Meet the Loaners

Anna Dewhirst: The Loomband Queen

Jade McSorely
August 19, 2022
DROP ANNOUNCEMENT: A selection of Anna Dewhirst’s pieces will be available to rent on LOANHOOD from 23 August 2022. Follow Anna on LOANHOOD now to have their rental pieces on your feed first.

Who is Anna?
My name is Anna Dewhirst I am a 21-year-old Scottish-Texan fashion designer currently based in London.

How did you get into fashion?
I feel like fashion and the way I dress has always been part of who I am however when I was at school, I was adamant that I was going to be a TV Presenter. It wasn’t until I got to my Highers, and I realised I enjoyed the design process over the journalism route that I decided that I was going to go into Fashion. When I applied to my BAs, I originally got rejected from Saint Martins but that same afternoon that I got the rejection, I applied to the fashion and textiles foundation without telling anyone. I got invited to interview and offered a place and the rest is history.

How have you found your study so far with the pandemic?
The pandemic cut my foundation short back in 2020 and I began my degree in October 2020, and it was definitely an odd experience. I felt that with fashion design, everyone was trying to function as if the pandemic wasn’t going on but obviously there were strict lockdowns/regulations. Towards the end of 2020 and early 2021, I ran into quite a few medical issues, so I ended up taking a year out. Now looking back, I think that was probably the best decision I could’ve made. During that time, I got to assist stylist Innes Woo, who taught me a lot about the styling and communication side of fashion. Previously, I also had the opportunity to intern for Ashley Williams. During the pandemic, university maybe wasn’t the most positive experience for me, however I took loads of opportunities that I don’t think would’ve had been available to me if it wasn’t lockdown. I restarted my studies beginning of February and I’m looking forward to everything to come!

Loomband set designed and crocheted by Anna Dewhirst

Tell us about your brand where did it all start from?
This ties on really well with the last question! The Loombands idea all started beginning of 2021. I had been discharged from hospital and even though I was dealing with medical issues, I wasn’t technically deferred yet, so we had an ongoing knitwear project. The last thing I wanted to do was use my knit machine, so I raided our craft cupboard at home, and I found my sisters old Loom bands. I watched loads and loads of bracelet tutorials and I taught myself different techniques. I started with the head pieces and from there I started challenging myself like ‘okay you’ve now made a headpiece can you maybe make a bikini top’, then building up from that through to dresses, shorts and sleeves. Re-starting university, I began a more mixed media approach and am looking to develop that further!

What’s next for you?
Oh my goodness! what isn’t the next for me?! I mean reality show and make up line, album LOL. All jokes aside I really want to develop this technique further I feel I can still take it in so many different directions and produce a full collection. Developing my own ‘mega-loomband’ band that is more durable and sustainable is something that (although I don’t know how) I want to make happen! If it’s creative, I’m open to any opportunity that arises.

My approach to design is almost humorous. Fashion should be fun and make you feel good!

You don’t seem scared of doing things differently… What drives you?
My approach to design is almost humorous. Fashion should be fun and make you feel good! I don’t have technical pattern cutting sewing or textile skillset so that makes me look for different processes to construct garments with. Ultimately, I want my pieces to be visually interesting but also hug the body in the right places.

Loomband set designed and crocheted by Anna Dewhirst

Once the loom bands are on, people ooze confident and sexy energy

Who do you design for?
I design for myself. During the design process, I use myself as a mannequin and drape, pull and adjust around my body. I want to feel confident, sexy and have clothes that flatter me, and I find if I like what I make, other people feed off that energy. As the loom bands stretch, they flatter most people’s body shapes as well! Whenever I’m at shoots or people try on my garments, once the loom bands are on, people ooze confident and sexy energy.

Rental is going to change our whole approach to fashion! It means that mass producing won’t be the only option to get your designs out there.

Why are you interested in rental?
Rental is going to change our whole approach to fashion! It means that mass producing won’t be the only option to get your designs out there. With unusual materials and avant-garde pieces, like the Loombands, I’ve noticed people are more nervous to commit to a purchase. Whilst also being a much more sustainable approach, it allows fashion to be more accessible.

Mixed media one piece designed and made by Anna Dewhirst

Do any designers inspire you?
I am a Versace girl through and through! They have perfected the balance of chic and tacky and I LOVE IT! Growing up, I was a competitive swimmer and when I stopped, I took up weightlifting, so I feel sportswear is a big inspiration. My current fascination is the Arena competition tech-suits as each suit has slightly different lines that cut the body in subtle but interesting ways.

A selection of Anna Dewhirst’s pieces will be available to rent on LOANHOOD from 23 August 2022. Follow Anna on LOANHOOD now to have their rental pieces on your feed first.

Image credits
Photography: V Thurston @vttwtdx
Models: Amelie Cooper @ameliefrancess Sinead Owusu-Amofa @almostsinead
Assisted by Eliza Craig @_elizajane_x

Moving Image and photography: Lucy Badger @lucy_badger 
Mua: V Thurston @vttwtdx
Models: Corran Green @corrangreen, Matthew Bedford @jesusimconfused Emily Smith @emdianesmith Bea Dero @bea.dero