time but it is very important to get perfect. I carry out toiling and sampling, and then once my toile is right, I will then start my final manufacture. Of course, this is a very long process, but sometimes I will take out the toiling if I am making something for me that I simply want to experiment with. Or if I am using a basic bodice pattern I know works and am turning it into a tulle creation there is not much toiling involved. Instead, I like to work on the stand and develop my creations on there, as it is more organic and freer. When I work with tulle, I like to think of it sometimes as painting but will tulle material!
6. What do you think consumers of fashion need to be made more aware of?
Fast fashion and green washing! So many brands use green washing as a way to look sustainable and convince people they are shopping sustainably when really, they aren’t and it is more of just a commercial gimmick. I think people need to be aware of where their clothes are made and if they have been made ethically too.
7. What do you love designing the most?
I love designing prints for my creations and putting them together. My most recent prints started off as lots of paintings, and were then edited into photoshop with other images I have taken, text and illustrations I have made. But I also love designing dresses and tulle pieces, as they are very organic. I make an overall design but most of the time I see where it takes me and just enjoy experimenting on the stand.
8. How do you select your materials and fabric?
Samples and more samples! Which soon adds up! I used to love going into my local tiny fabric store crammed full of goodies and seeing all the fabrics in real life- not to mention to actually be able to touch them and feel their textures or softness! But sadly, now this is a thing of the past… I have to go by computer images, which is tricky and definitely not the same. I love sheer materials like organza and tulle, but I am also a fan of a simple linen in a lovely striking colour. I always get samples first of a few fabrics in a particular area I am after, say duchess satin, I might order up to 10 samples, as I want to get the colour and weight of the fabric just right. I document all my samples in a book so that I can refer back to them.
9. What part does sustainability play in your work?
Sustainability is very important to me, as I am a slow fashion brand. All of my pieces so far are bespoke, or made to order. Everything is made by me in Norfolk, and my garments are designed to last and be worn again and again. I want to launch a RTW collection or at least a few pieces soon, which I hope to incorporate sustainable fabrics into, such as recycled materials. The current bespoke piece I am working on, I offer my client more sustainable material options too as I want them to be aware of this. I love the brand Olivia Rose the Label, as her collection is ready to wear but everything at the same time is made to order, so this is something I would love to do.
10. What is your ultimate design goal?
My ultimate design goal ever would be to design an ‘out there’ bespoke garment for a famous artist! I would love for Ariana Grande to wear something I have designed to an event- that would be pretty incredible! I think my clothing would suit her aesthetic and style!
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11. What do you think the future will bring to fashion?
I think slow fashion and sustainable fashion will be improved and encouraged more in the future, and I believe people will be more aware and considerate of their shopping habits. I too have taken the time to educate myself on the impacts of the fashion industry, so I think in the future more people will do the same. I am worried that the high street will be a thing of the past, which would be incredibly awful, as much as online shopping can be more accessible and easier, real-life shopping offers something more genuine, you can touch the garments, try them on and really feel the quality of the real fabric.