Slightly lit at London's East Dulwich Picturehouse and surrounded by yummy-mummy's, we discuss Catty's career ascension. "I'm a 3D Designer, predominantly for fashion and clothing," she tells me, beginning our conversation. Catty's sipping water through a straw between statements - one of her signature accessories.
"One thing that's really good with the softwares I use is, not a lot of people use them." It's no wonder then that she's turned the heads of Adidas, Burberry, OFF-WHITE and more with her virtual models and animation skills. Originally from the West Country and a 90s baby, Catty was thrilled to do her degree in Textile Design, with the benefit of arriving in London and being able to start getting herself out there. That was the beginning of many serendipitous encounters.
🔥New work with @adidaswomen as figure and garment animator. An animated story of the sensation and physical perception of Adidas Warp Knit seamless technology. (3/3) Check out the full animation at @adidaswomen Directed by @luhardcastle / Animation, production and typography by @rokabyestudio / Creative consultant @lauraemilyvent / Sound design @wifesounds /Agency @weareclubhouse
She’s also using the attention she’s gained to gather women together that are digital designers; fostering this community was a no-brainer to her when she began to notice other collectives and companies forming around particular disciplines. “I basically started this [Digi-Gal] because I was very inspired by a lot of the other groups, platforms, like BBZ, Gal-Dem, Bbyfce, sisterMAG, Pussy Palace,” the list goes on for womxn-led or womxn only groups making a difference in their respective field, and Catty was certain to not let it end with them.
There’s a lot to do going ahead Catty notes, irl link ups with the Digi-Gal collective that has contributors from as far and wide as Germany to the USA; putting on an exhibition and debuting their works “somewhere, somehow,” and also organising skill-shares and connecting people more actively – something the designer has done already by posting call-outs for content on their Instagram story.
“You need more stuff to look up to,” Catty says, explaining that aspirations often begin at a young age, and if it’s only men that are seen engaging with digital skills, then a generation of potentially great women designers won’t be raised and inspired; she goes further by explaining that it isn’t just that these industries are dominated by men, but that “it’s all about female support, female support,” she chants “it can only grow and get better and bigger.” From her personal experiences too, she’s encountered situations of knowing a software or a solution, and being overlooked or ignored, and simply having a more diverse presence at the table would change that – something she’s in the process of changing.
She tells me a bit about her vision for herself and her career – about intentions to work with very big fashion labels, designers, and original ways to present and display their collections in much more interactive, open source way; “I would want to create a whole new way that we see fashion week for example.” She gives rough examples immediately off the top of her head, ideas that make it clear exactly where Catty’s strength lies: in her imagination.
Catherine Taylor is becoming a force in fashion that’s hard not to come across, because she has a very clear and distinct vision of enabling other women to become a force too. “It’s not always about pink blobs,” she reflects, commenting on the jagged, dark, rough virtual imagery on the Digi-Gal Instagram, “yeah, some of it is, but that’s not what it is defined by. There’s loads of gutsy girls,” she states. Encouraging them to be more direct and ruthless with their seat at the table.
Words and Photography by Jamel Duane Alatise.