Rethinking #WFH: Design in a Pandemic - whynow

Paul Aaron Collins, Sydney Pimbley and Joao Maraschin tell us what it’s like to design, inspire and graft in isolation.


Paul Aaron Collins –

tell us about you and your brand.

I’m Paul Aaron, a 24 year-old Fashion Knitwear student from Liverpool. I have been living in London for four years now, and currently in my final year at Central Saint Martins. I’m hugely inspired by my queer friends and queer nightlife, and a lot of my inspiration comes from vintage horror stories. I’m very inspired by things that aren’t particularly good memories or positive, but I like to make beautiful garments as a reflection that light can only shine if there’s darkness involved. I don’t believe in gendered clothing, so it’s not aimed at anyone specific. I adopt the idea of “If you like it, wear it!”

What is your process of adapting to quarantine? Where are you working from and what do your days currently look like?

Social distancing is easy for me as I hate other humans. Hehe, no but really, it’s something I can do without thought usually, but now that I have to and spring is here, I just want to get bevved in a beer garden in the sun, do you know what I mean?!

It’s a difficult time for all, but I’m lucky to have great friends who Facetime me daily, and my mum I speak on the phone every day. I’m working and staying in London during quarantine because I don’t want to possibly make my mum or step dad ill, as they’re more vulnerable to COVID-19.

My days are currently a mess, my time zone is probably better suited to Australia right now. I’m sleeping from probably 5AM til late afternoon, and then working late into the night, watching rubbish TV, re-watching all of American Horror Story and Drag Race on Netflix and drinking every alcoholic beverage in sight (responsibly, of course!) 

But I’m still powering through with my final collection, even though the show is cancelled. I’m not about to let four years of hard work be washed down the drain, so I’m super dedicated to making this collection — even if it’s in the comfort of my bedroom. So watch this space!

How can we purchase your pieces or support/interact with your brand during this period of time?

The best place to watch/see my process is via Instagram @paulaaronknitwear. Please stay safe everyone! 

Sydney Pimbley –

tell us about you and your brand.

I started Sydney Pimbley Ltd. in November of last year after graduating from CSM Fashion Design with Knitwear. The essence of my work is to be sustainable, authentic and unique. I produce intricate, delicate and stylish pieces from vintage and reclaimed materials. I love utilising exquisite fabrics, trims, and embroidery — within my work, creative re-use of fabrics and hand detailing comes together to produce desirable, bespoke hand-crafted pieces. I forsake fast fashion for slow fashion — something my Grandma taught me the importance of through her make-do and mend mentality.

What is your process of adapting to social distancing/quarantine? Where are you working from and what do your days currently look like?

I have abandoned my studio in Marylebone for home-based working. Fortunately, I have all the materials, fabrics, fittings and equipment necessary to create my Autumn collection from my home in Wimbledon. I shut the door, ramp up the music, and design and make the garments in creative isolation. It’s all well and good for most of the day, but I am really missing being surrounded by other creative and gallery visits! 

To break free into fresh air, I go to my allotment and as I plant seeds for vegetables and flowers, I think of the promise of growing my own brand and for life to return to some sort of new normality.

How can we purchase your pieces or support/interact with your brand during this period?

My collection is featured on my website and Instagram and is available for purchase. I am happy to communicate through the website, email and Instagram. 

sydneypimbley.com, pimbley@icloud.com, @sydneypimbley

Joao Maraschin –

tell us about you and your brand.

I am a Brazilian womenswear designer, recently graduated from the MA in Fashion Design Technology at London College of Fashion. I participated in the Positive Fashion Exhibition presented by the British Fashion Council during London Fashion Week last February. Community and craftsmanship are at the centre of my brand’s practices and values. The ethos is based on supporting handmade techniques like crochet and embroidery, as well as working with new discoveries in raw materials, looking at circularity, waste, purpose and human-centred design.

What is your process of adapting to quarantine? Where are you working from and what do your days currently look like?

I am working from home at the moment, I have turned the spare room into a temporary studio. I am working on research and design development for S/S 2021, as well as amending some patterns from the previous collection. 

Working hours is one of the fashion industry main struggles and concerns. In light of that, work from home can be quite overwhelming if there isn’t a structure in place. I am trying to keep the same work pattern I would follow in my studio, and also making sure I exercise in between or at the end of the day.

How can we purchase your pieces or support/interact with your brand during this period of time?

I am only taking pre-orders now, but I’m mainly looking at sharing the process and creating brand awareness with my audience on Instagram (@joaomaraschin). Over the next few weeks, I will be showing more of the behind the scenes as well as hoping to bring attention to all my collaborators and the wider community I exchange with. 

Everyone can support by liking, commenting, spreading the word and engaging generally.

Rampa  They Will Be