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Kelsey Ann Kasom

Kelsey Ann Kasom grew up in the rural countryside of Columbus, Michigan where she began anchoring on creativity as a form of expression and communication. She attended Columbia College Chicago on scholarship due to her award-winning fine art portfolio at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Kelsey graduated with honors in 2016, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design with an award-winning thesis collection that was sponsored by Fashion Group International. Her work was published in The Chicago Tribune, The Daily North Shore, Issue, and The Chicago Sun-Times as well as featured on WGN Chicago News and Scene Network. She was selected for an opportunity in film and TV for costume design at Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios. Kelsey went on to showcase her work at the annual International Textile and Apparel Association Exhibition in Vancouver BC, Canada prior to working for Anna Sui and later Valentina Kova through back-to-back seasons in New York Fashion Week.

In 2019, Kelsey moved to London to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Fashion at Central Saint Martins and then in 2020 to pursue her Masters in Womenswear Fashion at the Royal College of Art. Alongside her current studies, she was selected to exhibit her work in Detroit Michigan’s Annual XLVIII Exhibition. During the past year, Kelsey has become a finalist for the British Library x British Fashion Council Competition, Westfield London’s Future Fashion Competition, and FASHIONCLASH Festival for New Fashion Narratives. Kelsey was featured in Grazia Magazine as part of Grazia X CSM: A New Age for Women in Fashion. She was introduced as part of the next generation of fearless designers who put the female experience at the heart of their work. Recently her work was published in WWDS Magazine, and The Dyslexian. Kelsey was identified as 1 of 5 designers and creators whose dyslexia gives them the ability to build, design, create and define the embodiment of the dyslexic aesthetic. Kelsey's work has been selected to be exhibited in San Francisco for The Dyslexic Dictionary Exhibition in October 2022.

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Third floor

The work explores conflicting sensations through the act of unveiling the intimate relationship I share with the metaphorical power of my material language. Draping for me is like dancing with my hands. A rhythm of make. It is a safe space for me to translate how I feel into form. 

Protruding from the hip, opening at the chest for air, encasing the body - a strength visual from the inside-out.

These shapes are made up of over 1000 silk satin face organza pattern pieces cut on bias, individually dyed, and French seamed at 3mm. These inverted French seams control a narrow space between a gradual transition of color while concealing what exists from inside. The rods within each seam want to explode out of their channels equally as much as they want to feel its protective barrier - naturally creating a desire of its own to put pressure on its confinement.

Instinctively, the work mimics shapes and repetition found in nature. When shapes rest closer to the body, in darker hues, it is representation of protection. Areas of lighter hues with more negative space represent self-preservation while foreshadowing a transition of openness. The movement of these shapes wraps around the body like a cycle of experienced time echoing layers of self.

The work I create isn't about just putting something into the universe, it is about surviving. It's about looking after the inner child: healing by creating so painfully and passionately, that my soul rises ferociously out of the body.

Pongees Silk