Kimberley is currently in her final year on BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring (top-up). Here she tells us about her experience studying tailoring here at LCF.
Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I knew that LCF is one of the most prestigious and renowned colleges in the world for studying fashion, so naturally due to my tailoring aspirations, this was something that I instantly wanted to be a part of. I chose to study tailoring as I enjoy the pattern making aspect of fashion. I knew that pattern cutting for tailoring is the hardest thing to pattern cut for and so I felt compelled to master that.
How have you found it going from FdA to BA?
The change going from production tailoring (the FdA) back to bespoke (which we studied in first year) was a huge leap; to master the intricate and time consuming methods as well as the pressure to perform well this year has been difficult. However I feel that I am gradually overcoming the challenge, and weathering the storm, it's been lots of hard work but so far it's been worth it. Hopefully I can maintain composure till the end of the year to see myself achieve the goals that I have set for myself.
Tell me about your experience of the course. What are the highlights so far?
The course has been amazing, I couldn't be happier with the content. Some of my highlights include winning the sponsored project for Timothy Everest (through which I attained a work placement with them), winning the Upcoming Design Talent Newcomers Night Award, the Shaftesbury Scholarship and sponsorship by Scabal to name but a few. I'm lucky to have had such a great year in 2015, I can only hope that my luck continues into 2016.
Can you talk us through your final project?
The concept for my final project revolves around creating a strong silhouette that accentuates a woman's natural femininity. Strong bold silhouettes and natural femininity are not a combination you would usually expect to see working harmoniously with one another. This is something that I have tried to achieve as I think it is important to retain a woman's natural femininity when crafting a bespoke tailored garment for a professional working woman. I feel that the way in which women lose their natural femininity through wearing unflatteringly tailored suits and masculine capitalist silhouettes, is something that is too often overlooked. Through this project I hoped to prove that you can create a strong, bold, business minded, professional looking silhouette whilst retaining, and furthermore, accentuating a woman's natural femininity.
What is the balance of theoretical and practical work on the course?
There is a lot more design and practical work than there are written elements to the course, it's very hands on by nature. For third year we have to create a four outfit bespoke tailoring collection, design portfolio, technical files, project proposal, critical path and a reflective discourse. As well as our portfolio and CV.
How do you think tailoring, and its relationship with fashion, has changed over time?
I think tailoring has it's own identity outside of fashion, because the values of tailoring and fashion are so different. Fashion moves so fast and is more concerned with trends, however tailoring is more about the clients own personal style, preferences and fit. Tailoring accentuates the clients own originality and personality whereas fashion aims to provide a person with a look.
I think that over time, fashion can and has had an influence on the tailoring industry. However the evidence of this is in the smaller details and is not something that necessarily changes drastically from generation to generation.
Tell us about your personal style?
My style is very monochromatic. I love the strength and cleanliness of black and white as a composition, I think that when combined they create very powerful look. This colour scheme really reflects my persona and attitude as a designer but furthermore as a person. I feel that it is representative of a very clean cut, hard working independent individual, and this is the image that I hope to convey with my designs.
What are you plans for after you’ve left LCF?
I'm hoping to start my career in a tailors, working my way up and eventually pursuing a career as a cutter.
What advice would you give students considering studying on this course?
Bespoke tailoring will be your life, the craft is time consuming and definitely only one to pursue if you really have a passion for creating beautiful garments. You can't rush bespoke. However, if you do have that passion then ultimately you will find it rewarding.