For years the drum and bass scene has been a male dominated arena, with the exception of DJ Rap, Kemistry & Storm, and Dazee from Bristol, the early D&B scene was a heavily testosterone fuelled environment.
Recently artists such a Harriet Jaxxon, Flava D, Kyrist, Mollie Collins, Something Something, Laurie Charlesworth & Georgia Phoenix have gained huge audiences with their DJ skills, productions & radio shows. Building on that the past year the has seen an influx of female DJ talent such as Kara, Bad Habitz & Frankee breaking through on the strength of their live streams… Yet still the ladies who love D&B from the other side of the turntables haven’t been getting the attention they deserve.
Frustrated by the poor selection of drum and bass merchandise available to the genres female fans, 29 year old fashion designer Ayeesha, from the North East of Scotland, took things into her own hands and started stitching together her own D&B creations!
We’re loving the outfits you’ve posted on your Instagram! How long have you been making your own clothes?
Thanks! So I’ve been creating my own pieces to wear at festivals for about ten years but ventured into D&B inspired creations about two years ago.
What were you looking for with regards to drum & bass merchandise that you weren’t finding?
So as it’s a predominantly male run scene, the merchandise really reflects that and I feel the selection for us ladies is poor. A lot of labels don’t even take into consideration a woman’s body shape and only make cuts for men, although this is getting better. All that’s really available for females are t-shirts, vest tops, crew neck jumpers, hoodies, sometimes t-shirt dresses and gym leggings, all usually in really dull colours! Whilst there’s nothing really wrong with that it’s not what I want to wear or how I feel the scene is best promoted through female merchandise.
I’d like merch to reflect the wonderful music it’s representing. I want to rep with pride and it to look sick!
I wanted something thats going to suit my body shape, that’s colourful, that’s got a really sick print. Something stylish for day to day and something else to wear out.
It’s a genre of music to dance too, so I wanted something you’re going to put on and be so excited to wear to go dancing in. Maybe even something that will make you feel that feeling when the music drops when you put it on.
Tell us a bit about the process of making a custom piece of drum and bass merchandise. Are you repurposing off the shelf garments, or printing your own fabrics?
So I do both. I like to buy directly to support the artists, usually from Bandcamp or their own websites.
I went through a stage of cutting up Tees and turning them into something more magical. I stitched a Gutterfunk Club tee into a really cute strap dress and have used graphics from tees to create some super sick shirts but lately I’ve been creating my own fabrics and sewing them into some home made designs.
The process for this; I decide what I want to make, check out whether it’s for an event or just daily wear, sometimes design the fabric, choose what fabric material I want to use, get it printed and start sewing up some amazingness!
Where did you learn your sewing skills?
I’m totally self taught. It’s been a madness of YouTube videos, major mistakes and broken sewing machine fails but all me.
Is fashion design something you do for a living or just a hobby?
So it’s not my full time paid job but it’s something I’m really passionate about and give a lot of my time and energies too.
Music To Stitch To
Do you have a favourite drum and bass track to stitch to?
This is a really hard question! It’s got to be ‘Tell Me True’ by Logistics. Such a beautiful vibe to make such beautiful creations – especially if I’m nearly at the end of making a piece, when that song drops its the perfect soundtrack to hold up my creation and smile at it.
Which is your favourite item of D&B clothing that you’ve created so far & why?
It’s got to be the Hospital Records Nintendo print velvet dress.
I made this to stretch some boundaries and prove that you can rep D&B in any environment. It’s the kind of dress that you could rock up to some really swanky do and be wearing a drum and bass label. How awesome is that? I chose velvet cause it’s soft and classy. Mixing up the use of fabric materials really works.
Have you had other women asking you where you bought your clothes yet?
Yes! I actually get this quite a lot. It’s a great conversation starter.
Are your custom pieces available to buy, or is that something you’re looking to do down the line?
Not available to buy just yet I’m afraid. I’ve been mastering my craft over lockdown and wanted to see how my pieces were received before I made any for sale. That said, I’d very much like too start selling a few pieces in the not too distant future.
Go follow Ayeesha on her SewDnB page on Instagram to see some of her other eye catching custom made creations instagram.com/sewdnb/