BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Part Time)
JENA.THEO (design duo Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis) won Fashion Fringe 2009 at Covent Garden- the platform to discover, nurture and support the hottest emerging design talent in the UK.
Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis met in 2002, on the BA (Hons) Fashion Studies: Design Realisation (Part-time) course, now called BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Part-time) and graduated in 2006.
Jenny and Dimitris both graduated from LCF with first class honours. Since then Jenny has gone on to pursue a career as a buyer, while Dimitris worked in the fashion industry in various roles, including tutoring in design and fashion illustration. They decided to collaborate for Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden, with aspirations of launching their own label. Their work blends a unique mix of Greek and British heritage with modern ideas and attitudes.
Why did you originally want to study at LCF?
JH: I originally wanted to study at the LCF because I had done a degree in graphic design and kept on designing clothes. I was also looking for a part-time course, as I was working as a buyer at the time and the LCF was flexible, with weekends and evenings incorporated into contact time.
DT: Because it was well known as a college taking professionals.
What are your lasting impressions of LCF?
JH: LCF was really supportive and I still have a really good relationship with my tutors and technicians.
DT: It was very good at teaching the practical side of fashion design and making design ideas happen.
How did LCF help prepare you for your career?
JH: We were trained to have a business mind, as well as being creative, and being from LCF is great on your CV.
DT: Technicality and the best ways to develop and research you ideas.
Did being in London inspire you?
JH: I was still living in the countryside when I started there so couldn't wait to get to London. It is hugely inspiring and a great environment.
DT: It's the reason that I moved to London- for the inspiration.
What did you do when you first left LCF?
JH: I was already an assistant buyer and after graduating with a first class degree, I got promoted to a junior buyer, which meant that I could move on to a more 'blue chip' brand.
DT: I was a fashion illustrator, tutor and designed for some Greek and British brands.
What are the highs and lows of being a designer?
JH: Highs: creativity, making exactly what YOU want. Lows: admin and having to always drive yourself and have confidence no matter how many knockbacks you get.
DT: Highs: You get to live the dream and see the dream become real. Lows: poverty.
What's a typical day for you?
JH: It varies, there is no typical day for a fashion designer, you are always doing something different. But when you are low on creativity you can work on the business.
DT: Like Jenny said, it always changes, but it must start with a coffee.
How would you define your aesthetic?
BOTH: Unconventional. Playing with silhouettes and the use of space. Using delicate tailoring with repetition. Giving the customer the option to change what she is wearing.
And how would you define your customer?
BOTH: Daring. Individual. Creative.
Who do you admire in the industry?
JH: Rei Kawakubo, for the complete anti-fashion.
DT: Hussein Chalayan, for incorporating the height of technology with wearable fashion.
What inspires you most?
JH: Film, but not just horror; music and art too.
DT: Jenny! Different cultures, traditions, crafts and techniques.
What advice would you have given to yourself all those years ago at LCF, knowing what you know now?
JH: Get my arse into gear earlier and have the confidence to do it. You get exhausted after college and talked into getting a 'real' job.
DT: I wish I had dedicated more time and got prepared sooner.
And finally, any words of advice for students who may want to follow in your footsteps?!
JH: Go for it and go for Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden.
DT: If you think you can do it, you can.