Amelia Vance

A young and exciting Textiles Designer, specialising in hand embroidery and embellishment, digital embroidery and alternative textile materials, integrating ceramics with fabric and lazer cut plastics.

Final Project

Unnecessary Necessity

Deathly echoes of gunshots ring out, a small group of men rush forward seeking to find the fallen bird eager to preserve and protect such innocent beauty.

Death and beauty go hand in hand and unfortunately this echoes throughout our luxury goods market. Unnecessary Necessity is a collection of luxury statement bags highlighting the intrigue of humans love and greed for natural beauty leading to the exploitation of these creatures.

For this project I wanted to explore the magpie inside me, the intrigue and gravitation to all things intricate, beautiful and shiny. As humans we are attracted to beauty and luxury it is that deep rooted emotion that sits in us all, greed. This is not a negative thing if we know how to control our inner desires. Through my research I have seen in history the magpie tendencies have been present from Amazonian tribes collecting beetle wing cases to adorn their elders, to native Americans use of feathers and minerals to decorate their leaders, and the Victorians obsession with exotic birds and using them as fascinators.

The issue comes when there is an imbalance of greed and disconnect with our empathy, when the commercial demand is so high that the welfare and the lives of these creatures is disregarded, many are killed, farmed or captured losing their necessity of life for our unnecessary fulfilment of greed. 

Of Course there are the ‘heroes’ those who were pioneering in the field of conservation and preserving these animals, explorers like John James Audubon who sought to illustrate every bird in the Americas to educate and exhibit to the world his findings and in hope of conserving the creatures, yet the increase in exposure of their beauty increased the intrigue and therefore the demand for their feathers and beauty. As well as Audubon’s methods of illustration, where the bird would have to be caught, shot and turned into a taxidermy in order to attain an accurate depiction.

This is when I come to challenge my own practise and views, I seek to create a collection suitable for the luxury market, meaning that product and materials used must align with that of the market; using animal products. Yet my project is to create awareness of death which comes with the beauty, so am I just as bad as John James Audubon for using animal products. To abide by my concept the design must show death and beauty, I will create intricate bespoke pieces, showing an underlying uncomfortable presence of death; elements like dried blood clots, plucked skin of a bird and recognisable bird features.

Final Product

As this project has a very set market and product in which I am designing the textiles for, it seemed natural to create the final product as well. Each textile sample is constructed into a finished prototype of a bag, strongly inspired and aligning with current styles and trends which are in the current market.


This project has been developed extensively through sampling and trailing different processes. I have experimented with screen print, hand embroidery, digital embroidery, lazer cutting, vac forming, ceramic work, digital print and jacquard.

Journey to the Show

Constructing the Reeves Pheasant bag. Made from a single cloth jacquard weave, the handles are bespoke woven to match the bag. Constructed on the industrial sewing machine and hand finishing.

Leather cut using a lazer, then laid over a McQueen donated cloth on the Ptarmigan Bag. Placement of the pattern pieces for the rest of the bag.

Plaster cast mould from a blown plastic shape. This mould will then go on to have another sheet of plastic vac formed around it to create the shape for the Plucked Extinction bag.

Urtica Dioica, was my first semester project, looking deep into our ancestral herbal remedies and understanding how women found power and freedom within the field of polite botany.

I created a luxury women’s wear collection of collars, which were to empower women through elegance, sophistication and bespoke hand craft.

The three collars show (from left to right): a hand sculpted porcelain bead embellished collar. Bespoke crafted botanical digital print collar. Individual lazer cut beads embellishing a stiff neck collar with a feather trim.

Work Experience

  • Suzie Turner
  • Hermione De Paula
  • Hawthorne and Heaney
  • Dugdale Bro’s & Co. Ltd

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers