‘Reactor No.4’ by Emily Bakewell focuses on the infamous Chernobyl disaster of 1986, producing a narrative that invokes emotion and raw imagery. Her designs explore the effects of the disaster and the influence of Covid-19 on new modes of protection.
Bakewell approached the serious themes with detail and consideration, creating a seamless line up of designs to encapsulate her research. The collection utilises padded garments and Puffer panels to emulate radioactive mutation. Some of the work includes a busy floral print inspired by the floral interior design trend of the eighties. From a distance, the detailed pattern atop transparent latex looks like skin abrasions or burns, one of the injuries caused by the reactor explosion.
Most of Bakewell’s designs also include face coverings, to promote protective measures in the current pandemic and to show that PPE can be fashionable.