Tuesday, 08 October 2019

Bethany Williams SS20 "The Butterfly Café"

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Bethany Williams SS20

British Designer Bethany Williams has been recently, and well deservedly added to the prestigious, Business of Fashion 500 list!

For Bethany everything is personal, her beautifully original pieces, rich with hand-crafted detail translate into collections that her customers treasure. For Bethany, Fashion is meaningful. It connects us with humanity; to the people that made the garment, weaved the fabric and carved the buttons. For Bethany, Fashion does not have to come at the expense of people and planet.

When Bethany said she wanted to change the system many doubted it was possible; but four collections in and she has been unwavering in her desire to create a business based on her values. It’s a brave stance from a young designer about to enter one of the most competitive industries in the world, but Bethany has always been different. her beautiful new collection, The Butterfly Café demonstrates she continues to meet these challenges head on.

Bethany’s work brings into sharp focus some of the country’s most difficult problems, from homelessness to domestic abuse, but her work is much more than social commentary. Her ethos is one of collaboration – where social and environmental concerns go hand in hand; she embeds herself within communities from charities to prisons, to provide meaningful employment and create engaging and empowering opportunities to create positive change.

The Butterfly Café has been inspired by her work with ‘Spires’, a South London based charity that helps hundreds of homeless and disadvantaged people all year round. The collection has been named after the Spires’ Butterfly Café – a weekly run session which offers a safe space and meeting point for vulnerable women to socialise over food and drink and partake in creative activities to learn and develop skills in arts and crafts , jewellery making, knitting and card making.

When speaking to the support workers at Spires they told Bethany that the ‘Butterfly Café’ got its name from the transformative effect the sessions were having on the women’s lives – these themes of growth and transformation are reflected in the collection as well. 20% of the profits from the sales of the collection will go to the charity.

Bethany’s now signature knitwear uses Wool and The Gangocean waste plastic yarn and recycled denim yarn knitted by hand by her Mum and Alice Morell Evans. This season Bethany has introduced tailoring and fitted shapes. The denim is from Chris Carey’s Collection and has been unpicked and reworked into all of the black and blue denim printed looks. The prints for this season are in collaboration with illustrator Giorgia Chiarion who has visualised what it is that makes the women feel safe and secure – as well as the route of the outreach night bus which works in the community -in a beautifully abstract style.