Challenging the notion of how products change & influence the world we live in, ARTEFACT FOOTWEAR PATTERN FUTURES at London Design Festival exhibits selected work from London College of Fashion’s MA Artefact, MA Footwear, MA Pattern and Garment Technology and MA Fashion Futures graduates. The exhibition opens on Thursday 19 September at the Old Sorting Office, Chelsea, part of the London Design Festival Chelsea Design District.
We're chatting to MA Fashion Futures graduate, Anna Schuster, about her final project and her time here at LCF. Anna is also co-founder of sustainable fashion brand, JOA.
Hi Anna! Can you tell us a bit about your work?
This collection is inspired by people and materials to shift the focus towards a more conscious fashion identity. The design process demands creativity of designer who are trained to focus on aesthetics. They have an essential role of decision-making to support a sustainable future. Collaborating across disciplines challenges designer to think beyond the design process. This collection is based on three collaborations discovering pathways that lead to garments with value and quality. Those individual concepts, joint together, celebrate materials and craftmanship. The idea of ANNA MEETS X shows the nature of fashion is to interact with each other to worship what is surrounding us.
Outfit #1: In the first outfit the focus in on traditional crafts including knitting which pattern inspired the hand-crafted elements and artisanal techniques. The gaining relevance in this project is the individuality of the domestic knitting, which explores the different textures in the details that are the key to give the designs an interesting quality. Through the communal domestic knitting diverse outcomes are brought together through patchwork and handicraft. The second approach of this project is interpreting narrative into a garment. The reused yarns celebrate the diversity of their artisanal look and texture as well as material variety.
Outfit #2 The second project draws inspiration from the collaboration with the watchmaker and the repair service attached to the product. This collaboration transferred the concept of disassembling and surface manipulation to fashion. The idea is to transform details with new finishes and explore repurposing garments. The focus on sustainability demands responsibly sourced materials which are in this case reclaimed textile. Textural and crafts surface are applied to classical shapes to get a nnew interpretation of the utility look and relaxed tailoring. Upcycled vintage pieces work with a sustainable focus, adding panels to create a contrast that will appeal timeless and elegant.
Outfit #3 The third project collaborates with artists to build a message about sustainability communicated through garments. Prints explore the bonding between work process and audience. Textural surfaces creating aesthetics that attracts conscious consumerism. The idea is to disrupt the digital with analogue and transform design with hand-rendered techniques. Again, in this mini collection smart alternatives are developed through recycling and crafts. Linear stripes, irregular spacing, contrast print panelling are integrated with the collage. Inspiration is drawn from the interview with the social media artist and the strength to communicate only visually.
Outfit #4 and Outfit #5 The last two outfits combine the diverse processes and concepts of the first three outfits. I see those two as an evolution of the previous outfits that combine the diverse disciplines and crafts. The storytelling of the collection is ti start with exploration into diverse crafts and then bring it together into a ready to wear and one couture outfit. I am influenced by what surrounds me as a designer, taking inspiration from other ‘maker’s’ disciplines through the discovery of crafts such as crochet, repair and patchworking. I want to show that although you have diverse startgies and ideas they will all work together. Joining diverse ideas, disciplines and ideas showcases that we are allowed to show that ‘ANYTHING GOES’.
How was your time at LCF?
Fashion Futures is pushing the boundaries of working across diverse disciplines to engage with a variety of topics that are linked to fashion and nature. The course has been eye-opening through the variety of lectures, hands on workshops and experiences that bring fashion in new contexts. Research in design is often focused on visuals and Fashion Futures brings practice based research together with theory. We had great collaborative projects and interesting lectures from diverse researchers that bring fashion in a new context. I could grow as a designer and as a person during this course and was able to experiment in diverse projects. I was able to develop an visual communication strategy for Kering - I had the pleasure to work for a project that is part of the 'Fashioned from ature' exhibition in the Victoria & Albert Museum - I was able to be part of an interdisciplinary Fashion Hackathon in collaboration with two other universities from Sweden and Italy. The course allowed me to be brave, curious and question traditional ways of working to develop new strategies and ideas.
I developed my own way of working and discovered new design processes that connects fashion with diverse disciplines to tackle modern day issues.
Your advice for future students?
Be proactive - make as many experiences as you can and be brave. Work with other students and exchange your skills and knowledge to grow. The most important thing in our modern world is to learn from each other and support each other. Take nature and its circular systems as an example and try to make the most out of every action. Collaborations across the courses and with industry partners are essential to grow as a craftsman and researcher.
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LINK IN BIO: because sometimes we just have to push forward in our beliefs and turn dreams in action! We want to fight against the waste in fashion industry! We want to stop mass production and bring back craftsmanship! We want to cherish personalised fashion and individuality! Have a look at our Kickstarter - we make bomber jackets out of unwanted garments which would end up in landfill. We can to source materials - design and produce fashion locally and stop useless waste of resources. LINK IN BIO #fashionrevolution #fashion #design #sustainablefashion #zerowaste #circularsystem Have a look at our Kickstarter campaign: We have loads of rewards waiting for you. Check out the JOA bag made out of unwanted garments + individual embroidery. Buy a bag and you get a patch + postcard for free. LINK IN BIO #UALgrads #joafashionmadelocal #Kickstarter #campaign #crowdfunding #sustainablefashion #london #hackney #ootd #sustainablestyle #ethicalfashion #festivalfashion #econotego #thereisnoplanetb #joathelabel #slowfashionmovement #unisex #fashionrevolution #upcycling #activism #independentlabel #eastlondon #community #chatsworthroad #hackneymarshes #recycling #zerowaste