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My name is Yung-En (Melissa), Lin. I have just recently graduated from London College of Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development, with a placement year. Originally from Taiwan, I grew up there until junior high, then I headed to California, United States for a Christian college preparatory school.
Growing up in the fashion industry with all the seamstresses and pattern makers, playing with fabric and draping was a natural thing for me. I would collect the leftover fabrics and start draping without knowing it was a professional thing to do. I just knew I could put pins on fabric to secure the fabric the way I wanted it to be. I was the kid who draped fabrics on mannequins as a hobby. Since I was little, I have found myself uninterested in anything other than art and literature. When it came to art class, I could focus on drawing for hours without noticing the time. I wasn’t the best in art, but I did enjoy the process of sketching and watercolor painting. Alongside that, I would also see mom sketching dresses and skirts whenever she was in the office. I would crawl on to her and try to distract her from sketching, but she would never get distracted, which indirectly influenced me to have the same hobby and sketch even when I’m on the phone. My hands are always busy sketching or folding the napkins on the dining table. All these artsy influences contribute to my design path.
My work is usually not just purely about fashion and making clothes. I always love to include something significant and convey messages that I would love my wearers and viewers to understand. For example, in my second-year project I wanted to give an awareness of an almost extinct heritage from a Taiwanese weaving technique by incorporating it into fashion. I push the boundaries to bring more excitement into my work, therefore, my work is also a journey of finding a balance between fashion and mixed media.
I think that virtual graduation was the best option under this particular circumstance. Our university has done its best to make up for what we couldn’t have. It was something new and was quite fun to explore the graduation platform such as the Photo Booth, gift shop, and live comments during the graduations. I sincerely appreciate what our uni has done for us!
The Aguaiesta project by Meli Ishshah was inspired by my memories of when I was in Taiwan this past year. Before uni started in Spring, I dedicated all my weekends to hiking, camping, surfing, just to get involved with nature as much as I could. My eyes were always fixed on the movement of ocean waves and the reflecting of shadow and light from the river. I couldn’t take my eyes off the beauty of nature. When it came to the final year project, it was a spontaneous decision to draw inspiration from the beauty of nature as a respectful appreciation. My idea was to capture the most beautiful moment of ocean waves, imagining how the wind would blow the ocean waves onto the models and keep the natural feel and softness of the fabric by combining a specific amount of epoxy resin for the visual effect.
The idea of having the traditional Taiwanese stained glass pattern as my fabric print has a meaning behind it. In the past, Taiwanese stained glass was widely used for preventing thieves from breaking into houses. However, the pattern was very delicate to duplicate, there were not many young generations willing to master the skill and it was not strong enough to protect the residents, therefore, the stained glass is almost extinct. Nowadays, most of the stained glass is replaced by machine-made glass. The traditional Taiwanese stained glass represents a ‘memory’ for elderly Taiwanese people. Here I am not only capturing my memory, but also capturing the memories of most Taiwanese people by bringing the stained glass back to life. I achieved this by duplicating the pattern with silicon mould and filled it up with epoxy resin to imitate the similar glass-like texture of the original Taiwanese traditional stained glass.
I hope that this collection can raise awareness of the distinct Taiwanese traditional heritage, raise awareness of the polluted ocean, encourage everyone to enjoy the moment that they are having, and observe even the little things in our daily lives.
Studying fashion in London already sounds magical, especially as London College of Fashion is widely known for its creativeness and many talented alumni. Therefore it was my only choice to study at LCF. I explored the best of my interests by going through many other majors in a Foundation Degree. During my Foundation year, it was quite obvious that I was interested in garment design more than any other subject. So, LCF Foundation is quite a cool place to explore your interests. :)
I can finally have real industry experiences such as a full-time job and apply what I’ve learned within the company. I understand that there is a lot that we will realise we still need to learn - whether technical skills, communication strategy, relationships with people, or the method of doing things. There are still things that we might not be fully taught in uni, but it is by doing something that we get to learn. So what excites me the most is that I will be going to learn and gain a lot in the industry.
In five years, I would love to start my label and preferably also with my mother. It would be a buyer shop which has our collection as the key selling point plus pieces of furniture, scents, make-up and even music events that we enjoy. I would love to share with people not just about garments but about a lifestyle.
‘Whatever you do- for work or play- do it with passion.” - Christian Dior.
Get connected to as many people as you can. Have fun in final year :)
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