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Class of 2014: Jihye Sim

Written by lfox
Published date 01 July 2014

As our BA14 season comes to a close we look at the final students from across our undergraduate courses who will be graduating this summer as part of our Class of 2014 series.  Here Class of 2014: Jihye Sim, BA (Hons) Hair and Make-up for Fashion student Jihye Sim talks to us about studying abroad and her big plans for the future.

LCF: What have you enjoyed most about studying at LCF?
Jihye Sim: The cultural studies units gave me a basic knowledge and understanding of fashion. I enjoyed the practical seminars for Hair and Make-up where I could build on my practical skills with help from a professional instructor. Not only did we learn Hair and Makeup, we also had a group project, collaborating with photography students in second year which gave me a deeper understanding of the photography behind each shoot. Apart from these aspects, the most important thing for me was being taken care of by my tutor Fiona Minors who helped me when I was in need, especially as I had to study in a country far away from home, overseas without my family. She never hesitated to help me and listen to my concerns. She is really a really talented woman, every time I attended her lectures and tutorials, I always took a lot of inspiration from what she said.

LCF: Have you won any prizes / been in the media / undertaken work experience?
JS: I got the opportunity to show my make-up work at  London Fashion Week (2012) in On/Off at Rankin’s gallery as part of the Young Photographer’s competition. For the first time I got to sell my work – it was such a great feeling that fashion designer Lee Lapthorne bought my work. It meant a lot to me. When most people thought my work is too extreme, the On/Off opportunity gave me the courage to accept my perceptions. I also had my work published in Hunger, Nowness and Elle amongst others.

LCF: What inspires you?
JS: Everything that surrounds me always feeds my inspiration. It starts from a common idea or theme and I love to explore a concept as far as I can – Pushing it towards the limit. I am never afraid of entering unknown waters and I never stay at the shallow end of the pool. Just as good as I am on pushing the concept to the limit, I also restrain myself to keep things classic.

LCF: What is most important to you about fashion?
JS: A fashion show that I saw on TV when I was 9 years old strongly impressed me. Since then I always have a passion in my heart for fashion. Fashion defines me. However I think fashion is an endless story, it’s all about the journey to define myself and communicate with people who love fashion.

LCF: How would you sum up your final project?
JS: My Final project theme was ‘Extreme Beauty’. I created a magazine, which is a compilation of 6 test shoots and visual out-takes with the intention to explore my research on the topic ‘Extreme Beauty’. It is a map through my journey where I was forced to ask myself what beauty is and at what point it becomes extreme. During the process I found a lot of possible answers but what was my vision with the research? What did I want to communicate in the end? Maybe I needed to define the right question rather than the right answer. The final outcome of my project is defined by shape, perspective and proportion with the basic visual concept borrowed from Holly Goring’s piece. The round shape of the boxes and the way they are montaged draw inspiration from pharmaceutical pills, which fitted with my idea of women’s obsession about their appearance being a kind of sickness. The shape of the box follows an irregular pattern, and with the peeks through the hole my aim was to create a feeling of being trapped – in this case, being trapped in the narrow frame of beauty. The shape of the opening of the box is sharply defined and allows the viewer to see different parts of the make-up in each image. In the last image the shape has changed from a tight crack to a wide round open hole, which symbolises the urge to break out of the tight frame. In the last image, the woman has reached the point where she breaks free from the sickness. She is reborn, deflowered.

LCF: What are your plans for the future? And how do you feel your course will help you?
JS: As my father said, the beauty industry contains a lot of potential for the future, not like in the past, and I believe that. Currently I strive for a career like enterprising make-up artist Alex Box. She is my role model.
I want to work for a cosmetic company and after working in the field I want to launch a cosmetic brand with my own name like Bobbi Brown or Shu Uemura.  Whilst working as a hair and make-up artist I want to work as a painter or illustrator to keep practising my vision. And after I succeed with my beauty career, I want to build a career in fashion design.

LCF: What advice would you give someone wanting to study for a BA at LCF?
JS: I often get emails from people who would like to study at LCF but I never had a chance to answer to all of them – now is a good  chance! When I decided to study at LCF, I knew only about my dream and nothing else. I think that was the main thing that helped me to be brave enough to study in London. And after four years in the city, I can see myself improve in many different ways, I think studying abroad is a good opportunity to increase your ability and really make the break through. If you are considering studying at LCF, I say, “Don’t hesitate”.

Photography credits
MakeUp & Hair : Jihye Sim, using Mac cosmetic.
Photographer: Albin Rydholm
Model: Julia Norder @ Elite