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Student Showcase Archive
Show RCA 2019

Marika Ishii

Show RCA work

Major project:

To be worn

This project explores the aesthetics of imperfection inspired by ageing and decay; clothing ages over time. Clothes are worn to cover the body and, just like human skin, are washed, rubbed and distressed. The memories and traces of being used affect the materiality of textiles with marks of wear and tear – stress, holes and faded colours. 

The patterns and shapes were inspired by Japanese Boro folk culture, which is a handcraft of darning with patching and stitching that emerged under a material shortage in the 19th century. Imperfections were made in the process of repairing and remaking because of the slightly unmatched patterns and colours of fabrics made with whatever material was available. As a result of this, the textiles became more special and unique over time; it can make wearers feel special and create personal attachment to their clothing. 

Alongside celebrating the visual aesthetics of worn out textiles, this project seeks a way to up-cycle leftover materials, in the process of production in a knitwear factory. The garment uses leftover yarns, which are backwinded from failed pieces and failed panels of knitting, which have holes. This kimono shaped gown was made through over-dyeing, re-knitting and repurposing the materials.


  • School

    School of Design


    MA Textiles



  • Contact

  • Marika Ishii is a knitwear designer who explores texture inspired by worn out materials. She considers ethical use of materials, as well as seeking the beauty of knit.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA Fashion Textiles Knit, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, 2017
Royal College of Art